Journey to Digital Excellence

Journey to Digital Excellence

What if you don’t have a CDO – Chief Digital Officer? Whose role does it become in your company to ensure that you are implementing digital strategies and keeping up with the newest digital marketing trends?

The world is constantly changing and with it so does technology.  How can leaders possibly keep up with this ever changing but crucial component to new business strategies.  Are leaders becoming influencers in a new concept of social leadership?  Is digital technology become a disrupter, enabler, or both?

Every company has a need to have a digital strategy which incorporates the future of the company.  Strategic planning now involves having digital initiatives integrated through resource allocation, monitoring your return on investment and execution of these strategies.

In saying all of this, is digital technology a disrupter? This is a word that we are hearing more and more in business and that by definition means; “a person or thing that interrupts an event, activity or process by causing a disturbance or problem.”  Let’s look at our current world scenario. Covid 19 has disrupted the norm and forced many businesses to set up virtual offices.  Is this a leadership nightmare or has digital technology made virtual business a viable option?  The traditional role of leader still exists and skills like mentorship, communication, adaptability, relationship building, task management, production are now functions that can be incorporated into digital technology.

Being a leader in today’s digital world doesn’t mean that you need to be able to write or read code or understand the intricacies of the technology.  You should have people for that.  People that you lead, encourage and trust to implement the strategies that you are tasked with to bring success to your business.   In fact, with more of the world going “virtual” doesn’t it mean that digital technology might enhance your leadership style.  I bet you laughed when I said does a leader need to be a digital influencer?  Well, the answer is yes.  Think about it.  You now have the ability to reach your target audience with the click of a button.  Your message can be received by everyone at once through technology and not become altered through the verbal pipeline.  I would encourage you to use a digital platform to help you increase performance, productivity, and engagement much like a social media influencer would. Think about sending out your message to your team and having them be engaged through this channel.

It could be a challenge in the beginning to alter your mindset towards using technology to implement a new leadership strategy but once you have you might even notice your own productivity increase.  If you haven’t already, consider using a project management software for task management and leadership.  It will help you to lead effective teams through collaboration, workflows, schedules, progress tracking and productivity management.  Many of these software solutions have the option to have group chats, messaging and keep your team cohesive and engaged with you even though you aren’t in the same office.  In my mind, this is a winning solution.

Let’s consider that digital technology is an enabler which by definition means: “a person or thing that enables something or makes it possible.”  In our constantly changing world, I would say that digital technology is not going anywhere.  We might as well embrace it and shift our mindset to use it as an amazing leadership tool in our journey to digital excellence.

What’s an Employer Brand & How is it Created?

What’s an Employer Brand & How is it Created?

Creating an employer brand can set you apart from your competition, establish your company as an employer of choice in your industry and help you attract, recruit, and retain top talent. A well-established employer brand will ensure that you are attracting your desired employees.  Imagine having a pool of qualified talent waiting for your next job opportunity. A strong employer brand will do this! It establishes you as a leader in industry, a great company to work for and one where people will line up to be a part of the great culture and vision you offer.

How do I create an Employer Brand?

The first thing to consider when creating your employer brand is to establish objectives.  Determine what your long-term recruitment goals are and whether you are targeting local or global markets.  Analyze your competitors, how can you set yourself apart and be the employer of choice. Becoming an employer of choice is not just a concept but a culture change and one that you need to create, embrace, and live daily in your business. And don’t forget to continue to refine and adapt your employer brand as you evolve and change with the market and employee needs.

Make sure that your brand is authentic to your organization, represents your values and attracts the people that you want to work with.  It should align with your company core values and mission.  Create an employer value proposition.  Why is my company a great place to work? Establish a message and shout it out.

Encourage employee advocacy. Peer to peer recommendations are some of the best. Have your employees share why they love working with you. As an employer of choice, your employees will boast to the market and sing your praises as they are proud of the great place they work. Encourage this as it will help share your story and engage your community and talent to line up. Share it on social media or at networking events. Let your employees speak for you as they are the true testimonial to a great place to work!

Survey your employees.  Ask them why they accepted a position with your company? Ask them what is their motivation to stay?  What energizes and excites them about being part of the way your company does business? Ask them what creates value for them? If you understand your employee motivators, it will help you to continue to attract more people just like them.

Create a digital marketing experience.  Storytelling will attract people to your company.  Consider which social media platforms your ideal candidates are using and target those. Sharing your employee experience with top talent will keep them engaged and coming back for more.  Use high quality video and tell your story. Share employee successes by recognizing them.  Consider interviewing current employees and have them provide a company testimonial.  Ensure you provide regular engagement and communication with potential talent.

Respond to reviews.  Many job search websites have the option to post reviews about employers.  Candidates access job search websites and reviews about potential employers in their decision making when applying for jobs.  Every employer wants to see positive reviews, however, make sure that you respond to reviews even if they are negative.  Do not avoid or ignore a less than stellar review, respond with positivity, empathy and professionalism and consider the feedback an opportunity to grow. Job search websites also give an employer an opportunity to share their employer brand, ensure you are using this tool to give your audience the impression that you want them to have.

Websites, landing pages and blog posts are excellent for communicating with both internal and external clients. Consider having an intranet for your employees where they have access to an onboarding schedule, progression map and learning opportunities that might be available to them to enhance their experience with the company.  This could be a place where employees could access important information such as pay stubs, timesheets, benefit plan information, forms and other human resource related documents.  Foster internal communication and nurture your relationships with employees by using this area to highlight changes, growth, and new strategies that your company may be implementing.  Provide employees with a section to make suggestions, a place where they feel heard and are encouraged to bring forth ideas.

Additionally, your company’s external website should have a section which highlights your company culture.  Tell potential talent why they want to work for you and make sure your employer value proposition is outlined here.

Nurturing relationships with your current talent, sharing and telling a true story of their employee experience and communicating it with your target talent community will engage and attract new sought-after talent to your company with ease.  This is your employer brand.


“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”  Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group

“The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world.”

Steve Jobs, Chairman, CEO and Co-founder of Apple

Slay Your Day

What are you going to do to slay your day?!

Are you facing a large fire breathing dragon?  Wondering how you are going to conquer this dragon? For me, this quote says it all:

“Focus on the possibilities for success, not on the potential for failure.” — Napoleon Hill

After all, it’s only a dragon!

If you focus your mindset on overcoming the biggest challenge in your day instead of focusing on the daunting feeling of defeat that may be creeping into your mind, you are putting your energy in a direction that can only produce a triumphant and positive outcome. By focusing on overcoming the challenge and not failing at it, you are creating a mindset of success, you are putting your energy in a productive and positive space and you are manifesting a result that you want.

I like to structure my day to tackle the daunting task first. By doing this, I set the stage for my day, by getting the dragon out of my way and out of my mind. I like to tackle my challenges at the onset of my day when I am morning fresh, full of energy and feeling strength. This type of focus usually determines my reality.

Other techniques you may want to consider keeping your focus might be:

Avoid Distractions:

Alert people that you will be unable to respond to them right away and give yourself the amount of time required to achieve your task.

Close all the windows on your computer that are distractions.  Same goes for your cell phone, put it on DND and turn it face down.  This will prevent you from looking at all those pesky notifications and pop ups.

Prepare yourself:

Make sure that you have no reason to abandon your task.  Avoid excuses to take you away from your dragon. Get them out of the way, out of your mind and focus! Grab a coffee, water, snack and use the washroom ahead of time.

If you have an office, close the door.  One of my colleagues once installed blinds on her office door. We all knew if they were closed that she needed some uninterrupted time.

Sometimes all we need is some uninterrupted, quality time to slay the day and become a productivity giant.

“Everyone’s time is limited. What matters most is to focus on what matters most.”
― Roy T. Bennett


Tradition and Change

Why is tradition so important to us? Frank Sonnenberg, an award-winning author and thought leader, speaks of tradition as being “a critical piece of our culture. They help form the structure and foundation of our families and our society. They remind us that we are part of a history that defines our past, shapes who we are today and who we are likely to become. Once we ignore the meaning of our traditions, weʼre in danger of damaging the underpinning of our identity.”

With summer being over, and the chilly air of fall being present, my mind has moved towards the many holidays so closely upon us. One, holds a special place in my heart, with that being Christmas. Now you are probably asking yourself, why are you thinking of Christmas in September?! I know, I know, but I can’t help that it popped into my mind last night. Christmas has changed a lot over the years for me and navigating this change has proven challenging at times. Whether it be a child who has moved away, a death in the family, a divorce, a new relationship, or a plethora of other reasons, holding onto traditions when times are changing can be challenging and emotional. With my traditions having changed over the years, I reflected on why our traditions are so important to us and why this change can be so challenging. According to Sonnenberg, “traditions contribute to a sense of comfort and belonging”, they “reinforce values…such as faith”, they “create an avenue for lasting memories” and “they offer context for meaningful pause and reflection.”

While my traditions have already changed significantly, I am entering a year where change is evident once again. And with this, I realized that change is always happening, even in the most traditional sense of family, change will come upon us.  It is just a matter of time, when a child grows up, gets married and is required to split their time between families or the birth of a new child, or the merging of two family’s due marital splits and new starts. The one key thing I have taken away about change, and this is any change; change brings new beginnings. Change can be challenging for even the best of people but learning to navigate change, coming into your own peace with change and learning to embrace it rather than fight it, is a valuable gift. Change brings new memories and excitement, and along with that, can come new traditions. One of the best pieces of knowledge that was given to me when I first experienced change in my traditions in 2008, was to find a way to create new traditions and new memories. Make this purposeful and intentional instead of being a victim of change. This empowerment will create a sense of strength and excitement as you navigate your new beginnings.

While you navigate change in your own life, think of the possibilities, create new beginnings, develop excitement for something new, and incorporate some of the old tradition with new ones in the making.

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Frank Sonnenberg, (June 2015). 7 Reasons Why Traditions are So Important. Retrieved 3 September 2020.