Technology plays a huge role in your organization’s success — but do you know your company’s digital intelligence quotient (IQ)?
Digital IQ measures a company’s ability to use and profit from tech solutions, and it’s rapidly becoming one of the most important factors in business resilience. If you want your company to survive and thrive in the future, increasing your digital IQ is vital.
Here are four ways to bridge the digital IQ gap so you can drive business success and maintain your competitive edge.
Start At the Board
Increasing digital IQ has to start right at the top of your organization — and that begins with your board.
Have a board seat that oversees digital strategy at your company, and ensure the person you choose for that role is well-respected by all the other board members for their expertise.
If you don’t have an internal person who fits this role, another option is to bring an advisor (or multiple advisors) onto the board. For example, I often provide this kind of insight and counsel for the boards of the organizations I work with.
Recruit and Retain the Right Talent
Once you’ve got a board member who oversees digital IQ, focus on bringing in the right talent throughout your organization.
Recruit candidates who are digital natives and have cutting-edge technical skills. This can be challenging in today’s job market, and many companies are finding it difficult to recruit workers who have experience with AI and blockchain. Workers with these skills are in high demand, and smaller companies are competing for talent against some of the biggest organizations in the world, which have much larger budgets.
To attract and retain skilled talent, establish an organizational culture that invests in learning and development. For example, one of my clients is the Shell Oil Company, and they have heavily invested in learning in their organizations. They have even created a customized technical skills course on Udemy that any Shell employee can sign up for.
Additionally, nurture innovation in your company and provide an atmosphere where people feel inspired and empowered to experiment and make mistakes without being shamed or blamed.
Build Community and Partnerships
Community building is another critical part of increasing digital IQ.
Build partnerships, especially if you're struggling to nurture internal talent and recruit the right candidates. For example, you can form relationships with university and government institutions to help build a talent pipeline and raise your digital IQ.
The Shell Oil Company has created communities around data science, blockchain, and other important skills they want to build in their organization.
I also work with a number of policing institutions, and these organizations often find it difficult to attract data scientists and analysts because they don’t have the same salary flexibility as private sector companies. But these policing teams are collaborating with universities who are more than happy to have access to data and help analyze it. It’s a win-win for all parties involved.
Create Innovation Hubs
Another tip is to create technology innovation hubs. Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the company that owns brands like Budweiser, Corona, and Stella Artois, has created the Beer Garage, an innovation hub in the heart of Silicon Valley. The Beer Garage allows AB InBev access to local talent and is fully integrated into the local tech culture. Levi Strauss has also created Eureka, another innovation lab in Silicon Valley, which is dedicated to research and creative development, as well as creating advanced prototypes.
If you take this approach, make sure to integrate your innovation hub with the local ecosystem so you can transfer skills and influence culture. Create a “hub and spoke” model where you can bring people from your main business into the innovation hub and vice versa.