My plan to be a Digital Leader in 2017

Written by Robin Knowles, Founder and CEO of Digital Leaders

It was Matt Hancock who said at the June 2016 National Digital Conference that “doing digital transformation is much harder than talking about it” and this got me thinking that I should also take my own medicine and digitally transform something. Digital Leaders, the day job, is pretty digital thanks to our fantastic team and advisory board, but there are aspects of my life that are not and I have decided that I should start at home.

So in 2017 my New Year’s resolution is to digitally transform my home life.

Is digitally transforming my home life going to be anything like transforming a corporation I wonder? Judge for yourself.

Are my two boys, 12 and 16, playing the role of up and coming staff members who are digital natives and who think we leaders know little or nothing about digital? Is my wife, the CEO, needing persuading of the benefits of our digital transformation and will she be willing to live with any short-term discomforts. She is certainly the FD, being an accountant so the financial case will be monitored carefully no doubt.

Our peer group of London friends at home are fascinated by this New Year’s Resolution. They are more used to diets and the like and I suspect all will be pulling up ringside seats as the year progresses to see what we get up to as a family. I am sure the highs and lows we experience will be good dinner party conversation.

Success would of course be if they copy us in any aspect of this digital journey. One could say that we are the equivalent of GDS, incubating change at a safe distance from our friends and those closest to us.

The plan: each month I digitally transform an element of my existing domestic arrangements. If all goes well, by the end of the year, I want ten aspects of my daily domestic life to be “digital by default” to borrow a phrase from our Digital Leaders Chair, Francis Maude.

I have been giving it some initial thought and have come up with a working list of things I shall change. It includes: Car, health, money, shopping, learning, travel, eating, sports and entertainment. But, this is just my list and I hope you will start the process by commenting on this blog with suggestions of other areas I could transform and perhaps some I should not based on your own experiences. I plan to avoid some areas, such as online dating – I am happily married.

So starting in January we will be digitally transforming the use of our family car. This feels like a big-ticket item up front and will set the tone for the year. We live in London, so going Digital means living without a car, but can we do it and will digital deliver us solutions without a mutiny or an increase in costs or inconvenience. The opposite of this could mean a very long year ahead.

Good luck you might say or get on with it, but this is Digital Leaders after all so it would be foolish not to call upon our amazing community to see how digital they are away from the day job of being a Digital Leader. I plan to fail fast, be agile and take criticism and encouragement from you all in equal measure.

I hope that each month I can share with you the topic for the month ahead as well as the last month’s experiences on each of the ten transformations and crowd source your recommendations for the very best digital solutions from health to travel and from finances to shopping.

I shall report back to you by writing a short blog like this one about what happened, the highs and lows and hope you will leave comments, help out with ideas and share your own experiences. If you want to join in and digitally transform your own domestic arrangements then please get in touch. We could write alongside each other.

Hopefully my research into the digital transformation of various aspects of our home life each month will prove interesting, occasionally entertaining and hopefully not result in divorce.

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