How your business can build a digital culture

Embracing a technology-driven organization



Defining your digital culture

Digital transformation is sweeping the business world. The explosion of advanced data and devices, with the cloud, mobile and IoT environments on the rise, is forcing companies to adapt to the changing demands of both customers and employees.

To ride this tide successfully, companies must think beyond the technology itself and adopt new ways of working and collaborating. In other words, they must embrace the “digital culture,” where technology is at the heart of how people do their work and engage with customers.

Why does a digital culture matter? The 2018 Boston Consulting Group study, It’s Not a Digital Transformation Without a Digital Culture, found that it empowers employees to deliver results faster. It makes it easier to attract talented Millennial professionals who want to do meaningful work in a collaborative, creative environment. Finally, they found that culture-focused companies were five times more likely to perform stronger than those that neglected culture.

What actions do you need to take to develop a great digital culture?


Give people the tools to succeed

A digital culture isn’t solely about technology. However, technology remains an important part of the equation. Here’s what you need to consider:

  • Invest in technology that lets your employees learn new skills, improve customer relations and reach their potential. This could include things like e-learning platforms, customer relationship management software (CRM) and self-service chatbots.
  • Adopt collaborative technologies that let employees and teams work seamlessly across diverse locations. This can help break down organizational silos and foster innovation.
  • Consider adopting a BYOD (bring your own device) strategy. This can be a cost-effective way for organizations to benefit from the latest computing technology. It can deliver greater flexibility and productivity, but it also needs to be weighed against any security and privacy challenges.
  • Expose employees to new technology. Look for opportunities to let staff trial cutting-edge technology such as virtual reality, machine learning, and wearable tech. This can help remove barriers such as fear or misunderstanding. Furthermore, early adoption often leads to industry-shaking innovation.


Move beyond "campaign mentality"

Changing the culture in any organization is a tough task. A common misconception is that a digital mindset is only for marketing campaigns, where social media and e-commerce have drastically changed how companies engage with customers.

Taking small steps to integrate digital technology into all areas of your organization is the best way to achieve your long-term digital priorities. In any company, culture starts at the top. Set new expectations of your organization’s leadership, and ensure it adopts and supports the new digital values. These must include:

  • Being open to new ideas.
  • Recognizing the value of networks.
  • Leading by example rather than simply managing.
  • Data-driven decisions.
  • Permission to fail.
  • Constant learning and mentoring.

These values should be seen as the guideposts to creating a more connected organization and making sure everyone is aligned with your digital strategy.

The final step is re-examining your existing processes. Are they too slow, rigid or linear in scope? Consider how you could be more open to ideas from anywhere in the organization – including suppliers, partners, and customers. This will drive creative insights that are informed by real-world experience.

Then get agile. It’s been proven that team meetings of eight people or fewer are more productive. It’s led to the rise of the “huddle room,” where small groups meet to collaborate and discuss strategy away from distractions.

Remember that an effective digital culture will always be a work in progress. If you are able to combine the best technology with your best people, you’re on the right track.

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