Success in digital transformation requires a digital culture - Asset Display Page

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By Gabriela Brito

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March 14, 2018

Success in digital transformation requires a digital culture

How conservative culture may sabotage digital success

Management guru Peter Drucker once famously said “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” What Drucker said years ago is true about digital transformation as well: an inert corporate culture can sabotage your journey to digital transformation.

You might think that launching a new client-facing app,changing your business model in order to adapt to the market, or adopting a new technology means you’ve gone digital – but it doesn’t. To go digital you actually have to become a digital organization, and that requires a digital cultural shift.

Being digital

Being digital requires understanding that transformation goes far beyond technology. It begins with a clear digital strategy on your top executives’ agenda. Strong leaders who take the lead in change and who actually make it happen. Being digital requires changing behaviors and acting different. Being digital requires having digital employees and a digital culture.

The digital employee

Many people are digital in their personal lives, but find it hard to be digital at work. Part of the reason lies in traditional work models, even in today’s digital world. We are bombarded with content on digital transformation, but how do we apply this in our everyday life? The focus has been on the customer’s experience, but what about the experience of the employee? The employee’s experience is as important as the client’s experience. The digital employee must assume more risks and work collaboratively. He needs to be prepared, developed, and guided to working in this new world.

Digital cultural transformation

Digital transformation is cultural and must be intentional. There’s no time to wait for culture to adapt by itself. But what are the changes in a digital culture? The way the company views the customer changes. Processes of innovation and imagination are increasingly stronger and more necessary. The way leaders see trends and transform them into actions changes. Decision-making should now be based on data. The focus isn’t on processes but on results. Organizational structure changes. Work models must become collaborative. People need more autonomy for making decisions and taking on risks. Behaviors and skills required change. Yes, everything changes.

How to promote digital cultural transformation and boost your results

Define the journey and the intended results from cultural transformation: To start, understand that it is a journey that must be designed with intended results that can be measured and monitored over time.

Identify the elements of a culture that need to be changed: The elements vary according to the organization’s digital maturity. They may be related to new skills and behaviors, changes needed in organizational structure and in talent management, changes in work models and in the leadership profile.

Define and prepare digital leaders: No change occurs without engaged leaders; digital leaders need to be prepared and will be responsible for promoting the changes and digital culture in the organization.

Identify the impacts of these changes onthe process: Impacts vary according to the scope defined for the change; what matters is measuring the impacts on people with these changes on the process. 

Promote the changes needed and evaluate the results: Implement the changes needed in the processes, train, and communicate the changes. Periodically evaluate the results of cultural transformation.>

Start now: If you wait until tomorrow to start your Journey of Digital Cultural Transformation, it may be too late.

The results of a process of cultural transformation must be measured, along with how cultural change contributes to achieving digital strategy. Organizations that concentrate on changing culture and creating capacity during a transformation are 2.5 times more likely to be successful. So, what are you waiting for? Get started now.

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