Putting People First in Digital Tranformation

Digital disruption is here and is affecting most if not all parts of our lives in New Zealand. Sitting in on a digital disruption event hosted by Vodafone NZ there was an exciting feel in the air around some of the future possibilities open to New Zealand companies, and how we should be thinking about the way we keep our companies focussed in an increasingly digital society.

The sentiments shared by Garey Addey Director of Operations Vodafone Global Enterprises gave great insight into the way some of the larger digital leaders shape their thinking within this space. 

‘if you can't be clear on where you are going, it's hard to get the hearts and minds of the people to take you there’.

Garey Addey, Director of Operations Vodafone Global Enterprises


Vodafone NZ CEO Russell Stanners said that there is a lot of work to be done in the area of leadership in digital disruption. Stating that there is a fundamental difference between the way we once operated to the way we do now, and that at a higher level decision making based on data is growing ever more powerful versus the traditional judgement based decision making of yesteryear.

He goes on to share that the priority was and is in attaining leadership in customer experience over that of being technologically led. Addey supported this with his belief that the time tested strategy of reaching customer experience excellency is the only real sustainable forward differentiation. Over anything that might occur as a result of digital disruption.

Technology is critical and there is no denying you can do so much with the technology available now. It’s a critical enabler to the digital transformation, and what powers this transformation is the people, particularly, purpose driven people who are recruited with hearts and minds toward why we are trying to change something for the better.

A sentiment marked, in Abbey’s acknowledgement of Vodafone’s frontline staff who sit on service desks 24/7 serving the largest enterprise customers on the planet. They know all the problems customers are facing, they have most of the answers the customer needed to solve problems, and it only takes empowerment for them to provide customers with the sort of customer experience that large digital companies like Vodafone are trying to achieve.

These are insights that aren’t as easily replicated digitally, and it’s the people who deal with customers everyday that provide much more value than some of the digital solutions shaping decisions today.

For any businesses startups embedding digital innovation into their organisational structure, its important to always keep a firm hold on what is most important for customers, and often times people led decision making hasn’t yet been made redundant by within this digital transformation.