Corporate culture plays the most important role in digital transformation, since it implies the need for people to adopt new processes, new ways of organising, new ways of working, new behaviors and approaches in order to break down organisational silos and new ways of relating to collaborators and their ecosystems.
The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically enhanced the adoption of digital in terms of hours, days and weeks, forcing organisations to work differently. Obviously, the feeling of “chaos” and “disorder” were evident at the beginning within the first days, but no organisation was paralysed and they were all were adapting and improving their adoption.
The concept of “organisation”, in this context, means much more than the current or formal structure of a company with its hierarchy of responsibilities and departments. The organisation within a world of digital transformation, includes changes in culture and the set of practices and attitudes that are key to designing and executing agile responses.
Digital transformation is not just about taking advantage of the opportunities that technology offers us, but it is about implementing an organisation based on agility: corporate culture then plays a vital role in the digital transformation of any company. Even more so, in contexts of high uncertainty about what will come and in behavioral changes that will remain.
Building a culture of change and permanent evolution is essential. It’s been apparent that a few years from now, companies will no longer make a single change and will just sit back and wait for the next five years of business to change again. Today, multiple initiatives coexist at all times and compels us to create new, impulse decisions in business that reflects the new reality of markets in which we operate.
In our experience, occasionally, we have seen that managers of organisations are not fully aware of the cultural implications of the digital initiatives they lead. The digitisation of the workforce, new virtual “workplaces” and collaborative practices require companies to operate in ways that they have never anticipated and to move with a tolerance for risk or error and a speed to which we are not used to.
Several studies and papers identify some of the cultural values and, therefore, the desired behaviors that are considered key to being successful in a digital transformation are:
- A proactive vs reactive style.
- Customer-centric vs. focused on the product or service.
- Data focused on building the future and not explaining the past.
- Information in real time vs. reports from the past.
- Fast or agile innovation versus large investments of time or resources.
- Decisions based on proof of concept and user cases.
- Risk taking and failure are accepted and promoted.
- Always test with clients.
- Flat or agile organisation vs. hierarchical organisations.
- Multifunctional teams or networks vs silos.
Culture leads the adoption of technology in the digital age, while the ability to innovate depends on the adoption of new values and behaviors.
Corporate cultures must manage to reflect the speed and agility of digitisation in order to remain competitive and continue to attract top talent. In this case, the pandemic brought us an enormous opportunity that we should take advantage of.
Today, digital transformation allows us to have tools to demonstrate concrete data to show how behaviors are changing and how cultures are evolving. With this in mind as well as many other topics, companies go directly to manage as Data Driven Organisations.
For more information, contact:
Jose Luis Aromando
Together Business Consulting
Date: November 2020