Why isn’t your Digital Transformation going According to Plan? It Could All Come Down to Company Culture

28 Feb 2018

Embrace the digital revolution or suffer the consequences. This is the message with which business leaders are constantly being bombarded. However, according to Capgemini Digital Transformation Institute (DTI), successful digital transformation is no longer hindered by a lack of technological capabilities or unwillingness on the part of corporate leaders, but rather by cultural mindset. Put simply, it is successful implementation that poses the greatest challenge to transformation, and fostering a company culture aligned to this goal is critical to overcoming this hurdle.

What is Corporate Culture?

“Corporate culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage that is completely within the control of the entrepreneur. Develop a strong corporate culture first and foremost.” – David Cummings, Co-founder of Pardot

An organisation’s inner workings determine its culture. Defined by values and beliefs, corporate culture speaks to the collective experience of all employees, and is impacted by leadership, purpose and vision. DTI identifies digital culture as having seven key attributes:

1. Customer centricity
2. Agility and flexibility
3. Digital-first mindset
4. Open culture
5. Data-driven decision making
6. Innovation

Embrace the digital revolution or suffer the consequences

The Obstacles

Employees and Leadership are divided

Research suggests one of the biggest hurdles to becoming a fully-fledged digital organisation is the pronounced disconnect between employees and leadership. 40% of all senior executives surveyed by DTI were under the impression that their organisations already boast a strong digital culture, while the vast majority of their employees, 73% to be exact, indicate otherwise. In other words, organisational leadership and their employees view things differently. Employees often resist digital change, viewing transformation as risky and old norms as critical to their success. It is sometimes difficult to overcome pre-existing cultures that are deeply ingrained, while tried and tested management practices linger, sometimes leading to the collapse of a company’s digital vision and loss of standing in their industry.

Bridge the Divide and Ease the Transition to Digital Culture

As a leader, there are a number of ways you can ensure your digital transformation goes according to plan. Firstly, deploy change agents with the ability to communicate effectively, and who are quick to identify and adopt innovative ideas. Empowering employees to drive a digital culture will make a meaningful difference.

Clearly articulating your cultural vision is yet another step you can take to ease the rollout of digital culture. By setting a standard to which managers and employees must all adhere, everyone is placed on the same page.

Vision, Strategy and Tactical Execution

You can have a world of good intentions, but your digital transformation will fail if you lack the ability to execute. Developing a clear digital vision, strategy and tactical execution plan can make the world of difference as you embark on your digital journey. If your digital transformation isn’t going to plan, it’s time to stop, re-evaluate and take the steps necessary to ensure success.