FAQ 2: How can I build relationships with digital experts outside my company to further our innovation efforts?

FAQ 2: How to connect with digital experts?

Lindsay Herbert, keynote speaker and author of the acclaimed book ‘Digital Transformation’ continues her series answering frequently asked questions on the subject of digital transformation. Here Lindsay answers the question, “How can I build relationships with digital experts outside my company to further our innovation efforts?”.

Hi and welcome to this week’s Friday’s answered question.

This week’s question is, “How can we build better bridges between our company and those who are leaders in design and technology? And I think this is a really excellent question – I love answering this one because there is a way that you should definitely not do it, and there’s a way I often get approached a lot which is people just emailing me out of nowhere, sending me a LinkedIn request and saying, “Hey, can we go out for coffee?”.  No.  Stop asking people you don’t know to go out for coffee with you, that’s a huge imposition on someone’s time.  Instead, talk about what it is that you would have to offer to them.  So, if you want to approach someone at one of the big tech companies because you want to gain their insights on something, that’s brilliant but explain who you are and what you’re going to share with them in terms of, you know, the innovations that you’ve already been doing, or the challenges your company faces, or you personally in your role why you’ve approached them in particular and why it is you think that their experience is going to be relevant to help you but also you’d be able to offer something to them and then it is fine to send a LinkedIn connection request and an email or to pick up the phone or approach them at a conference.  I think the key thing though is that relevancy and it needs to feel like a symbiotic relationship and in some cases or some individuals or some companies, that’s just gonna mean hiring them to do a project with you – it can be something that’s small, you know, proof of concept, a little tiny pilot, it doesn’t have to be a huge investment, but there are some companies that those individuals or those experts they’re just not going to be allowed to give their time to everybody who asks them, but if you can engage them in something that’s relevant to their business and what it is that they do for a living then you’re going to get that mutual benefit each way, but bottom line is no more random requests for coffee, please?  Thanks!


About “Digital Transformation” by Lindsay Herbert
*40% off the book Digital Transformation with the code FAQ2019*

“This book is the ‘Quora’ of Digital Transformation. Lindsay Herbert has done a superb job of outlining and answering so many questions that arise from Digital Transformation, both for business leaders and for consultants. In digital we need to question everything and look for the answer…luckily much of it is here.” –  Peter Abraham, Co-founder, Crank

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