Co-Chair, Change Management Institute UK
Culture is the DNA of an organisation. It is the way things are done; the values, beliefs and priorities that are the ‘norm’ and guide everything that happens. If you are to truly transform your organisation, and make digital key to everything you do, then belief in digital as a positive outcome must be baked into the culture.
The importance of the cultural transformation is recognised in the Forrester Digital Maturity Model 4.0: “Firms that have reached the highest levels of digital maturity have had to address cultural, organisational, technical and insights challenges.”
Step 1 – Discover your digital principles
Digital platforms and tools continually evolve, but the need for an organisational culture that values digital practices as a building block for competiveness and efficiency is a constant. To create this (or any other culture), start with the core principles that you want your staff to believe in.
Debate ideas for these principles across all levels and roles in your organisation. Use these sessions as a valuable opportunity to co-create new ideas for what transformation means and what it can achieve.
If there are concerns that digital transformation will lead to staff obsolescence, take the opportunity to socialise views that show digital as a force for good. For example: “digital working enables us to automate routine work and engage all staff in complex tasks and relationship building activities with customers and potential customers.” A cooperative approach can empower your workforce.
Step 2 – Define new ways of working
Encourage staff to define how to formalise digital ways of working. Encourage as many people as possible to help establish new standards, policies and processes and to incorporate responsibilities for digital transformation into job descriptions and outcomes from digital working into new KPIs.
Step 3 – Lead by example
Finally, don’t forget the importance of sharing success stories and showcasing examples of leaders and influential members of staff getting involved in digital ways of working.
Transformation can only be sustained if digital ways of working become the norm for nearly everyone. So, the sooner you start sharing the involvement of the early adopters, the sooner you can encourage more hesitant staff to get involved.
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