If you already read my special report 22 Habits for Digital Continuity Success ??? MARTY I hope you were inspired. In this post I describe The 7 habits for business and career failure. I hope understanding how toxic they can be enables you to avoid their pain while building your program or any other project you embrace.

Unfortunately, the true story I describe below is all too real for many organizations that attempt to digitally transform. Over 80% of organizations report their digital transformation efforts either fell short of expectations or completely failed. Throughout Ultimate Business Continuity, we will focus on fixing this so you are in the small percentage that creates extreme business continuity value.

Once upon a time I had the opportunity to listen to a rousing digital transformation speech by a forward-thinking high-level executive at a corporate off-site meeting. She is a leader of a multi-billion-dollar retail company primed to either disrupt their industry or be disrupted by outsiders.

I got excited listening to her speech which focused on delivering customer delight and simultaneously removing friction from their complex and too siloed global supply chain. She spoke of revolutionizing their core products and implementing an end-to-end digital transformation of their manufacturing and delivery processes. She spoke of their new corporate values centered around digital transformation and creating customer delight. She spoke of how everyone needed to ‘think digital’. Her plan was a tall order but her passion for digital transformation was evident and that was a great start. Everyone clapped and cheered.

Unfortunately, the subsequent weeks and months were quiet and there was no action on the part of the troops to drive her vision to reality. Every passing day of inaction brought them closer to being disrupted and destroyed. Sadly, there was no sense of urgency and her vision bit the dust before it ever had a chance to flourish.

Here is what occurred in one of the many breakout subgroups she created. It parallels what happened in similar groups throughout the organization:

Her Digital Vision: ‘We will deliver real-time key performance indicators, break down silos, create real-time automated data streams horizontally and vertically, improve data quality, eliminate needless redundant efforts and
minimize manual mistakes’.

Old-School Reality: In breakout meetings, the troops decided that their current capabilities only enabled them to deliver metrics quarterly. Their plan was to collect data using 20+ spreadsheets, manually combine that data in one humongous spreadsheet and then do some spreadsheet
analysis. There was no thought of creating and reporting real time metrics in an entirely different digital way.

There is a much faster and better digital way they could have approached the problem that would have provided real time metrics, minimized errors, reduced expense and increased revenue, which was exactly what the forward-thinking executive wanted to accomplish. The tools they needed
were available but they never found them. They would have become the disruptors and their digital team would have been super heroes instead of being on the wrong side of disruption.

Unfortunately, for many reasons we will discuss throughout UltimateBusinessContinuity.com the scenario in this post is typical of what occurs at too many companies in too many industries. The 80% digital transformation failure rate I cited earlier
does not shock me.

Fortunately, it can be corrected with a simple mash-up of digital: thinking, vision, ideas, processes, emerging technologies, tools and importantly a realistic plan for execution – all of which I will share throughout Ultimate Business Continuity.

7 habits of owners and employees that will lead to

  1. Assuming what always worked in the old days will work now and in the future. In business continuity ans critical event management that hought line is often prevalent. Digital is different. Big dogs are falling every day. Toys ‘R Us announced they are closing all of their stores and 33,000 people are losing their jobs. Many Sears stores closed a few weeks before and Whole Foods was bought be Amazon. In an upcoming post on disruptor’s, I list other well known cases of disruption. Be paranoid and be prepared.
  1. Fear of rocking the boat: If you do not rock the boat, the boat will be rocked by a disruptor or you will be caught unprepared by agreeing with those that do not know how to prepare and you will be in the water without a life preserver.
  2. Fear of new technology: Technology is your friend. Too many people think technology is going to displace them. You must partner with technology to succeed. Ultimate Business Continuity is all about applying beneficial new technology for safety and continuity of operations.
  3. Fear of being different: Too many organizations are copy-cats. It is a losing proposition.
  4. Using ‘hunch decisions’ rather than ‘data-driven decisions’. Good data rules! It is the truth.
  5. Creating an organizational culture that only looks inward instead of both outward and inward: Being myopic makes you vulnerable to the disruptor in a distant sector salivating on easy prey. Be aware.
    Look outside your industry and within it. The company that can disrupt you may not be your current competitor. The disruptor can live in an industry far from yours. Technology can help you monitor millions of dynamic data points in your industry and beyond.
  6. Destroying your employees spirit of innovation: If you have that rare person with an innovative spirit on your team do not beat the person down. Do not ask her or him to ‘reign it in’ because what she or he is doing is not a watered down ‘repeatable process’. Make it a repeatable process. Do not say, ‘this is not the Mary or Harry show’. Let your people express themselves, be different and shine. If you do not keep them happy your competition will find them or they might go out and find your competition.