Blue squares 1200x800
Blue squares 1200x800

A Case for Change: Company Cultures & Digital Transformation

Making any kind of change to your business is challenging. But introducing new digital tools is especially difficult.

Leaders looking to adopt digital-first strategies face many threats — some real, some perceived. Often, what keeps them from embracing digital is a fear of losing control. For example, digital transformation increases communication, and executives worry about their ability to control this increased flow of information. In addition, there are security concerns that come with tech solutions that don’t require the oversight of IT.

It’s clear that digital transformation is more than just the swapping of tools, it involves deep change.

According to Galen Furman at InfoWorld, digital transformation is about designing systems that can change easily and regularly. And this requires courage. Digital strategy advisor, Jane McConnell, says that businesses need to be prepared to take a good long look at their company culture. After conducting surveys to see how business cultures affect digital change, McConnell was able to identify key cultural traits that help companies transform.

We’ve used her research to outline 4 digital transformation roadblocks and some small cultural shifts that will help you overcome them.

Obstacle #1: Employee Resistance

Employees will embrace change if they can see value in it. But if they’re forced to adopt solutions that don’t solve real-world problems, they’ll find ways to resist.

Cultural Shift: Empower employees with distributed decision making.

By distributing decision making, employees will feel like a valuable part of the team. If they’re empowered to take ownership over change, they’ll persevere through any challenges.

Obstacle #2: Internal Politics

When teams are divided, change is impossible. Disagreements and negative chatter all prevent the innovative thinking that drives positive change.

Cultural Shift: Create a shared sense of purpose.

Getting employees to share a single vision makes them more productive.  One way to keep everyone committed to the cause: create a solid plan for your digital transformation.

Obstacle #3: Fear

Many executives are afraid of the risks associated with digital transformation. Specifically, they worry that by giving employees more digital responsibilities, they’ll lose control of operations.

Cultural Shift: Give employees the freedom to experiment.

Encouraging employees to experiment allows them to find new ways of doing things. You won’t be concerned about the loss of control when your team have become change evangelists on the hunt for new solutions!

Obstacle #4: Organizational Isolation

No man is an island — and this goes for businesses too. Companies that are disconnected from the world, for instance, make bad decisions around digital strategies.

Cultural Shift: Develop curiosity about the external world.

To fuel innovation, stay curious about global issues. By having regular conversations with a larger network, you’ll gain new perspectives and become better at prioritizing your company’s needs.