Allianz innovation executive Christian Locher, speaking at the Transform With the Best conference on digital business transformation, shared how his organization transformed itself through a digital initiative. There's something Allianz and other successful organizations do. They all look far beyond the boundaries of traditional tech projects. In fact, they have broadened their horizons in three specific areas:\n\nStrategic themes\nReservoir\nTechnologies\n\nHere's a closer look at each.\nStrategic themes\nDerived from corporate strategy, there may be strategic themes that your organization wants to pursue. Today, strategic themes are not limited to things like "just in time" and "relationship management." Today, a strategic theme could be "a delightful customer experience," which would involve customer engagements with tech and nontech elements and may include internal processes. A strategic theme could be much bigger and more impactful like "customer-centricity," which would typically include new customer value delivery through new or better products and services.\nWhile the number of potential themes has risen, it's important to pick only those derived from your organization's strategy. Having said that, there are rare cases where innovation combined with technology actually suggested a new strategy.\nReservoir\nA "simple, engaging customer experience" is a theme at Allianz. So here's what Allianz did. They identified 140 customer journeys, each spanning several touchpoints. I call this initial set lead.\u00a0From the lead, they selected about 25 of the most urgent ones. I call this\u00a0reservoir.\nLike an oil reservoir, the reservoir that Allianz just found is promising \u2014 it has the potential to eventually generate strategic outcomes. Based on understanding at the time of its discovery, the reservoir encompasses processes that will be integrally designed to realize the theme.\nClearly, a reservoir's boundaries are not the boundaries of a piece of tech somebody proposed. Depending on the strategic theme, a reservoir might comprise channels such as marketing, sales and distribution. Or it could be a lot broader, comprising an entire division in your organization \u2014 if you want to rethink the business model. It could even include processes that traditionally belonged to a different industry.\nThe reservoir is central in any digital initiative. When discovered, it shows strategic potential. When designed purposefully with innovation and new digital tech, it has virtually realized the strategic potential. When operational, it generates strategic outcomes.\nThe strategic theme should guide you as you discover and design the reservoir.\nTechnologies\nOrganizations today consider not only cloud, mobile, analytics and social. They also check out stuff like geolocation-tracking, the internet of things, virtual reality and artificial intelligence.\nIf the right tech exists but an organization can't quickly develop it, they partner with the organization that already has it.\u00a0Allianz is an insurance and asset management company. So they partnered with Panasonic to launch what might at first appear like an unrelated service: "Panasonic Smart Home and Allianz Assist." This service links Panasonic\u2019s monitoring-and-control tech with Allianz's home protection services.\nSo there are a lot of new technologies and a lot of new ways to put them to work.\nSummary\nChoose a strategic theme that's linked to corporate strategy. Use the strategic theme to discover and design your reservoir. Choose technologies that can make a strategic contribution. Thankfully, you have a lot of options in each area \u2014 if you are willing to look.