Digital Reinvention

Game Plan for Gone Goal

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Gone Goal

Digital reinvention can be a game changer if practiced and deployed with a game-plan. Learn more from FIFA 2018 World Cup’s goals missed!


The energy of World Cup is always enticing if not alluring. And likely so. Most strategic management rules and methods are built using sports game plan. Be it organizational restructuring for digital transformation or even a simple tactical game play – the presence of sports in an organization is omnipresent. What better way to get your digital reinvention or that alluring transformation strategy in place, other than understanding why a goal is missed? In this case, an example from the present FIFA 2018 world cup.

In 2 days 4 penalties were missed and innumerable chance to goal even by legends like Lionel Messi. There were, of course the first goal by host country Russia in the first match within 4 minutes. There is the nth minute sole goal to garner win for Uruguay. Or how Croatia team defeated game favourite Argentina with 3-0?

Here are some 4 lessons learnt from the match on day 2 – of losing goal. Move forward with digital reinvention for an organization with these learning.


  • A goal is a goal.

No matter what the reasons maybe the end result is well defined and like an operation, timed. You have finite possibility to score or get RoI within a still finite defined timeline. Defining an objective is easy. Ensuring each and every individual in the company understands what that objective means is formidable task. Importantly act-on it to ensure the right objective attained, is still more tougher than one thinks. This is where Agile methodology with some Design Thinking really helps the CIO perform. Try Garage Method.  Define digital business component of your organization well with iterative process in-built.


  • Score fast; fail fast.

If a goal isn’t scored in the first 15 minutes, theory of marginal returns will play-out as game progresses. Effort put to attain more productive end-result becomes tougher. Competitors learn to map the players and their move. Fatigue sets-in with injuries. Invariably the pressure to ‘goal’ will overwhelm all judgements leading to many yellow cards. Players also tend to lose focus. This is in line with Chris Anderson and David Sally’s brilliant article on “Why soccer teams score fewer goals than they did 100 years ago”. It is important to incentivise the organization or team that is enduring the transformation to produce result fast – and correct course over the way. Brilliance shown in the beginning acts as motivator to not just the scorer but entire ecosystem.


  • Be independent to change.

The price of dependency is heavy. The much anticipated match of Argentina Vs Iceland witnessed the over-dependency by a very competent team on one player – Lionel Messi – making it near impossible for anyone to change the game and its will. IBM strategic article

Why some customers aren’t fans clearly leads way on what it means to please a digital customer and re-focus energies on being versatile to embrace change and shift leadership and ownership.


Digital reinvention too faces similar hurdles. Management strategy with years of ingrained machinations to drive run-rate business usually becomes myopic over time. The company holds on to its hero offer even when data/insights is pointing in another direction. Similarly, the skillset of team is vital. Without due encouragement and recognition – even the best of players start doubting their worth. CIOs need to ensure a stronger HR policy. Especially towards the team undergoing transition so that they have space to expand and grow. Digital transformation and reinvention is as much ‘missionary’ with employee well being as much as strategic competitive edge for the company.


  • Recover value, not loss

The cost of losing out on a disruption is high. Something lost is by definition non-existent. Gone. All the misses in penalty strike or even a corner is not to be fretted over by getting in more analysis. When the game is on, it is important to regroup and move on for the next goal target. An interesting insight from McKinsey’s “The case for digital reinvention” by Jaques Bughin , Laura LaBerge and Anette Mellbye on what function qualifies for digital reinvention. They throw an insightful view of what can be part of digital reinvention and what cannot. It brings back to our hypothesis that knowing to move forward with strategy is as important as arriving with a fabulous outcome. It is all in the journey that is well prepared and thought through.


Play well the Digital Reinvention strategy, score goals but also have counter strategy to address ‘gone goals!’. After all that has always been the longevity of any business model – to change for outcomes.



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The solutions practice draws on the expertise of more than 2,000 consulting professionals spanning machine learning, advanced analytics, and data science, all supported by specialists with deep industry understanding. Know more about IBM Digital capabilities

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IBM APAC Managing Editor - Social Brand

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