How to create a digital transformation culture?
It is a common misconception that a simple technological upgrade equals overall digital transformation. Actually, this process requires much more changes around and one of the key factors is rethinking the company culture and upgrading it with digital transformation.
What does this mean in practice? Digital transformation is not just about the digital technologies embedded – it is about the flexibility and adaptability of the company and its employees to think through big data, use AI as a good friend, and experiment with technology when shaping the new processes in the company.
Failure to align that effort with employee values and behaviors can create additional risks to an organization’s culture and failure of the overall implementation of the digital transformation strategy.
Why culture change is essential for digital transformation?
Organizational culture consists of the collective attitude, behaviors, goals, and practices performed by your frontline employees and management. It has a critical role not only in how your team members make internal business decisions but also in the way they approach customers or processes outside the internal collaboration.
Thus starting digital culture transformation initiatives is an important step toward re-designing how an organization operates and defining desirable behavior and employee engagement.
Even though this process might not have key performance indicators, it can follow a certain digital transformation framework - it could still outline performance metrics and use artificial intelligence and online platforms to identify signs of irresponsible behavior that can slow down or shipwreck strategy implementation.
Company culture is built through the people you hire, the processes you employ, and the values you proclaim
Transformations made in line with digitalization let a company transform its business processes from risk-based decision-making and limited understanding to much more market competitiveness, centered around customer experience, using artificial intelligence and data-powered insights or robotic process automation.
But still, an important challenge in front of senior leaders is keeping the balance between the right amount of technologies and employee behavior monitoring from one side, but also answering cultural challenges and human factors from another.
How to create a successful digital transformation in your culture: 5 steps
Digital transformation helps an organization use digital tools and data-powered insights to drive decisions and customer-centricity while innovating and collaborating.
But what are the steps needed to build that and reach it from the usual company’s culture, avoiding digital transformation challenges? We have shaped five needed steps:
1. Support from the top
It’s now widely understood that a digital transformation needs active CEO support throughout the journey. Having senior leaders who are digital-savvy and understand the importance of exactly such transformation for their business models, is really important.
In the new digital era, risk-averse culture is a daily norm and only a stable company culture with clearly communicated and widely supported organization’s core values can take smart risks effectively.
Truly changing culture, moreover, requires that support for a digital reinvention flow through the management hierarchy right down to every front-line employee.
2. Create your future workforce
The labor market has never been perfectly aligned with the needs of the business. This has been felt nowadays, where the prevalent culture in the new world, unfortunately, shows slow adoption of new technology for educational reasons and the huge gap between generations toward digital-savvy culture.
To support organizational resilience to the risk-averse - a company is forced to further educate its employees, do talent surveys, and shape its labor force for the wanted skills, rather than hire new people.
Existing employees have already shown desired behaviors, which indicate an increased likelihood to accept the new organizational culture goals but stay loyal to the organization’s strategy.
3. New technology requires a new way of working
The introduction of new technologies and digitalization of the work is testing an organization’s ability to answer external and internal risks and apply different risk management concepts. In addition to that, the new business models require the introduction of more cross-functional teamwork, and, in general, more out-of-the-box thinking employees.
A new way of working can be understood differently - from educational initiatives for a top-up of skills through open discussions for which processes to be digitalized, to hybrid work and employee monitoring. In all of the cases, it requires incentive structures aligned with digital culture goals.
4. Giving day-to-day tools a digital upgrade
Unification of feedback process, objective metric-based yearly review, or structured technology-based path of suggesting new ideas - all these are just small examples of digitalizing daily activities that can improve the employees’ engagement and productivity.
In addition, such tools can much easier detect cultural challenges that in other cases can jeopardize the implementation of the digital transformation strategy.
5. Communicating frequently via traditional and digital methods
Change management communication should be clear and consistent, with opportunities for feedback and questions. Otherwise, you could face change resistance and loss of employees. Clearly define your needs so everyone can get on board - both internally and externally.
"The innovation committee sits in an ivory tower and isn’t close enough to the customer needs."
This type of complaint about a lack of interaction and collaboration is a common refrain. Digital organizations remove such silos between departments, functions, and reporting lines, instead creating cultural change based on cross-functional teams that are self-organized, non-hierarchical, and empowered to execute projects from start to finish.
Clear vision, combined with clear communication is essential and helps avoidance of cultural risk, embed desirable behaviors, and raise the employees’ morale by making them feel part of the process.
Employees are key to driving change
One of the most important factors of cultural transformation requires changing the behaviors and mindsets of your employees, together with the organizational practices that influence them.
These changes highlight culture challenges, leadership KPIs, incentives, and even the company’s operating model, which all rely on employees. In order to achieve that behavioral science techniques are deployed, combined with employee performance indicators and monitoring high-risk activities.
In addition, empowering diverse talent, obtaining inter-generational feedback, and conducting evaluation through standardized performance are just a few examples of how digital tools can put people at the center of successful transformation.
Digital culture: the driving force of transformation initiatives
Ideal digital transformation initiatives can get to the level, using artificial intelligence and advanced neural machine-learning techniques. Even though it shows numerous opportunities to fail, such digital transformation has a lot of benefits that can lead to higher productivity and company adaptability.
The glue for the success of that is truly the digital culture adopted by both management and employees. Because your company culture influences your company’s pace of innovation.
Ready to start your digital transformation initiatives?
With many years of experience supporting companies undertaking their transformation journey into digitalized world - Resolute Software can be your trusted partner in the process, resulting in a successful digital journey.
Get in touch to learn more about how Resolute Software can contribute to your organization’s effort of digital transformation.
The introduction of digital culture within the company ensures that internal processes will be empowered with the change and the current state of play will be continuously challenged and questioned, aiming at optimization. The company’s digital culture affects both internal and external communication which requires the use of technologies also when talking to customers.
Digital culture outlines the way people interact with technology and implement the digital initiative of the overall transformation strategy in line with the company’s digitalization. It can be a significant factor for successful implementation.
Digital transformation in culture ensures that aligning internal processes and adding technologies to them, do take into consideration the human factor. Moreover, it additionally relies on employees to further develop the change and give adequate feedback for its implementation.