Digital first: why we’re all in at BMI•
- Business Model Shifts
- Design Thinking
It’s not just offices upholding remote working post-COVID. Professional gatherings – such as meetings, events, training sessions, and workshops – are being planned as digital from the outset, for many different reasons.
Here’s why we’re doing exactly that here at BMI•.
Now that the world is slowly crawling back toward some semblance of normality, offices around the world can finally welcome back employees and pick up where they left off – albeit with social distancing measures and extra hand sanitiser, right?
Yes, we can all *finally* return to commuting an hour or more every weekday: battling traffic (human and vehicular), navigating public transport timetables in the pouring rain, and get back to avoiding those annoying electric scooters that seem determined to send us – and our morning caffeine jolt – flying deeper into the great daily grind.
Strangely enough, not everyone’s keen to get back to this (although some of us will be keen to take a break from perpetual house arrest). And that’s reflected in the continuation of remote working by businesses large and small everywhere from Amsterdam to Zurich.
After all, if your morning commute takes literally seconds and you have access to everything you need via the cloud – and now that bosses have seen firsthand that working from home does in fact work(!) – the need to have everyone in the same place at the same time, all the time, is tough to make a case for.
We’re all for everyone having the option to do what works best for them. But when you’re an international business like BMI•, with offices, employees, and customers all over the world; the ability to deliver our strategy sessions and innovation power remotely offer distinct advantages.
Doubling down on digital
At BMI•, design thinking has been central to our approach to building business models since we began. Our focus is on making complex structures, strategies, and ideas tangible.
While in the past we’ve encouraged clients to attend sessions in a physical setting, to continue our work over the last few months we’ve had to quickly switch to a digital delivery model. And we’re absolutely convinced that this is the way forward from here on out.
As soon as COVID-19 hit, to put it bluntly, we knew we’d need to adapt or die. So the decision was a no-brainer: we’d have to do everything online. Not just send notes and presentations across on email; we’d literally have to replicate our entire business model in a digital fashion.
We’d need to be able to collaborate in real-time too – and give everyone involved the opportunity to participate. Basically, our methodology had to remain intact, but the way it all came together had to change. Luckily, this wasn’t hard to get in place.
Fast response. Smooth delivery.
Why were we able to respond so quickly? Well, pre-COVID, we’d already set plans in motion to make a digital shift to online delivery. But most of our clients needed convincing. There was no appetite to do so. And then suddenly, there was.
As we’ve seen with remote working, several months on and it’s now clear that a digital-first approach to business model building can yield some very positive results. One particular tool we’re using to help us is Mural. For us, it’s an ideal collaboration and co-creation platform – one that complements our visual way of working.
But it’s not just the collaboration that counts. We’ve noticed for some time now that there has been a real focus on enabling everyone to have faster, easier access to information – before, during, and after sessions.
When you have the right digital infrastructure in place, you can pull all of the data, information and assets you need into a single central online source. Not only that, but expert advice is much easier to access online too. Instead of ‘flying people in’, they simply ‘log on’ to offer their guidance.
That’s the real beauty of a digital-first approach – everything remains accessible in the exact same way as it was delivered: documents, emails, collaboration boards, video chats, and anything else used.
More time. Less money.
Even when travel begins again in earnest, the cost and time savings from implementing digital sessions are significant enough for everyone to benefit. From a time perspective, every second used can now be dedicated to the learning journey. The expense of flight and accommodation for staff involved is completely mitigated. And not having to physically coordinate everything in situ also reduces the costs we’d normally incur – which means we can pass these savings on to our clients.
But let’s also be realistic. Physical interaction is going to be necessary – even desirable – at certain points. When social distancing comes to a complete end, we’ll of course continue to deliver in-person, when required. But going digital also means we can work with a lot more clients, wherever they are in the world, without any additional hassle or expense.
As we see it, we now have an opportunity to change how we work for good – in ways that benefit our team and our clients. In fact, this approach completely reflects what we tell so many clients – embrace digital transformation if you want to streamline, scale, and propel your business forward.
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