Are you flying high on the digital steed or do you feel you’re being covertly surrounded by a digital Trojan horse?  This week I attended Harnessing the Power of Digital, a Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) event with guest speaker Amanda Gome, the former Head of Digital & Social Media at ANZ.

For me, as a specialist in digital careers, Amanda’s talk was a like a power surge reminding me that information technology – social media in particular, is toppling corporate might, and shifting power to the individual.

Just consider again that petitions on can influence government policy, crowdfunding on Pozible is launching start-ups and a tweet from one (recruitment industry expert, Greg Savage) to many (48,500 followers on Twitter) about the customer service provided by a major Australian airline delivered an immediate redress.

Some of the well-known Trojans: Uber, its shaken-up the taxi industry; Airbnb, growing its share of the hotel market and causing headaches for global giants invested in bricks and mortar; Tesla’s electric cars and home batteries are about to revolutionise the car industry and energy supply grid; Netflix, consumer appetite for on-demand programming is killing-off pay TV. Spotify digitises music, Tinder mobilises dating, and the list goes on…

In an ever game-changing market, the possibility of successfully participating, engaging and doing business with your clients, customers and colleagues may seem elusive. Amanda Gome highlighted that every single professional in every single organisation (no matter how big or small) should have their own personal digital strategy. In executive recruitment, digital technology facilitates our interaction with business professionals every day. As a consultant with Slade Executive, I can see first-hand results from the significant resources we invest in continuously improving our communication with clients and candidates.

Here are my six key takeaways from the VCCI presentation:

  1. Be impatient – strive to rethink processes with a digital mindset
  2. Develop a professional social strategy and align your personal brand to those goals
  3. Understand your digital business strategy and how it effects your position in the market
  4. Develop an engagement plan that includes internal, external social and mainstream media
  5. Use digital tools to communicate – one to many
  6. Be active, have fun, and be responsible online

For anyone with a smart phone, understanding the digital environment is not difficult. Being able to manage all of your business and personal affairs on a handheld device from pretty much anywhere has become second nature. We’re now so accustomed to being online and connected all the time that we experience anxiety when our phone goes flat, we’re out of range or encounter a brave someone who refuses to engage with us through text messages, social networks or chat apps.

As the new financial year approaches, I’ll be following Gome’s advice to develop my Sales, Marketing & Communication practice. What are some of your strategies harnessing digital in your business?