Strong Narratives Can Drive Digital Transformation

Launching digital transformation can be a monumental effort, but some who’ve done it say formulating enticing narratives around modernization projects is critical to jumpstarting innovation.

Chartered by Congress in 1932 to support mortgage lending, Federal Home Loan Bank raises funds in global financial markets and distributes some proceeds to local communities. In its efforts, FHLBank Atlanta must track and monitor vast amounts of data and communications with its constituents. Scott Brennan, FHLBank Atlanta’s director of sales who has had a front seat in the organization’s system modernization efforts, said creating the right story to get everyone on board drove success.

“For us, it was all about persistence,” Brennan said on a panel at the Salesforce World Tour in Washington Tuesday. “We lost the battle a couple times along the way, so we learned throughout that process.”

In dealing with issues from employees around change management after introducing a new digital work product, Brennan said he saw early on how imperative it was to have outward support directly from executives. He said changing messaging around the new product was also key.

“We changed the narrative away from it being an expense and instead we talked about it being an investment—an investment in our membership, in our infrastructure, and really an investment for our employees,” Brennan said. “We wanted to really show them that we are offering them the best products out there to accomplish the best outcomes.”

Bay Area Rapid Transit District recently launched a user-generated engagement platform using the Salesforce Service Cloud and Social Studio. The project has enabled a customer-centric communications strategy that helps BART rapidly meet the needs of its more than 400,000 daily riders.

BART’s Communications Director Alicia Trost led some efforts around launching the social studio. Like Brennan, she said formulating the right story to pitch to executives and stakeholders was instrumental in getting everyone enthused to cooperate.

“Take the time to figure out what your story is and really sell it to executives. I really had to sit down and create a strong PowerPoint,” Trost said. “So really think about your coworkers and the best way to present to them, and really figure out what that story is and use real life, real human examples [to drive it home].”