MAKE SURE THAT EVERY REPORT—AND EVERY OTHER VITAL DOCUMENT—GENERATED BY YOUR COMPANY IS AVAILABLE IN A DIGITAL FORMAT.
SET UP A MEETING WITH YOUR DIRECT REPORTS TO REINFORCE YOUR COMMITMENT TO CREATING AN EFFICIENT, FULLY FUNCTIONING DIGITAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. Make sure that your managers know that your goal is to create a knowledge-based organization in which the vast majority of essential information is available online.
ESTABLISH A TASK FORCE TO DEVELOP YOUR ORGANIZATION'S CORPORATE MEMORY. Be sure that all key departments are represented (manufacturing, marketing, sales, etc.). Lead the first meeting yourself, and establish the goals and a timeline for developing a fully functioning digital nervous system.
FROM THE VERY START, MAKE SURE THAT CUSTOMERS ARE PLACED AT THE CENTER OF THE ENTIRE EFFORT. Constantly remind everyone in the organization that one of the primary goals of a digital nervous system is to improve customer service at every level.
IN KEEPING WITH THE SPIRIT OF THE DIGITAL NERVOUS SYSTEM, LET EVERYONE KNOW HOW COMMITTED YOU ARE TO FAST COMMUNICATION AT EVERY LEVEL. Get in the habit of sending out companywide emails on a regular basis, keeping everyone informed on important initiatives. Make it clear that you welcome feedback and suggestions (both good news and, especially, bad news) from every employee, regardless of level and location. This may create discomfort among some managers, so be prepared to deal with the accompanying fallout. This may mean making other meaningful changes to gradually alter the company culture (e.g., holding meetings with small groups to discuss new priorities and initiatives).