Agile & Digital

Digital culture trumps digital technology

Research shows that it actually doesn’t matter which specific technology you choose to use in your digital transformation – so long as it will help you achieve your strategic goals.  What’s much more important for success is the culture of the organization that you try to implement it in.

So say the results of MIT’s survey in collaboration with Deloitte of 4,800 executives and managers from organizations of different sizes in 129 countries and 27 industries. They split companies into low and high digital maturity by industry and there was far less difference than they expected in the types of digital technologies implemented. What was different was their strategy, culture and talent development[1].

In another study, McKinsey found that “companies can lose up to 85% of the potential value of a digital transformation if they don’t ensure that their organizational culture changes to a digital culture: one that is customer centric, project-based, focused on speed and continuous learning”.

Yet culture, skills and mindset are often forgotten or ignored as they are harder to change than an IT system. So our particular contribution to the developing field, and the focus of our new white paper, is what key people skills, mindset and culture do we need to flourish in a digital world?  How can we improve the internal collaboration of the teams that are trying to deliver this new customer experience – and every other part of the business chain?

One standout example of a company that is exceling at both providing a fantastic digital experience for customers and finessing internal digital ways of working is Amazon (currently netting Jeff Bezos $36,000 a minute, so they must be doing something right).  Amazon have used technology to reimagine themselves from an online book store to the biggest store on earth for customers in terms of range of goods and value for money.  They’ve also developed an extremely sleek way of managing internal logistics so that they can execute on orders with astonishing speed – and at huge scale.

Not all companies or people are born digital like Amazon, but all need to build a digital mindset and skill set to survive and then thrive.

Check out an integrated graphic on our agile & digital leadership learning path and training module contents.

[1] Kane, G., Palmer, D., Phillips, AN., Kiron, D. (2015) Is Your Business Ready for a Digital Future? MIT Sloan Management Review, Cambridge56.4(Summer) 37-44.


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