Digital transformation: Losing sight of the shore

Author: Lauren Woodman, NetHope CEO | August 2, 2017

image for Digital transformation: Losing sight of the shore

This is second in a series of blog posts that will explore the factors that drive digital technology and how NetHope will lead and support it. 

“On ne découvre pas de terre nouvelle sans consentir à perdre de vue, d’abord et longtemps, tout rivage.”  — André Gide, “The Counterfeiters,” 1925

Almost a hundred years ago, André Gide’s novel-within-a-novel was poorly received by the public for its multiple, complex and then-scandalous storylines.  Today – and perhaps after his Nobel Prize in literature in 1947 – “The Counterfeiters” is considered a must-read of Western canon.

Gide’s characters struggled with finding the freedom to determine their own paths in life. For Gide, change was inherently positive, as it opened the possibility for characters to progress, to move forward. At the same time, though, only development driven from within was positive: change forced upon one by externalities beyond one’s control was negative and, for his characters, resulted in tragedy.

As digital transformation shapes our world, maybe Gide is worth re-reading.

What does positive change look like?
Not enough nonprofit leaders understand that our sector must embrace digital transformation; at least some of this resistance comes from a lack of shared understanding about what positive change might look like for an international nonprofit. What’s appropriate for a technology company or a manufacturer is not always appropriate for a nonprofit organization. But the fact that there are no easy templates to follow doesn’t exempt us from the need to change.

We’re more likely to define “digital strategy” by what it is not: IT plans, social media marketing, new “digital officer” roles, mobile apps. All of these may be elements of a broader digital strategy, but within and of themselves, each is insufficient. It’s time to push off from the shore...

 

Read the full story at the NetHope Blog.

Our Supporters

NetHope Solutions Center: Our Mission

NetHope’s mission is to act as a catalyst for collaboration, bringing together the knowledge and power of the leading international humanitarian organizations so that the best information communication technology and practices can be used to serve people in the developing world.

Share your content

Whether you have existing materials or need help in authoring something new, we make it easy to contribute.

Submit here