Today, the growth and evolution of an organization strongly depend on its ability to integrate technological innovations. To thrive in these changing times, a company must adapt quickly. A company’s culture can be the most important determining factor in its success, allowing for a quick adjustment to new conditions and encouraging employees to adopt new digital transformations.
To fully benefit from these technological changes, companies should strive to re-integrate humans into their digital workflow. In fact, failure to do so can erode a company’s profitability, as both consumers and employees are quickly becoming fully autonomous with the onset of digital platforms.
However, the inverse is also true and necessary to recognize. That is, by making the most technologically relevant choices today, such as adopting agile methodologies, a company can easily capture a larger market share than its competitors.
The Rise of the Digital Business
The business world began seeing a “digital transformation” in the 1990’s, when e-businesses began achieving significant financial success. Since then, we’ve seen numerous evolutions take place that have markedly changed the business world, including today’s focus on the creation of “smart” products and the IoT (Internet of Things). Many executives tend to believe that this “smart” evolution simply represents an extension, or an addition, to their current business processes.
The reality is quite different, though, as we’re actually experiencing a definitive paradigm shift. And this, consequently, requires a shift in internal company cultural across the board. Furthermore, consumers’ expectations have not just shifted as well, but increased. Real-time experiences are now the NEW standard and not the exception.
Success Begins with Culture
Most leaders recognize that change is necessary in order to survive in an ever-changing digital environment. What they sometimes fail to understand is that an organization can’t adapt without the help of all its employees. Hence, culture is just as important as strategy. And, every single employee contributes to this culture.
As a business owner and leader, you must focus on 6 distinct aspects of your company’s culture in order to smoothly implement digital workplace practices. This will help you identify friction points and act accordingly so that the effort and funds you have invested in implementing digital transformation won’t go to waste.
Over the last while, “faster, better, cheaper,” has been the go-to business motto. In fact, organizations have spent a considerable amount of money on innovative methodologies such as, hackathons and sprints, in an effort to successfully manage rapid change. A company’s ability to be effective is tightly tied to its ability to be efficient. Efficiency comes from employees’ ability to identify, integrate and achieve the transformations required by the environment.
It’s imperative to recognize the differences between the following three key concepts to be successful in this vein. They are:
- Strategic Agility – the way a company decides to transform;
- Organizational Agility – how a company implements transformational processes and;
- Operational Agility – how quickly the transformation can happen
A company’s vision and culture can strongly influence the ways in which these three agile methodologies are leveraged and used to achieve digital transformation.
Having a strong organizational culture helps leaders rally employees around a shared vision so that everyone is contributing to the business’ growth. It really is that simple. Collaboration and cooperation are key.
Today, companies are quietly, yet quickly, backing away from rigid hierarchal structures. Flat organizations that promote collaborative workplaces have proven to be more creative and productive than the highly vertical ones. The culture built within these flat structures is designed to encourage efficient communication between employees. Furthermore, collaboration must also happen with external partners and customers in order to create collaborative eco-systems.
With the rise of “smart” technology, companies have gained access to advanced analytics that gives them precise insights into customer behavior. That means organizations can now anticipate customers’ behavior and handle them seamlessly and efficiently, in real-time.
“Smart” products make it possible for an organization to improve its interactions with customers and provide them with seamless buying experiences. A well-established company culture can ensure that these technologies are used strategically by employees in order to interact with customers with the most sophisticated level of personalization possible.
Innovation never happens by chance; there are cleverly-engineered and focused resources behind it. It’s essential for organizations to quickly identify relevant and useful digital transformations, test the resulting innovations quickly, and then take advantage of new tools, channels or opportunities they’ve garnered.
Because consumers crave new technologies, it’s also important to create a culture where creativity is welcomed and fostered rather than feared and avoided. Tactics that can encourage this kind of creativity include:
- Developing courses and training;
- Napping pods;
- Standing desks;
- Attractive vacation packages
Whatever the case may be, it’s important to create a space that will encourage employees to think outside of the box, make them feel at home and comfortable and, share innovative ideas.
The common belief is that leadership teams decide on the strategy, and employees have no choice but to implement it. This traditional “top to bottom” organizational structure is no longer works in today’s business world. Information and ideas need to be shared fluidly and openly within the organization on a constant basis.
Leadership needs to drive the creation of innovation, while understanding that everyone can contribute to both innovation and strategy. By adopting this new flexible mindset, companies can create a workplace where each individual can use his or her own set of skills to generate ideas that will help achieve corporate and personal goals.
6. YOU Have the Power
Company culture drives digital transformation and a business’ adaptability to change. Preparing for a digital future is no easy feat. The good news is that all the tools a business needs to develop its digital capabilities, and align its culture toward its goals, already exist.
Thus, you have the power. By leveraging new technologies, you can accelerate your digital journey, enhance your organizational culture and provide seamless customer experiences.