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Yearly Archive 2020

Why we need Corporate Digital Responsibility

Corporate Digital Responsibility was something I took always care about in my projects even before the term “Corporate Digital Responsibility” (short: CDR) was invented in the year 2015. I always tried to realize Digital Transformation projects in a sustainable, responsible, and same time in a successful way. Because you don´t have to choose between sustainability and earning money. With the right strategy you can have both at the same time.

But I am aware that the concept of CDR is still unknown to many people. Therefore, I want to give a short introduction about this important topic today.

If we take a closer look at the well-known concept of “Corporate Responsibility”, we can see that there are 4 different sectors. 

Three of these sectors are not new. We all know that “Environmental Responsibility” means that companies need to be aware of their on the environment. We all know that companies are full responsible for protection the environment while the production of goods. Meanwhile there are many laws and legal regulations to avoid environment pollution around the globe.

Also, the concept of “Economical Responsibility” is not new. Economic respon-sibility is about improving business operations by using sustainable practices. For example, to optimize a business process by eliminating waste and all unnecessary activities from it than just buy cheaper materials.

The concept of “Corporate Social Responsibility” has a long tradition in many countries and does not need much explanation. We can see it by high quality medical plans for employees, by company training programs for students, by providing internships for professional education or by donations from companies for social purposes.

But the last sector is new!

Digital responsibility completes the field of corporate responsibilities. It is the new additional corporate responsibility within the Digital Age.

Corporate Digital Responsibility

Currently there is no standardized definition of Corporate Digital Responsibility. CDR is a very new topic. The term “Corporate Digital Responsibility” exists for 5 years now. But we already know why we need it! And we also already know why we will even need it more and more in the future.

What created the need of Corporate Digital Responsibility?

In the past 2 decades Digitalization, Digital Transformation and Industry 4.0 were transforming the world. Digital Transformation and Industry 4.0 are not new. Both started already at the turn of the millennium.

Round about 20 years ago. At the beginning from this millennium Artificial Intelligencewas already existing since more than 40 years and the world had already a company named Google – which was founded in 1998. Social media in form of Facebook came into the world a few years later in 2004.

In these early years of the new millennium we did not think much about Digital Ethics or about protection of personal data. When I look back at these times it was a little bit like the Gold rush in the Wild West. Businesses and companies were thinking a lot about how to make money in the new online economy but less about concerns about the impact of these new business modes on society or other negative side effects. Neither we did as the term “Industry 4.0” was officially invented in 2013.

But now, 15 to 20 years after the first online gold rush we know that Digitalization and Digital Transformation can provide many chances and opportunities. But that they also bring new threads and challenges. We all experienced during the past 2 decades that Digitalization, Digital Transformation, and Industry 4.0 are transforming our society, our economy, and our ways of interacting and communicating with each other. Some people are really scared about this hugh impact.

In the year 2020 there are not many global laws and legal regulations about a responsible handling of Digital Transformation and Digitalization. That means that companies which care about Corporate Digital Responsibility are ahead of new laws and regulations. Most customers and business partners honor a voluntary commitment as much more worthful than just following compulsion.

Corporate Digital Responsibility can help us to reshape the Business World in a sustainable, social, modern, and responsible way. To earn money and make profit without being reckless to the environment and society which surrounds us.

By using a good structured and trustable Corporate Digital Responsibility strategy you can show that you are a real Game Changer. This will push you ahead of your competitors.

Using Swarm Intelligence for Digital Transformation

In the year 2006 when I wrote my Bachelor Thesis about nature-inspired algorithms and how to use the concept of Swarm Intelligence of bees, ants, and birds for Computer Science, this seemed very weird to many people. Meanwhile by using social media for some years we all know about swarm intelligence and how powerful it is. In the year 2020 it is natural for many of us to raise questions on Facebook or other social media platforms about how to do this or that in a proper way and rely on the Swarm Intelligence of our network that we will get the right answer in that way.

In the year 2020 we know that Swarm Intelligence means also that the complete knowledge of a network or a community contains much more than the sum of knowledge of all its individuals. We can also say that a community or a system can do together what their individual members can´t do alone on their own. This effect is call “Emergence”. Emergence means that the whole thing is much more than the sum of its´ single parts. This is rooted in the way how the individuals of a network communicate and interact with each other and share their knowledge to solve problems. Real Swarm Intelligence is created by collective behavior within decentralized, self-organized systems. A social media platform can easily evolve as such a decentralized, self-organized system which supports collective behavior. And Facebook did during the last 15 years. 

Swarm Intelligence in companies and organizations

But also, many companies provide a perfect base for building up a powerful Swarm Intelligence. If we take a close look to many companies, then we can already see a lot of Swarm Intelligence. If we give our employees enough space to grow and to interact with each other, to find solutions by themselves as a team, we can support the generation of Swarm Intelligence in our company. If we want to create more Swarm Intelligence in our company, we can encourage employees to exchange ideas within their teams or even in cross-functional working groups.

Even if many companies have already discovered the benefits of Swarm Intelligence for their daily business as soon as it comes to Digital Transformation all advantages of Swarm Intelligence seem to be forgotten. Most of the companies try to plan their Digital Transformation Strategy top-down. The top management alone decides how Digital Transformation should look like for every business department without talking to the employees who work in these business departments. But if we don´t talk to these people how we know what daily work in these business departments really means?

Shocking statements by employees

During my career as Digital Transformation consultant I talked so often to employees in different business departments of various companies who told me the same:

 “The top management has no idea about what we are really doing in our business department. The top management does not know anything about the challenges, hurdles and pain points in our daily work.”

I also often heard things like:

“Yes, there is a to-be-process defined by the top management. But we don´t work like the to-be-process say, because it is not practicable. If we would work like the to-be-process says we wouldn´t get done anything / we would need much more time / our customers would not be satisfied/…… Therefore, we created our own workarounds and internal processes which are not communicated to the top management.”

One of the worst things I heard was:

“Yes, we have a to-be-process, but there is no way that we can follow it. I don´t know you has defined this process, but this person should have talked to us while defining this process. Because if this person had talked to us, he/she would have known that we don´t have the necessary machines to follow this to-be-process.”

I heard much more statements like this during my career but I think these few examples show perfectly that there are often a huge knowledge gaps about processes and the way of working between the top management and business departments. Especially for business departments on lower level within the organization.

When it comes to Digital Transformation this knowledge gap can have fatal impacts. Digitalization of business processes designed only top-down with no proper knowledge about the real daily business in all business departments can be risky. Additionally, there is a huge risk to digitalize waste in form of unnecessary or ineffective process steps.

All knowledge you will need to avoid these failures can be already in your company. You only need to excavate it. Just trust in the Swarm Intelligence of your employees. Involve them and their Swarm Intelligence into you Digital Transformation Strategy. If you can´t do this on your own, then get some help from the outside. There are consultants who can help you with that. Report this

Published by

Iris Meinl, CEO & Owner of Meinl Management Consulting DMCC
Expert for Digital Transformation, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things & Industry 4.0

#digitaltransformation #artificialintelligence #swarmintelligence #futureofwork

Our support for your successful Digital Transformation

We help organizations of all sizes to create all necessary knowledge for successful Digital Transformation & Industry 4.0.
We transform rough ideas in successful strategies. We simplify Digital Transformation and make it easy to understand.


We provide the following services:

★ Transformation and optimization of your business processes
★ Project Management in IT, Digital Transformation, and Industry 4.0 projects
★ Change Management
★ Innovation Management
★ Business Transformation
★ Development of Digital Business Models
★ Corporate Social Responsibility
★ Corporate Digital Responsibility
★ Workshops & Seminars

Get ready for a digital future with us. Meinl Management Consulting DMCC offers you cost effective, tailored, and targeted consulting services and strategy development for your successful Digital Transformation.
We help and support all organizations who struggle with information overload and challenges in Digital Transformation, Digitalization, AI, and Industry 4.0.

If you want to learn more, just drop us an e-mail: info@iris-meinl.com

#DigitalTransformation #InnovationManagement #CorporateDigitalResponsibility

We are still here for you

Dear Customers,

2020 was a rough year for everybody so far. Also it was for us.

Especially Digital Transformation got a huge boost this year. Therefore, we didn´t show up much in public or on social media. Because we were fully booked with customer projects. There was no time for us to look left or right.

But we are still on track to support you with your Digital Transformation journey. Please let us know how we can support you in these uncertain times.

Best regards,

Iris Meinl
– CEO & Founder of Meinl Management Consulting DMCC