Achieving Digital Transformation through Cultural Change 

Camila Guerrini

Capacity Manager and member of the Team Adviters.

Introduction

Organizational culture plays the most important role in digital transformation since it requires people to adopt new processes, new ways of organization, new work methodologies, and approaches to overcome old habits and interact in a different way both internally and with clients. 

Redefining “Organization”

The concept of “organization” in this context means a lot more than the real structure of a company in terms of hierarchy, responsibilities, and areas. In a digital transformation world, an organization includes a work culture and a collection of practices and approaches that are key to executing the digital transformation. 

A digital transformation does not only mean leveraging the opportunities given to us by technology itself, but it also represents the transition towards an agile culture. Organizational culture plays an essential role in the digital transformation process of any company. 

Building a constant change and evolution culture is key. Companies don’t simply decide to make a change and then just step back and wait for a long time to pass by to decide they need to make another move. Nowadays, there is a need to create new impulse and rythm within the business that shows the current situation of the industry the company is operating in. 

Cultural Oversight is a Frequent Mistake to Avoid.

In my experience and humble opinion, I have seen several times the directors of companies overlook the cultural implications of digital initiatives they’re trying to lead. It requires for companies to operate in a way they have never expected, to be extremely tolerant to risks and mistakes, and to do it at a new speed they probably weren’t used to. 

Essential Values for Digital Transformation

Several papers I have read along my career identify some of the key values or nice-to-have behaviors that are deemed to be crucial in order for digital transformation to succeed: 

  • Proactive vs. reactive style. 
  • Client-focused vs. product/service-focused. 
  • Data gathering to build the future vs. explain the past. 
  • Real-time information vs. past reports. 
  • Fast and agile innovation vs. large time and resources investment. 
  • Risk-taking and failure are accepted and fostered. 
  • Testing with clients at all times. 
  • Agile organization vs. hierarchical organization. 
  • Multicultural teams. 

Conclusion

Culture leads the embracement of technology in this digital era, since the ability to innovate relies on the adoption of new values and behaviors. Nowadays, organizational culture must reflect their potential on becoming faster and more agile in order to continue being competitive and attracting the best talent.

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