Blog - Thoughts, insights and musings from the LEVO team

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Stepping into the future: Reflections of a Women in Tech Scholar at LEVO

Published
Author
Jerica Macaraeg
Junior Analyst

It only occurred to me as I hopped off the train at Wynyard and arrived at the entrance of the pier that I was about to step into the real world and workforce. I guess something I knew I was going to encounter during my first few weeks as an intern was the transition. Being a full time uni student and casual retails assistant and then having the opportunity to pursue my career interests in the professional environment. It honestly still feels surreal…to not only be granted such an opportunity but also change the preconceptions I had of the workforce. For me, it was like a whole paradigm shift. From being surrounded by fellow peers my age to people in the workforce who were passionate, detail oriented, and highly analytical. These observations I had from working at LEVO thus far, shifted my mindset, igniting my desire to be just like them. I aspire to understand the requirements of clients in different industry contexts requiring different solutions and to also think outside the box. It was so interesting to see how one could be creating a B2B solution for an office supplies company like Officeworks, to designing a website for a florist company like Interflora.  Coming into the organisation, I was interested in various things such as how a project goes about and how a client communicates requirements that are manifested into a digital solution. Although I knew that communication was essential and without question unavoidable in the workforce, seeing it all come together with developers, project managers and designers with all their different specialties for example was admirable.  Also the fact they were so proficient in what they do and being able to translate their work to other people:  The Director of Advisory recommending a client to install additional content tagging add ons e.g Geta.Optimizely.Tags or integrating Google Tag Manager to their solution.  Their ability to break down how the add-on can build a taxonomy and provide relevant searches/filtering for their content to make it easier for the client to understand its benefits was very interesting.  I was also surprised how tight knit the organisation was; it felt like a community rather than just professionals coming together to solve a problem. I had preconceptions of the workforce being more strictly work-oriented and for getting their work done as their main priority. However at LEVO, I observed their flexibility and the importance of work life balance. Seeing everyone at LEVO work together whilst also being able to have a laugh and get to know bits and pieces of everyone’s life outside of work was refreshing. As it was definitely a brand new environment I hadn’t experienced, to my surprise everyone was so keen to help me get on board and ease in. I had the chance to meet a lot of employees in the organisation during my onboarding process including the Chief Operating Officer, project managers, frontend/backend developers, solution architects and UX designers to name a few. I also never knew what ‘client engagement directors’ were but getting to know everyone developed my understanding of what they do, how the business works, and was also given plenty of career advice. As 2023’s recipient of the Women in Tech scholarship, the title itself is already daunting enough…it’s hard to believe how I was able to be given such an amazing opportunity. I had also questioned myself on my first days if I was good enough, had the right skills and didn’t want to sound dumb for asking silly questions. However, working at LEVO has flipped these preconceptions, making me understand that when you enjoy what you do in a supportive and inquisitive environment, it doesn’t feel like work at all…and there are no silly questions! Nonetheless I am extremely grateful for such an opportunity, and will continue to keep learning!

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The Art of Strategic Play: Empowering Teams and Strategies with LEGO® Serious Play®

Published
Author
Tim Freeman
COO

When it comes to business strategy and innovation, the quest for methodologies that not only engage but also unlock the full potential of teams is never-ending. Among the myriad of tools at our disposal, one stands out for its unique approach and surprising effectiveness: LEGO® Serious Play® . Often associated with childhood play, LEGO® possesses an inherent capacity to foster creativity, facilitate strategic alignment, and drive innovation in a corporate setting. From Child's Play to Strategic Play At its core, LEGO® Serious Play® breaks down the traditional boundaries of age and profession and relies on the universal language of creativity and construction that many of us embraced in our youth. By reintroducing LEGO® into the professional environment, we tap into a deep well of imaginative thinking and problem-solving skills that often lie untapped in the day-to-day routine of corporate life. So, what is LEGO® Serious Play®? LEGO® Serious Play® is more than just building with bricks; it's a facilitated process designed to enhance innovation, communication, and collaboration within teams and organisations. Through the construction of 3D models, participants convey complex ideas, share personal insights, and explore various scenarios in a tangible and engaging manner. This hands-on approach not only democratises the conversation but also fosters a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities at hand. Real-World Impact: Case Studies from LEVO and Clemenger Connect At LEVO, we use LEGO® Serious Play® to assist our clients in navigating the complex challenges of strategy development, stakeholder alignment, and innovation. From financial services, higher education through to not for profits, our experience underscores the method's versatility across various industries and contexts. Last week at Clemenger Connect, a convergence of senior management teams from all Clemenger Group companies, we used LEGO® Serious Play® to facilitate sessions aimed at fostering broader collaboration and aligning the group's strategic objectives. The outcome was a resounding success, marked by an unprecedented level of engagement and collective buy-in to the group's goals. Moreover, LEGO® Serious Play® has become an integral part of our initial engagement process with clients. By incorporating this methodology early on, we ensure that all stakeholders are not only aligned but also deeply invested in the project's success. This alignment is crucial for navigating the project's subsequent phases with cohesion and a shared vision. Embrace LEGO® Serious Play®  The journey from skepticism to advocacy for LEGO® Serious Play® is both enlightening and rewarding. Beyond its novelty, the method offers a profound way to break down communication barriers, unearth innovative solutions, and align teams around common goals. As professionals continually seek more effective ways to strategise, collaborate, and innovate, LEGO® Serious Play® stands out as a potent tool in the corporate arsenal. It's time to unlock its potential and reimagine what we can achieve together, one brick at a time. Embrace the transformative power of LEGO® Serious Play® and watch your team's creative and strategic capabilities soar to new heights.

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Embracing Content Lifecycle Management: A Modern Imperative for Marketing Departments

Published
Author
Cale Maxwell
Chief Executive Officer

The field of marketing has seen a surge of omnichannel strategies leading to an unprecedented rate of content production. Despite this, the processes supporting content creation have remained largely manual and unchanged over the years. This is in stark contrast to other industries like software and product development, where standardized lifecycles and systems like JIRA and Azure DevOps have brought consistency and efficiency to the table. Content development, however, lacks such a recognized, standardized process, leaving a significant gap in the market.  The Evolution of Content Creation and the Role of AI  The advent of AI has revolutionized how companies produce content, offering new possibilities for efficiency and innovation. Yet, AI alone isn't the silver bullet. While AI can streamline certain aspects of content creation, it cannot replace the human touch needed for creativity and strategic thinking. The overreliance on AI risks creating a world of generic, undifferentiated content.   The Need for a Systematized Approach to Content Development  Systems like Trello, Asana, Monday.com, and Wrike have replaced spreadsheets in many organizations, primarily focusing on task tracking. However, these platforms don't fully address the complexities of content lifecycle management. There's a growing opportunity for marketing teams to systematize their content development, integrating technology to enhance efficiency while allowing human creativity and strategic insight to shine.  Content Marketing Platforms: The Game Changer  Enter Content Marketing Platforms (CMPs), technology designed to manage the content development lifecycle in a more targeted and effective way. A CMP can serve as the backbone of a Content Development Lifecycle (CDLC), guiding content from ideation through creation, collaboration, review, distribution, and end-of-life management. This approach offers several key benefits:  Enhanced Quality and Consistency: A structured CLCM process, supported by CMPs, ensures content meets quality standards and remains consistent across platforms and touchpoints.  Efficient Resource Utilization: By streamlining content creation and distribution, CMPs optimize the use of resources, saving time and manpower.  Agility and Responsiveness: With a clear process and supportive technology, marketing teams can quickly adapt to market changes and strategic shifts.  Better Integration with Technology: CMPs provide cohesive and efficient workflows, integrating seamlessly with existing marketing technologies.  Improved Measurement and Analysis: Tracking content throughout its lifecycle allows for valuable insights and more informed decision-making.   The Need Is More Crucial Than Ever In summary, the need for a structured Content Lifecycle Management system in marketing is more crucial than ever. With the integration of CMPs, marketing departments can harness the benefits of standardized processes akin to those in software and product development. This approach ensures not only the quality and efficiency of content but also its strategic and creative excellence in an ever-evolving digital landscape. As marketing continues to embrace digital transformation, the implementation of a robust CLCM process, supported by the right technology, will be pivotal in the success of marketing strategies and campaigns. 

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Tech FOMO: A call for strategic technology management in marketing

Published
Author
Cale Maxwell
Chief Executive Officer

In the ever-evolving world of technology, there's an undeniable sense of FOMO gripping many organisations. The rush to adopt the latest trends like personalisation, AI content generation, and other emerging technologies is palpable. Yet, amidst this technological arms race, there's a critical oversight: many companies are leaping forward without mastering the basics. This in turn is slowing many organisations down rather than speeding them up.  This image was created with the assistance of DALL·E 2 Understanding the pitfalls of blind tech pursuit  The urge to mirror competitors, to have what they have, and do what they do, is leading many companies down a precarious path. This 'keeping up with the Joneses' mentality is causing some organisations to lose sight of their strategic vision and operational capacity. This is further compounded by crappy advice from consultants who are recommending best of breed technology for organisations without the capability or capacity to operate. The time for a reality check is now: just because a competitor has implemented a certain technology doesn't mean it's the right fit for your organisation.  Refocusing on strategic alignment and living within means  Organisations need to shift their attention inward, prioritising initiatives that align with their strategic vision and operational capabilities. This approach involves a shift from relentless investment in new tools to a more sustainable and effective strategy. The current trend of chasing every new technological advancement is not just financially taxing; it's also diminishing the effectiveness of marketing and digital efforts.  Before sprinting towards the next shiny object, companies should consider a focus on extracting value from their existing technology investments. A well-performing Camry is often more effective than a Ferrari that no one knows how to drive or cannot be maintained. The effectiveness of technology doesn't solely depend on its sophistication but on how well it's utilised.  Rethinking tech budgets: capability development and change management  The solution lies in a fundamental rethinking of technology budgets. Instead of allocating disproportionate resources to acquiring new tools, there should be a shift towards capability development, change management, and continuous improvement. The staggering statistic that 70% of large-scale technology transformations fail is a stark reminder of the importance of this shift.  This call to action is not just about halting the mindless acquisition of technology. It's about getting real about what an organisation truly needs. It's about making decisions strategically, considering what the team can realistically handle, and what the budget can genuinely support. Skill and strategic application should trump the pursuit of size and quantity.  Embracing a balanced and strategic approach  The bottom line is clear: cut through the tech envy and focus on what genuinely benefits your organisation. When embarking on a new technology project ensure that you make resource allocations to invest in your team's capabilities, adapt your operating models, and ensure effective change management. In the end, it's about making smart, strategic technology choices that align with your business objectives and enhance your team's ability to deliver results. 

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The Wellington water crisis: a cautionary tale for businesses on the value of investment

Published
Author
Tim Freeman
Chief Operating Officer

Wellington's current predicament is not just a tale of a city struggling with water restrictions and leaky pipes—it's a narrative that resonates with businesses worldwide.   Wellington is experiencing the fallout from years of underinvestment in critical infrastructure, particularly its aging water network.  At the heart of the issue lie the city's aging water pipes, which, at last count, amounted to approximately 3,000 leaks scattered across the region.  This underinvestment has led to stringent water restrictions, leaving residents frustrated and questioning the efficacy of their rate system—a system they trust to maintain and deliver uninterrupted services. The proposed solution? A staggering $1 billion annual investment over the next decade, dwarfing Wellington Water's current $56 million budget. This shortfall not only inconveniences residents but also risks tarnishing the reputations of the council and Wellington Water.  The situation unfolding in Wellington serves as a poignant lesson for businesses. It accentuates the critical choice between investing in scalable systems, platforms, and operating models that can enhance outcomes for customers, employees, and the business—or choosing to forego such investments.  Rationalisations against investment are common and varied:  "If it isn't broken, why fix it?"  "We've already invested substantially and must focus on extracting ROI."  "Let's just repair what's broken instead of overhauling the system."  However, just like the water system in Wellington, failing to act proactively poses severe challenges that can deteriorate a brand's standing, customer satisfaction, and employee morale. Persisting with outdated systems accumulates technical debt, making future shifts increasingly challenging. Moreover, the anticipated ROI often fails to materialise due to a patchwork of workarounds that create a fragmented customer experience.  Inaction can put any business on the back foot, gradually chipping away at its competitive edge—particularly as various economic factors come into play. Eventually, modernisation ceases to be a choice and becomes a necessity. The real question is: will this modernisation be a proactive choice or a reactive necessity?  At LEVO, we understand the weight of this decision. We specialise in assisting businesses on their transformation journey. Whether you're facing leaking pipes or leaking profits, the principles remain the same: invest in the future, modernise proactively, and stay ahead of the curve. Don't wait for a crisis to dictate your next move. We’re here to help. 

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Digital revolution: from monoliths to agile composable solutions

Published
Author
Cale Maxwell
Chief Executive Officer

The digital experience landscape is undergoing a transformative shift, moving from traditional monolithic architectures to a more dynamic, composable approach. This change is not merely technological but represents a revolution in how businesses implement and evolve their digital strategies. The convergence of monoliths and composability Initially, composable solutions, adhering to MACH principles, offered focused functionalities that contrasted sharply with traditional monolithic systems. Yet, as the industry matures, these distinctions are becoming less pronounced. Composable solutions are evolving with a wider range of integrated features, while still maintaining their modular essence. Concurrently, traditional monoliths are adapting, breaking down their rigid structures to offer more interoperable, flexible components. This convergence creates a spectrum of solutions for organisations catering to various needs and preferences, offering a balanced mix of integration and modularity. Single logo vs. Multi logo composable solutions Organisations now face a choice between single logo solutions like Sitecore, Optimizely, Salesforce and Adobe who offer multiple modular products, and multi-logo composable options like commercetools, Algolia, ContentStack, and Contentful. Single logo solutions are increasingly modular, while multi logo solutions provide a diverse mix-and-match of best of breed MACH products. Both routes offer unique advantages in terms of integration, flexibility, and customisation. Benefits of composable architecture Regardless of the chosen path, the shift towards composable architectures brings notable benefits: Enhanced agility and scalability: Businesses can swiftly adapt and expand their digital capabilities. Increased innovation and speed: Modular components enable quick deployment of new features. Greater customisation and personalisation: Creating tailored digital experiences becomes more feasible, improving engagement. Choosing the right solution In the quest to select the most fitting digital solution for your business, it's crucial to recognise that what works for your competitors may not be the right solution for you. The key is in understanding your specific needs and the unique context of your organisation. This involves delving into the nuances of your operational environment, your team's capabilities, and your long-term strategic goals. You should consider factors such as compatibility with existing systems, ease of integration, the strength of vendor support and the robustness of their ecosystem, as well as the total cost of ownership and the intricacies of managing the solution. At LEVO, we don't just look at what's trending or most popular; we focus on what aligns best with your distinct culture and objectives, ensuring that the solution we recommend is tailored to your organisation’s specific journey. There are so many instances of clients having Ferraris in their garages that have never been out of first gear. Navigating the change and transition  Embracing a composable architecture is more than just a technological shift; it's a holistic transformation encompassing cultural, operational, and process changes. It's not just about implementing new technology but managing the transition in a way that aligns with your organisation's ethos and pace. This transition requires careful planning and consideration, including employee training, process adaptation, and nurturing an environment that supports innovation and continuous improvement. What this means for organisations The evolving landscape of digital experience solutions offers an array of choices, each with unique strengths. The convergence of monolithic approaches and composable architectures heralds a new era of flexibility and customisation. The right solution, be it a single or multi logo approach, aligns with the organisation's specific context and culture. When deciding between single and multi-logo composable digital solutions, organisations should consider their specific business needs, goals, and IT infrastructure, assessing factors like agility, technical expertise, integration capabilities, and cost implications. It's crucial to evaluate how each architecture aligns with scalability, security, customer experience, and the ability to innovate and respond to market demands. The convergence in the middle is a good thing for organisations, opening more options for those wanting to explore the benefits of composability. Partner with LEVO for your composable solution journey In this evolving composable digital experience landscape, LEVO offers strategic guidance. We work with single logo composable solutions such as Optimizely along multi-logo MACH solutions including commercetools , Contentstack , and Algolia . Our team is committed to understanding your needs, aligning our approach with your culture and objectives, and bringing agility, flexibility, and a customer-centric focus to every project. Embark on your tailored composable solution journey with LEVO. Connect with Kevin Miller to discover how our Advisory and Consulting practice can guide you in navigating the composable landscape, ensuring you select the optimal solution tailored to your business's unique characteristics.

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The importance of change leadership in technology transformations

Published
Author
Cale Maxwell
Chief Executive Officer

Change leadership is the process of leading people through change. Gone are the days of issuing edicts and expecting people to comply. Poor change leadership can see projects stumble, valued staff resign and diminished benefits realisation. Effective change leaders have a deep understanding of how people experience change and are able to persuasively communicate a vision and strategy for change that drives action and momentum. With the rapid rate of change driven by technology, change leadership is a fundamental part of any successful technology strategy or implementation. These initiatives can have a significant impact on people and their ways of working. In order to absorb the shock of these changes in their day to day work, staff must have a leader who creates confidence and resilience to weather the storm. As such, it is important to have a clear vision and strategy for change that takes into account the needs of employees. Change leaders need to be able to effectively communicate the vision and strategy for change in a way that inspires people to take action. This is especially important when navigating a complex technology project. When implementing change associated with the delivery of a technology project, it is also important to consider the following: What is the desired outcome of the change? What are the risks and potential challenges associated with the change? How will people be impacted by the change? What is the timeline for implementing the change? What resources are required to support the change? Who is responsible for ensuring the change is adopted? Change leadership is a critical component of successful change management. When done well, it can help ensure that technological change is navigated successfully and that employees are engaged and supported throughout the process.

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Benefits of using a headless CMS for your next website

Published
Author
Cale Maxwell
Chief Executive Officer

There's a lot of buzz around headless CMSs lately. But what are they, and why should you consider using one? In short, a headless CMS is a composable CMS that delivers content through APIs. This makes it the perfect solution for businesses looking to deliver omni-channel content experiences.  Here are just a few of the benefits of using a headless CMS: Increased flexibility : With a headless CMS, you can easily repurpose your content for different channels and devices. This means you can deliver a consistent experience across all touchpoints, from your website to your mobile app to your connected devices. Improved efficiency : Headless CMSs make it easy to manage and reuse content, so you can save time and resources in the long run. Greater control : By decoupling your content from its delivery platform, you can have complete control over how and where your content is published. Headless vs traditional (monolith) There are a number of benefits to using a headless CMS rather than a monolithic one. A headless CMS gives you much more flexibility in terms of how you want to present your content. With a monolithic CMS, you are often limited to the templates and themes that are available. This can make it more expensive to create a unique and custom look for your site. Another advantage of a headless CMS is that it decouples the content from the presentation layer. This means that you can easily change how your content is displayed without having to update the underlying structure. This can be a huge time-saver when it comes to making changes to your site. Finally, a headless CMS is often much easier to scale than a monolithic one. This is because the content is stored in a central location, rather than being spread out across different templates and themes. This makes it simpler to add new content or remove old content without having to worrying about breaking the site. Helping your team with adoption  As digital transformation initiatives continue to gain momentum, more and more organizations are looking to headless CMS solutions to power their omni-channel content needs. While a headless CMS can offer many benefits, such as greater flexibility and faster time-to-market, it also presents some challenges, particularly when it comes to change management and upskilling. Organisations that are considering moving to a headless CMS need to be aware of these potential challenges and put in place strategies to address them. Change management is critical to ensuring a successful transition to a headless CMS. Organisations need to clearly define roles and responsibilities, establish processes for managing content and assets, and provide training for content creators and editors. Upskilling is another important consideration. A headless CMS can offer greater flexibility and allow for more rapid innovation, but it does require a slightly different way of thinking about content. Headless CMSs can also be confronting at first. Because the focus is on content rather than presentation, you'll need to invest time in helping your team learn how to use the CMS to its full potential.

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