The recipe of getting the right kind of digital transformation - Focus on Culture, not Technology.
It’s been about a year and half since the coronavirus pandemic struck. As a result of this dreaded virus, organisations have been compelled to adapt to the new norm of working remotely or from home and remote. While this has taken a toll on many professionals, several organisations have taken a serious note of it. So while, on the one hand, many companies are striving to improve their digital transformation, on the other hand, there are those focusing more on culture than technology.
More importantly, focusing on culture results in several benefits. From higher employee engagement and increased loyalty to positive and meaningful workplace relationships, and a productive work environment, all prove to be gainful for the organisation at the end of the day.
That’s precisely why senior leaders, including the CXO, must create a strong digital culture. For starters, it empowers employees to deliver better and quicker results. Moreover, it not only attracts and develops good talent, but also helps retain key performers in the organisation needed for digital transformation. And thirdly, the organisational environment is set up to facilitate engagement and boost approaches that will further their strategy.
A BCG study of 40 digital transformations showed that companies which focused on culture are five times more likely to achieve breakthrough performance than those that neglected culture.
There are five key gains from fostering a digital culture:
- Peeking outside the organisation: A digital culture encourages employees to look outward and engage with customers and partners to develop new solutions. An apt example of this is focus on the customer journey — in which employees improve product development and enhance customer experience by putting themselves in the customer’s shoes.
- Incorporating delegation over control: The decision-making is diffused in the organisation. So instead of giving detailed instructions to employees, they follow guiding principles so their judgment can be trusted.
- Encouraging innovation over caution: Employees are encouraged to take risks, fail and learn, and discouraged from following the beaten path out of habit or being cautious.
- More Emphasis on Action than Planning: A rapidly changing digital world demands that planning and decision making shifts focus from long term to short term. A digital culture promotes speed and continuous evolution of the product or service instead of perfecting it before releasing it into the market.
- Valuing collaboration over individual efforts: A digital culture thrives on team effort and sharing of information across different functions in the organisation. interaction and transparency. Additionally, the fast pace of the digital work works better on iteration and transparency.
Tom Reichert, global leader, DigitalBCG, perfectly sums up the significance of focusing more on culture than technology in today’s rapidly changing world. He says, “When it comes to creating a digital culture, the scarcest resource isn’t necessarily technological know-how but leadership. The role of leaders fundamentally changes. They need to learn new behaviors and let go of old habits. Finding the right balance between alignment and autonomy is the ultimate test of leadership during a digital transformation.”