Digital Transformation - What's love got to do with it


“What's love got to do, got to do with it
What's love but a second hand emotion
What's love got to do, got to do with it
Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken.”

Technology without heart is destructive

 Sorry, I’m not talking about emotions here. This section talks about the heart of your business. The heart has to pump to make the whole system work. And at the heart of your business is money. That’s how each company functions, that’s why each company changes, why they digitally transform. You need to make money in order to invest and keep the heart pumping.

Interestingly, while many companies talk about digital transformation, hire expensive consultants, develop Digital Transformation project plans, they often don’t talk about money. They talk about costs and shake their heads, but they don’t talk about profits they expect from all these initiatives.

Why do businesses engage in Digital Transformation? They want to stay relevant, catch a lucky break, open new markets, make money.

That’s why it’s so important to ask constantly one question: Will this make me money? Will this Digital Transformation project make me more relevant, but will I still be behind my competitors and lose money? Will this marketing campaign make me money? Will this major implementation deliver profit?

If the answer is no, then you fell for heartless technology. The reason for all this work is making money. Keep the engine going. If you’re just playing defense in your Digital Transformation strategy, you will fail. Maybe slower than doing nothing, but you will fail.

Why are there so many heartless projects out there? Easy, they are typically the ones that don’t disrupt much, encounter almost no resistance and cause just minor fear of change.

The unloved Digital Transformation

I'm not in love
So don't forget it
It's just a silly phase I'm going through
And just because I call you up
Don't get me wrong, don't think you've got it made
I'm not in love
I'm not in love

Bad digital transformations are like bad marriages. The couple knows it needs to change, it does the minimum, heads to a therapist, goes on a romantic vacation. But it never has the tough conversation. Many tough conversations.

If you really want to integrate digital technologies into your enterprise, if you want to become a platform business, even an ecosystem – you need talk about everything: Politics, structures, emotional challenges, internal deficiencies, talent, lack of talent, budget, money and appetite for risk. How much risk is everyone willing to take, how much fight is left in everybody? And because nobody has these conversations, these deeply emotional exchanges that could make a Digital Transformation a labor of love, that’s why most of these initiatives are plain mediocrity celebrated, hedged by the executives, a good PR event. And handed over to the team. Another thing to deal with, another thing to schedule meetings around, designed to limit damage, never intended to be a change maker. Just another thing going nowhere.

The power of love

“We're heading for something
Somewhere I've never been
Sometimes I am frightened
But I'm ready to learn
Of the power of love”

Corporate discussions are driven by intellect, insights and spreadsheets. There’s no space reserved for emotions. What’s needed is a deep conversation about the heart of the company, the heart of each executive and to explore the heart of each stakeholder. If you don’t tap into emotions, you will continue to start projects that nobody cares about, that nobody loses sleep over, that nobody is willing to fight for, no matter what. There are projects and commitments everybody loves and feels connected emotionally, those are the projects that will be successful, that will make it to the finish line. The passion projects. The purpose-driven ones. And there’s the rest. The mediocre app that will do. The digital project that doesn’t break anything because it’s on the road to nowhere.

That’s corporate life, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, it often is. It’s slow death. Filled with corporate PR, tranquillizing meetings and thousand small disappointments.

Because your heart is not in it 100%, because there’s nobody there to stand up to fight for what they believe in, the company becomes irrelevant in a slow and expensive way. That’s why Digital Transformation is all about love. And your heart.

“How deep is your love, how deep is your love
How deep is your love?”







We are doing good. But we need to do much better.


Global data tells a clear story: The world is getting much, much better. Child Mortality is down, hunger is falling, extreme poverty has dropped, literacy is up — just google “the world is getting better” and you’ll find thousands of these positive stories. While data tells a clear story, we tell ourselves a different one: Only 6% of Americans, 4% of Germans and 3% in France believe the world is getting better.


When we ask people, what is possible in the future, we get a shrug from the rich countries. Thankfully, poor countries still show optimism, but the vast majority of the world feels stuck. They believe we are stagnating and/or in decline. And they also believe this stagnation and decline will be their future.

When you believe the future will be terrible, you will try to hold on to the past. Because anything in the future will be worse. That’s how you get 2+ years of Brexit drama. 2+ years of the Trump show. 4+ years of refugee discussions in Germany. Pessimists don’t want to move forward, they want to go back to a place in the past that never really existed as they claim to remember it. Optimists, on the other hand, expect things to change to get the improvements they are expecting.


Knowledge turns us into optimists

Above graph indicates the correlation between our knowledge about global development and optimism. The most pessimistic are the ones with the least idea what’s really happening in the world. And the ones with the most knowledge were the most optimistic. It’s easy to be a cynic: Just go to the news site of your choice and look at the scandals, corruption, AI eating everything, including your brain, another prediction that we are doomed. But being a cynic also means being uninformed, not seeing the big picture, getting stuck on the news of the day. The optimists are the ones that are well-informed. They see the bigger picture. They know we can change the world for the better because we have done so in the last 30 years.

Still, even optimists know the last few decades were about low-hanging fruits. Growth was the cure-all for everything. Growth reduced poverty, increased literacy, reduced hunger, etc. But growth came with unintended consequences: Climate change, conflicts based on climate and economic changes, increasing inequality, refugee crisis, exploitation of natural resources — just to name a few. And, because of technological advances, we have new challenges and risks to deal with: Positively shaping the development of AI, reducing the risk of natural pandemics and new scientifically engineered pathogens, return of nuclear proliferation, transforming three generations from the analog age to the digital age.

And, to add to that, what’s more concerning is the risks we haven’t thought of yet. My grandfather would not have known about AI, Nuclear Wars and climate change in 1919. And we might be in the same situation in 2019. Future technologies might be riskier than anything we ever imagined. Or they might be overall good. Time will tell.

Business as usual is over

Or as they say in German “The fat years are over.” The years of constant expansion, exploiting poor countries, nature and people, modern serfdom at Uber and Amazon — those years are coming to an end. It might look like our future but there’s too much energy in the air, too many refugees ready to move, too many left behind people and not enough planet, climate and human spirit to endure this much longer.

If you’d asked me the question: “Will my daughter have it better or worse than me?”, I would answer: “Define better.” If you define better as more stuff, bigger things, more money, it looks like she might have it worse than me. Because we’ve reached the end of the “More Era”. But if you define better as mindful, compassionate and collaborative, I believe she will have it much better than me.

This requires a lot of creativity and imagination

There was never less future in modern times, an era that was founded on an empathetic definition of the future. Everything feels redundant, there’s a lack of imagination and anesthesia through consumption garbage of any kind. Shows to binge, social feeds to check, news to get mad at.

First, we need to define where we want to go and define what’s missing. And we need to develop a better moral fantasy, decreasing the distance between what we cause and how we feel about it. There’s a disconnect between what we know, how we feel about it and what we do.

We need a new realism, accepting we can’t continue the fossil economy and the growth mentality to make it through the 21st century and beyond.

We need social intelligence that replies to the pipe-dream promises of the digital economy with three questions: Is this true? What are the unintended consequences? Do we want this?

And in politics we need less the perspective of people who have left their future behind, we need the perspective of people whose whole future is ahead of them, the ones that have to deal with the creaking system and create ways to fix it.

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The digital prophets tell us the future will be like today, just more convenient. Automated. Ecologically more destructive. Anonymous. Externally controlled. The digital prophets gave us some unicorns, but they left us a lot of horse shit. Grab a shovel.

No one is coming to save us. No Brexit. No, no-Brexit. No Trump. No Anti-Trump. The leadership has to come from within. Are you a fearful drone, part of the problem, a signature on the suicide note of humanity?

Or are you part of humanity’s wake-up call? History is pretty clear: those who followed orders and played by the rules, they are either forgotten or despised. The rebels and rule-breakers of yesterday are today’s heroes.

We can’t afford to play by the rules anymore. We need to write new rules.

Fortunately, these rebels and rule-breakers are everywhere:

They are driven by a hugely diverse community of thinkers, innovators, and practitioners. There are organizations like the P2P (Peer to Peer) FoundationEvonomicsThe Next System Project, and the Institute for New Economic Thinking reimagining the global economy. The proposed models are even more varied: from complexity, to post-growthde-growthland-basedregenerativecircular, and even the appetizingly named donut economics.

Then, there are the many communities of practice, from the Zapatistas in Mexicoto the barter economies of Detroit, from the global Transition Network, to Bhutan, with its Gross National Happiness index. There are even serious economists and writers, from Jeremy Rifkin to David Fleming to Paul Mason, making a spirited case that the evolution beyond capitalism is well underway and unstoppable, thanks to already active ecological feedback loops and/or the arrival of the near zero-marginal cost products and services. This list is just a small part of innovative concepts and approaches that are out there. If you find additional ones, please share!

Changing the rules might seem impossible now. The political, media and thought leadership mainstream wants us to believe that. But they are voices from the past. An even better future will be created by curious people with open eyes and hearts, challenging everything they learned in school, from their parents, the mainstream and the corporate world. And do what we are supposed to do: Innovate to create an even better world.

What is Digital Transformation?


Digital transformation is the integration of digital technologies into all facets of your business. It requires a fundamental change how your business operates, how you deliver value to customers and explore new value options. Digital transformation helps closing the gap between the expectations of your digital customers and your current delivery. This requires a change in leadership, digital thinking, digitization of assets, focus on innovation and new business models, and increased integration of technology to improve the experience of all stakeholders around the supply chain and service model.

Why does digital transformation matter to you?

Frankly, it’s a survival issue. Your customers have transformed into digital first and your business needs to evolve with them. Or they will turn somewhere else. Now is the time to get started. Contact us and we’ll help you with your digital transformation.

We just released these new packages

Digital Audit

A systematic process that provides a clear understanding of how your business compares to digital best practice and your direct competition. The basic package focuses on your Marketing Strategy and Budget. The advanced package covers 5 additional core areas of the business, including 40+ evaluation criteria, which together provides insights into how digitally optimized the business is. The final report includes top recommendations on what, where, and how to digitally transform and optimize.


  • Key Trends and Insights impacting the business

  • Summary of research & key findings

  • SWOT Analysis and recommendation for impactful short-term and mid-term digital initatives3

  • 5 Big Opportunities to optimize and transform your digital presence and marketing

Advanced Package:

  • What does it mean to be a Digital Business and where are your gaps?

  • 5 opportunities for core area of business (including 40+ evaluation criteria)

  • High-level roadmap how to advance with your Digital Transformation

Basic Package: €3,000

Advanced Package: €5,000

Digital Innovation Workshop (1 full day, including Advanced Digital Audit)

Effective collaboration is a powerful mechanism to get things done. Hook Consulting is an expert at running effective workshops with the goal of making firm decisions. Supported by systematic preparation, follow-on actions, and run via a tight project delivery approach. We do the heavy lifting, which allows our clients to focus on digital innovation, and move the business forward


  • Advanced Digital Audit

  • Full-day workshop customized to each client, applying the principles of Human-Centered Design, Jobs To Be Done and the Digital Innovation Framework

  • 3 disruptive solutions and high-level roadmap how to bring them to life

  • 2 follow-up Skye sessions with the team to optimize progress

Digital Innovation Workshop: €8,000

Digital Transformation Journey (2 full days, including Advanced Digital Audit)

The key output of this workshop will be a roadmap which will clearly identify various steams / themes distributed over four key action areas of people, process, products and partner and will have identified owners with actions, timelines and priorities for each of the task. This will be a great kickstarter to launch or enhance your Digital transformation journey. This offering includes 2 guest speakers about 2 topics you identified in advance as biggest challenges in your transformation journey.


  • Advanced Digital Audit

  • 2 guest speakers focusing on specific needs of client

  • Defining the current business priorities via a vision workshop

  • Creating a Digital Strategy

  • 5 step approach from Strategy to Execution

  • Concept of Design Thinking / Problem Thinking

  • Creating a Digital leadership culture within an organization

  • How are we effectively utilizing critical resources such as people, process and products to achieve this objectives?

  • How to create a Digital transformation roadmap for your organization

  • Digital transformation in relation to customer experience / Operations / Current Business Models

  • What could be the challenges and possible solutions in this journey?

  • Continual Analysis / Evaluation/ Reporting / Improvement

  • 3 follow-up Skype sessions with stakeholders

Digital Transformation Journey: €10,000