Choosing The Right Partner

by | May 10, 2022

We know why you’re here. Maybe you have a product that’s losing market share, and you need help. Perhaps you have a 30-year-old infrastructure that you’re looking to replace. Maybe you see competitors with more agility, able to do things more quickly than you can, or meet customer needs you’re struggling with. Or perhaps you want to develop new products and services, but you’re not sure how.

We talk a lot around here about digital transformation, and many of our clients find us because they’ve hooked onto those buzzwords and believe that’s what they need. We’ve written before about how becoming digital isn’t really about technology, and that’s absolutely true — it’s about a central reliance on data and research, and about systems that connect and interact across your organization.

Along those same lines, as a consultancy built around digital transformation, people assume we are offering technology solutions, but that’s not what we believe is central to the value we provide. At our core, we offer creative and innovative solutions to business problems, not just technology problems — and we do so because of our experience as operators and our expertise from actually sitting in your shoes, not just having spent our careers as outsiders giving advice and hoping it works.

We know there are plenty of business strategists out there, and plenty of technology consultants. We believe we’re unique at the intersection of the two. But we also know that’s not enough. As you think about who to partner with to tackle your biggest challenges, we wanted to offer in this post some questions to consider — and the answers you should be looking for:

1. Will you be working with career consultants, or operators who have actually executed on the ground and have real experiences to draw from?

There’s plenty of research and analysis out there about best practices in digital business — but you don’t need to pay someone to tell you what others have said. The unique value we provide is that we’ve been there, and every engagement at dPrism is staffed by individuals with years if not decades of practical experience running digital businesses. You need to ask not just about the resumes of the partners selling you, but the people who will actually be delivering the work. 

At dPrism, our consultants have experience ranging from fifteen years working in digital strategy to thirty years in the digital news business, from twenty-five years in senior operating roles to thirty years in digital media. We have run digital organizations — and so we know exactly what you’re facing as you try to grow yours.

2. Will your partner apply a cookie-cutter formula, or are they able to see your business or organization as unique, with unique strengths, unique challenges, and unique solutions?

We’ve been around long enough to know what works — and there are absolutely proven methodologies and processes to understand markets, find opportunities, and seize on innovation that we walk our clients through.

But those methods get uniquely applied to every organization, with a plan that is crafted for your particular needs, drawing on parallel experiences we’ve seen across industries and the specific challenges that you face. We bring to the table not just a playbook, but a flexible sensibility and practical wisdom based on our experience running complex digital operations.

If you can imagine another organization’s name being swapped into a proposal that’s being presented to you, then guess what? It wasn’t written for you, and it’s not going to meet your unique needs.

3. Does your partner understand that the journey to becoming digital is not about technology alone?

It’s so easy to come in and tell someone how antiquated their infrastructure is, and how they need a whole set of new systems. But that should be the last step, not the first. Change isn’t about technology; it’s about culture and about maximizing the skills and talents of your people. Change is about new perspectives and understanding that a digital organization is digital from beginning to end, from idea generation to implementation.

That’s what we spend a lot of our time working with clients on: how to not just get the right systems in place but to build the culture around those new systems so that the mission succeeds and doesn’t just fall flat in the execution. We don’t run away once we’ve sold you new technology; we work with you to ensure its success.

4. Are you going to end up with theories and ideas, or an actionable plan telling you what you have to do next week, next month, six months from now, two years from now, and at every point along the way?

We will stand up to any of our competitors in terms of the intellectual heft of the advice we provide, but where we believe we truly stand out is the practical roadmap we produce right along with it, to get you from the starting point to exactly where you aspire to be as an organization.

Theory is wonderful, but what we know our clients need is a concrete plan, understanding that every organization will face its own challenges and require its own idiosyncratic steps, and that templates don’t get you to victory. You need authentic, experienced digital operators to guide you, and that’s exactly what we provide.

Ask these four questions, and consider the answers. We’re ready to help you on your journey, and would be delighted to hear more about your organization and its needs.

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Jonathan Murray

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