Organizational purpose drives every aspect of digital transformation, including how the organization delivers customer value and how individuals within the organization leverage technology to drive performance and productivity. Just like in any other form of organizational change, digital transformations are typically driven by change agents and leaders who understand the organization’s purpose and can build a digital culture to support that purpose. Digital transformation doesn’t just happen because there’s a new digital trend or fad to follow, but because of a culture that supports a digital mindset among all employees. Here are 3 strategies to align digital transformation with organizational purpose:
Build a Digital Culture
A digital culture is one where the attitudes and behaviors of employees support the use of digital solutions as a means of delivering customer value and ensuring business growth. In a study of digital transformations, consultancy BCG found that companies who focused on culture during a digital transformation achieved greater financial performance than those who didn’t. There’s no point in using new technology or implementing a new digital solution if employees don’t use it or understand why they are using it. A digital culture helps to ensure that employees and leaders are doing the things that will support a successful digital transformation. A digital culture positions the workforce to better encounter and solve business challenges in the digital age. Successful digital cultures are often:
- Customer-centric – In an age where customers expect 24/7 service, a digital culture requires that employees put themselves in the customer’s shoes and make the best possible experience for their customers.
- Open to cautious risk-taking – The rapid pace of technological growth requires that employees take measured risks and recover quickly from failure.
- Collaborative – Sharing ideas within and between teams can help to increase innovation and help individuals use new technologies effectively.
- Agile – Changes brought about by digital transformation require individuals to be adaptive and flexible.
Hire and Develop Digitally Minded Leaders
Just as with any company transformation effort, the organization requires leaders who will champion change and rally teams around digital transformation efforts that tie back to organizational purpose. To achieve this, recruiting strategy needs to include a focus on hiring individuals with strong digital competency. For example, the organization benefits from hiring individuals who have led digital initiatives such as moving a company process from manual to a digital platform, or who have learned a new technology to make existing work processes more efficient.
Not every individual is in a role that requires technical digital skills training. However, as new processes and technologies emerge and take hold in the organization, employees and leaders will require the necessary training and support to use them effectively. Individuals at every level can benefit from learning and development that helps lift their digital awareness and digital acumen.
Integrate Workplace Technology
Culture, people, and technology need to work in concert to achieve a digital transformation that aligns with organizational purpose. Digital transformation doesn’t just occur because there’s more technology at use in the organization. However, integrating digital tools and platforms into existing work processes can help individuals become more comfortable with using digital tools to innovate and execute key goals. Digital collaboration platforms, CRM, and metrics that help employees make data-driven decisions can all help employees become accustomed to using digital tools at work. For example, organizations that replace paper-based processes with cloud-based solutions can increase speed, efficiency, and more real-time reporting. One financial institution transformed into a leading digital bank by introducing new technology and agile methodologies into existing work processes.
Successful digital transformation doesn’t come by implementing the “next big thing” in technology. True digital transformation happens when culture, people, and digital tools sync with organizational purpose. It’s an organization’s people that comprise its culture and apply digital solutions to help it grow. With a strong foundation of skills and knowledge among employees, organizations can undergo a sustainable digital transformation.