by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Digital Strategy, Make It Happen Tipsheet, StrategyTagged as: Governance, Marketing Strategy
In the olden days, “digital” meant getting a computer on your desk, and learning how to use newfangled spreadsheets or word processing programs. At some point later, “digital” meant email. Today, it encompasses the broad range of technologies from the web, to social media, to marketing automation, CRM, mobile, and more. It encompasses internal collaboration, external marketing, and client service. It informs, engages, transacts, and for the most forward-thinking organizations, it transforms. Digital consumes a large and growing investment in technology, and plays a core role throughout the organization, including marketing. Yes, digital has grown up, but has its governance?
Digital governance encompasses the direction-setting function, along with the tactical processes to ensure that the digital goals are achieved.
There are two approaches to digital governance: Central and Decentralized. Central Governance recognizes that the fast pace of digital requires a separate governance structure, along with a separate, unencumbered execution arm. Decentralized Governance recognizes that digital must be completely integrated into the organization’s existing structures and processes, and therefore so must governance. Both have merit; which makes most sense for your organization depends on your history, strategy, and capabilities.
Here is how they are typically implemented:
Which Governance model is best? Either works – the important thing is that your organization has actually put digital governance into place.
Governance does not need to be complex, nor time-consuming – it just needs to be done. This week, look at your digital governance model and be more intentional: if you don’t have one, choose a model that works. If you do, what steps can you take to be more strategic with it?
A third approach – Strategic Governance: As the organization matures, so should the governance. Strategic Governance recognizes that not every group within the organization may be as “plugged in” digitally, and that there is merit in a central digital steering committee that can channel sharing, education, and digital innovation. The steering committee is also responsible for ensuring alignment with (and input into) the organization’s overall strategy, and spearheads digital transformation efforts. Yet unlike Central Governance, individual departments are expected to take responsibility for driving innovation within their own group: after all, who knows their mandate better? And who would be most aware of best practices (and competitive initiatives) in their functional areas? With Strategic Governance, digital execution would be a hybrid: some tasks are delegated to a working committee, as is the case with Central Governance, and other tasks are executed by people within each department.
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