The removal of digital

I read Robert Green’s blog post about digital getting out of the way for fundraising and not using the term ‘digital’ in team names.

It reminded me something an old manager of mine said, “One day, having a social media team will be thought of in the same way as having a telephone team”. He meant that everyone has a telephone on their desk and knows how to use it, and that social media and using it to talk to customers would be something everyone in a business does, it wouldn’t be owned exclusively by a single team.

Whilst I’m not sure social media teams would agree as arguably social media platforms have gotten more complex since then, the point is easily transferable to ‘digital’.

Digital is a mindset and a skillset that everyone who works in a twenty first century business should possess. Organisations may take the same approach as CRUK and choose not to have a separate digital team, such as Halfords which split it’s digital team and joined them with the IT and Marketing departments. Or organisations may use a hub and spoke model with a core digital team doing customer-facing digital activities such as website development and performance marketing, but with the intention to push out digital skills into other parts of the organisation. Or an organisation could choose to have a single central digital team who manage all the digital activities for the organisation.

And perhaps, as Robert suggests, you can measure an organisations digital maturity by the model it uses. A really digitally mature organisation just does ‘digital’ without even thinking about it as separate from doing ‘reporting’ or doing ‘writing’ or doing ‘customer service’. I remember a few years ago, CRUK’s head of digital as he was then, saying that he wanted the people at CRUK to be as digital at work as they are at home. No one sits and home, switches off the TV, and thinks, “I’m now going to be ‘digital'”, as they put Netflix on, they just do it. Maybe removing ‘digital’ from team and role names is big part of being as digital at work as at home.