Everyone is talking about digitalisation and digital transformation. Affecting both our personal interactions and the workplace, this digital world is really changing up every aspect of our lives. But as more and more companies race to transform digitally, their enthusiasm without the right culture doesn’t always yield favourable results. According to a recent survey from Couchbase about 9 out of 10 digital transformation initiatives failed to adequately meet the needs of the business.
So what’s going wrong?
Forbes magazine notes that there are many hurdles that could be hampering digital success, one consistent issue is a lack of support for digital strategies. This comes down to company culture. “The bottom line is this: Your business won’t digitally transform until your people do,” explains Forbes.
That’s why it is so important to develop a “digital culture”. In order for any digital transformation initiative to be a success there has to be cultural readiness for change. Developing a digital culture is about taking your existing corporate culture – the unwritten values and rules that shape the organisation – and refining them. One needn’t reinvent the wheel here. It comes down to identifying — and promoting — the cultural characteristics that will accelerate your digital transformation. It’s about creating a working environment that embeds digital from the top-down and ensures that employees are informed, engaged and, perhaps most importantly, that they understand the value digital can offer.
To help you create your digital culture, here are a few things to consider:
#1 Be bold
Risk shouldn’t be something we fear. One of the key benefits of digital is that it offers businesses the chance to experiment, to fail and to learn from those experiences. As part of your digital culture employees must be comfortable to try new things and business leaders must support their efforts.
#2 Ensure transparency
In line with the above, your workplace must be a space where people feel safe to share their ideas. If leadership is willing to be open about business strategy and priorities, your employees just may have some bright ideas to help you achieve these goals. In this scenario, everyone who works for the business is taught exactly how digital can boost revenue, sales and productivity.
#3 Create diversity in teams and invest in education
You can advantageously investigate whether you can put together teams that combine the latest digital skills with extensive experience and strategic insight into the company. This way, you increase the likelihood that the digital transformation will become successful. In this process, you may need to recruit new employees and qualify those you already have.
#4 Promote teamwork
Think about a group project you did in high school. Usually there were a few people in the team who did all the work while the others slacked off a bit. And understandably this caused some resentment. If you want your team to collaborate successfully, your digital culture must create spaces where ideas can easily flow between people. In the world of digital, success is achieved through collective work, not individual effort.
Ultimately, you need to create a digital culture that suits your industry, your team and your business goals. Without the right culture, it’s likely that your digital transformation efforts will fail. Need a little help getting it right? Our monthly newsletter offers a wealth of insights about all things digital. Subscribe below.