The blog

Discover smart tips, personal stories and our take on the latest marketing trends
25 November 2016

3 surprising TED Talks that will uncover new insights about digital transformations

For the past couple of months I’ve been working in the digital transformation unit of one of our customers. This has given me the opportunity to think about the major challenges a digital transformation process involves. If you are also confronted with a digital transformation process, then these interesting TED Talks will surely inspire you! Although they might not seem to be related to digital transformations at first glance, they contain surprising insights that will expand your views.

1. Why you need a courageous leader with strong vision in order to succeed

Monica Araya talks about how a small country with big ideas, Costa Rica, got rid of fossil fuels. It started 70 years ago, when the Costa Rican president decided to take a very courageous decision and send the army on retirement to start investing in hydroelectricity energy and other renewables. 70 years later, the entire country runs 100% on renewable energy. As one of the emerging countries, Costa Rica sets a great example for the rest of the world. 

A major decision such as turning your organisation around to become future-proof for future generations takes courage, and a lot of it! You need a leader or management team that has the vision; but you also need the courage to lead a company into a 'renewable future'.

2. Why having a shared purpose is the only way to win

The Panama papers, known as the biggest leak in history, could only be released when the biggest collaboration between journalists in history took place. The only way to process and investigate all of the information (11.5 million documents!) was by close collaboration between more than 400 journalists. This, of course, meant there was a significant risk of a leak occurring. But the bigger purpose of breaking the biggest leak in history was the reason why each and every one of the 400 journalists kept the secret until the right moment.

The joint mission and strong purpose was the only factor keeping these journalists from stealing this huge story. The main message we marketers should remember is that a joint mission and purpose is needed when you want to change the course of an entire company. If people know where they're going and have the feeling that they belong to something important and can create impact, they will go the extra mile.

 3. Why the devil will always be in the human details

Comedian James Veitch tried to unsubscribe from a newsletter he did not sign up for. He kept on getting messages and got really frustrated about it. We all know that feeling, right?! So, instead of writing an angry email, mentioning the rules about opt-ins (like I would do), he tried something different and more original...  It’s worth the effort to watch this video!

The main take-away from this Ted talk is not only a good laugh, but also the fact that every touch point with the client should be human and customer-centric. 'Safemarket' had a great opportunity and could have done something very original with James' proposals, but instead they did what many customer service departments would do: park a request they don't have a script for.

This is why companies that embrace digital transformation should think about the human touch in every detail. Customer service departments should evolve into Customer experience departments that kill the scripts and get more freedom and ownership to help clients in a more human way.


Curious to see what other surprising insights we can share about digital transformations? Then it’s time to talk!