07th July

Time to release the battened hatches and unleash your Digital Foil.

Black Friday 2020, will be a Digital First Event, are you ready ?

The Propensity to engage online is increasing and building upon the demand created pre and during the first COVID wave is now a huge opportunity.

The world of sailing has seen a major ‘transformation’ over the past few years, with technological improvements unthought off in the 1990s now being transposed from the Americas Cup all the way down Windsurfing.

One of the foremost innovations has been the ‘Foil’ a mechanism which enables a sailing yacht to pop out of the water and ‘fly’ on a foil, hence reducing all drag and taking the yachts velocity to a new level. This was something we as sailors only dreamt about a few years back but it’s now main stream and although it’s still in its infancy it has given us a glimpse into the future.

The same can be said regarding the business world around us, COVID has been a major catalyst for change giving us a glimpse into the future which would have otherwise been a 5 year journey. We have all been given an opportunity to experiment and pushed outside our comfort zones. The only mistake we can make is that of not acting on the learnings.

Now that we have seen, felt and experienced that future, the world has passed the baton to us as Digital Ambassadors to execute on this digital reality and ‘pop‘ businesses out of the water and onto their digital foils.

The role of digital in organisations should be given the driving seat, with technologists brought into board rooms and given directorships. A digital agenda should be put into place with key mile stones that define the organisation, using the summer months as an opportunity to rethink the past few months and accelerate growth.

COVID should be looked upon as a test bed, we were all given the opportunity to look into the future, test out ideas, fail and learn. We now as directors, strategists, decision makers and though leaders need to leverage the past few weeks and build that ‘foil‘. A roadmap to your digital future:

  1. Structure a pod of 2-3 people to lead this internal project
  2. Dedicate time over the next 6 weeks to de brief and dive deep, with weekly sessions split over 3 sprints of 2 weeks.
  3. Understand what went right and what went wrong
  4. Conduct an Independent positioning analysis and demand analysis
  5. Invest in a deep data and market research analysis – this activity will allow you to create the user personas (profiles) and the requirements which must be included into your future.
  6. Engage your CFO to define a digital first P&L structure.
  7. Define your ideal future, what would your Organization ideally look like. Draw it or write it out as a memo.
  8. Setup a company wide event and present the results to the entire team. Celebrate the past and immerse the whole team into your future.
  9. Appoint and internal or external person to your board with the sole role being Digital.

As with every successful Americas Cup contender, a great team is required, the following would be some key roles:

  1. The Grinders – The team behind the scenes that will make the digital vision happen, they might be the logistics crew enabling the orders to be fulfilled or website development team.
  2. The Tactician – A person or pod is required to define the digital strategy and optimize it as the winds change, continually providing insights and recommendations to the helmsman on the path to follow
  3. The Helm – Ensuring the organization is moving int he right direction and the most optimal speed.

There is a misconception that consumers want everything, faster. Consumers want the right product at the most convenient time and through the most accessible platform.

Given the digital purchasing trends, a Digital First Approach would be laying down the foundation for your future success.

Keep well and Godspeed,



Zak Borg
Fact: Up at 4:45am




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