Thought leaders HGS

Using Empathy, Understanding and Experience to lead

As AVP of Digital Transformation at HGS Digital, I’m often met with the opportunity to meet first-hand with the leaders and executives at companies looking for expertise in digital experiences. They’ve likely met with others just like me at competing organizations, which means it’s my opportunity to rise above the noise and showcase how HGS Digital is different. On paper, we may not seem that different, but to be a practitioner in one of the many digital consultancies around the world – we are, and it’s my job to showcase how we stay on top.

Rising above the noise

At our core, we’ve historically done a strong job of building on and consolidating the CX aspect of HGS and the DX value of HGS Digital to transform itself into what it is today. We are practitioners, supporting hundreds of customers to solve the same problems, but we are also solving the same problems for ourselves. We are always looking for ways to control costs and improve efficiencies in our own arena, so what better way to become an expert than to trial and error for yourselves? Over 20 years of innovating in CX and DX within our own business has given HGS a unique perspective, both in recognizing trends and innovating in the gaps where it has really thrust HGS Digital into the thought leaders we are today. We don’t have a detached armchair perspective, as we are builders both within our own personal global book of business, and it is specifically that unique perspective that our clients value. If you consider our headless CMS early adoption or our CX Gartner leadership innovation, we’ve brought the art of the practical to clients, not a pie-in-the-sky art of the possible. All of these opportunities have given our company the ability to stand out – to make a name for ourselves and allow us to get our foot in some doors that never would have opened had we not been able to showcase that we were one of the first to do it the best. Even with the industry getting highly saturated with noisy mentions of differentiators and USPs, HGS Digital is moving the needle with its hair-club-for-men approach that builds off the leadership of being a practitioner as well as a digital consultancy. It plays very well with both partners and clients without the need for fluff differentiators and is something that HGS Digital strives to implement more often.

My approach to “thought leadership” and rising above has always been to act more like King Kong – grab Faye Ray, climb the Empire State Building, and beat our collective chests to showcase we’ve got the edge to overcome and the provocateur to stand out. But it’s not something HGS or relatively any company is doing wholly. I think we’ve become so accustomed to great work that we expect it, and it no longer seems as awesome but rather just another day at work. We don’t expect to hear about the journey – the fails, the ins and outs, and the end result about how amazing it turned out. Digital transformation is about the journey – the transforming of technology to make it superior again. Surely, there’s a story of success there.

Driving action through catered content

HGS Digital has brought a lot of experience and the right amount of technical acumen to help shift through some of the industry jargon. We focus on the basics – shorter educational pieces, richer, smaller media – that’s what’s helped us drive action and educate our clients on what is really needed.  Simply put, we are practitioners that are process-centric, with a strong focus on technology that matters. It’s a first-hand example of showcasing what we know, what the industry trends are, and how we think our customers can future-proof their company based on our expertise. In our downtime, you can find our CX podcast exploring the challenges in the CX space with top pioneers and visionaries of the industry. The series has a teachable aspect for anyone looking to improve the future of modern customer experience and it consistently surprises the organizations I meet with on the stories from within.

A look toward the future

There’s a myriad of songs that reference what people would do in their future golden years.  Most of the time, the references are things they wished they had done when they were younger or things they’d like a second chance on. But, for me, I’d say my next 30 years will be spent showcasing all the amazing things we’ve accomplished so far at HGS Digital. We live in a data-driven world where people want hard data about what we’ve achieved or, more important, what they can expect from implanting services such as ours. Do you think JCR Licklider, the inventor of cloud computing, at one point, envisioned a world where in the next 30 years, 90% of companies would be on the cloud? In any case, he’s got the credibility and expertise he sought back in the 1960s that would make a pretty compelling case study. So, I’d like to see more of showcasing our wins (and maybe even our losses if it meant growth) and less of a simple RFP response. With that in mind – I remain committed to rising above the noise, providing valuable thought leadership that strays away from the traditional form of high-level content too early into the sales cycle with no data on the services offered or hard approximations of what customers can expect. I, alongside my brilliant colleagues at HGS, am dedicated to filling the void by simplifying the overall content with smaller and bite-sized pieces and catering to business owners rather than the tech space. We come in and try to help an organization from a holistic standpoint – see what they are doing, what they are invested in, how they operate and see where they could do better. Then, we follow that up with here’s what we’ve done and how that relates to you. In a world where we are deep in transition to becoming a human plus digital space, the onus falls on me to continually transform from a place of empathy, understanding, and experience. It’s how we’ve been doing business and how we will continue doing it – even in my next thirty years. Power up agent productivity with the award-winning HGS Agent X.

Rik Silva

Rik Silva, AVP of Automation, HGS

Rik brings over 15 years of sales experience, with expertise in new business development and account management. He believes in a consultative and solution approach with a focus on creating a high level of value for clients, territory growth, and increased market share.

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