The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me at the start of this daunting journey.  I’ve joined World Vision in the UK this week as CIO, Chief Information Officer.  My job is to lead the digital, technology and analytics teams through the process of digital transformation that it seems every organisation in the charity sector is going through at the moment.  Our objective: to transform World Vision’s efficiency, effectiveness and culture through the use of digital channels, digital technologies and by bringing in the appropriate elements of the new digital culture that has emerged over the last decade in high-tech high-growth companies.

So I suppose I should introduce myself, my name is Martin Francis Campbell and I’m a Technology Entrepreneur, I founded a digital agency called Baigent Digital around 20 years ago which went on to become one of the leading agencies in the charity sector. I’ve since worked as a technology and business leader both within the sector (for organisations like Blackbaud and Hubbub) and outside it, leading Ormsby street, a high growth startup in financial technology: fin-tech sector.

So, Digital Transformation.  What’s that all about, and why the capital letters?  Well, I’m glad you asked…

With one foot in the commercial sector and one in the charity sector for much of my career, it’s been clear for a while that digital can transform the way an organisation operates, performs and thinks.  But isn’t it just a question of giving everyone a mac and a twitter account and letting them get on with it?

It’s not that simple.  A charity, like any large organisation, relies on IT to do what it does, and the processes that those IT systems support take care of a lot of the essential day to day work that a charity does in talking with its supporters, ensuring that its work with beneficiaries is effective and dealing with its reporting and compliance requirements.

So how can we take a charity and achieve a speed of change, a level of growth and a relentless focus on delivery when it has just as many embedded practices from years ago as any other large organisation has.  How can we be genuinely innovative about it?

Well, that’s what this blog is all about.  We’re going to be trying some things to bring the very best of current digital practice right into the heart of World Vision, and we’d love to share the journey and hear your thoughts on what we’re doing.  The hope is that you’ll be able to avoid our mistakes and that you’ll also be able to share your own learning so we can avoid yours.  Why call it the digital collective?  Well, you’ll have to stay tuned to find out.

The one thing that has really bowled me over during my first week here is that the team have been SO welcoming of and excited about the change that’s to come.  So please do keep a handle on this blog as we go forward and share your thoughts here.  We can use the help!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

In this blog, I’m intending to share with you the thinking behind the various initiatives that we’re doing from the way that we’re rolling out collaboration tools across the organisation to the way in which analytics will be presented to board.  You’ll hear plenty of voices other than mine (once I’ve figured out what everyone’s name is and asked them to contribute) and plenty of topics.

I must also point out that this isn’t an “official” World Vision blog, I won’t be publishing any organisational information here, just my own personal ideas about what we’re doing and about what works and what doesn’t.  Nothing that I say here represents the view of World Vision or its partner organisations.  This is all me.  (and those other folks of course…)

In the commercial sector recently I’ve grown new products and business lines so very fast using the latest digital technology that I can’t be anything but excited about what we can achieve together and what the impact will be on World Vision’s beneficiaries, the world’s most vulnerable children.

At the same time, I’m aware that the charity sector has struggled with digital, and with a tougher financial and social environment, so making a success of this is going to require a lot of thought, and a lot of work, as we’ll be pushing against the tide.

I look forward to sharing the journey with you.

Until next time…

Martin Francis Campbell
20th September 2018

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