How to approach Blockchain?

We’re delighted to be helping several multinational corporations explore what Blockchain is, and how it can be approached across their business functions. Having run a fair few meetups and brought to life many MVP’s in the past 6 months, here are our top tips for onboarding organisations to Blockchain:

1.    Be curious and creative to explore how this technology can bring you a competitive advantage, make you more efficient as an organisation. At the same time, try to imagine what your competition can outsmart you by collaborating with your customers, retailers or suppliers.

2.    Keep it simple. Don’t use words like ‘distributed ledger’ or “decentralised nodes”. People don’t need to jargon to get it. Instead it is important that the top-management understands what it can bring and what it takes.

3.    Use real-world examples. There is more spin than substance in most blockchain use cases out there. And many aren’t a necessary application for blockchain anyway. Talk about buying a car, or a house, or having a delayed flight, and how blockchain might make things different.

4.    Get your hands dirty. Database technology is epically boring at the best of times, so use demos and interaction to get people playing with blockchains and seeing it in action for themselves. These can be done quickly and effectively to explain the core principles.

5.    Recognise Blockchain is inherently collaborative. So collaborate across functions, and across organisations. Get senior decision makers on board, get hands raised, and build a coalition.

6.    Stay a Constructive Sceptic. Blockchain needs to sit in a safe innovation space for now, where companies go on a test & learn journey. Also be open to discover how this technology can unlock the avenues for some trends on transparency, authenticity, sustainability.

7.    Try to think differently. Blockchain is a technology that brings trust into the game which, in it’s purest sense, has the potential to be massively disruptive. That’s why the buzz is all there. But to succeed, you won’t do it alone. So the usual approach to innovation (locked behind walls to secure ‘first mover advantage’) is just wrong. Be prepared to work in new ways, and ask different questions of your organisation. It’s a case where the sum will be greater than the parts.

8.    Keep watching. Gartner’s hype cycle is once more spot on for where blockchain is at. The energy is on the crash at the moment… and current applications will likely be replaced with better solutions. So stay in, keep watching, and collaborate with a consortium of partners.

Blockchain is not a fad, at the same time it is not a silver bullet. That’s exactly why, it requires a strategic framework to approach. Happy to discuss further, how we can help you to inform, inspire and take action!

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