Effectively competing in today’s fast-paced and digital-centric business environment requires more than just investing in emerging technologies. Organizations must cultivate a culture that promotes innovation, embraces collaboration, utilizes data to inform decisions, assesses the potential impact of every action to prospects and customers, and is able to constantly adjust to meet their needs.
Successful change heavily relies on systematic and progressive improvements across the five key attributes that constitute a truly digital culture.
1Econsultancy Research (% represent answers to the question; “which characteristics do you think are most important in establishing a truly ‘digital-native’ culture?”)
1. Customer-centric Thinking: Customer-centric organizations are organized and function around what their customers need. Their operating models, go-to-market strategies, and employee Learning and Development programs all aim at delivering relevant, sustainable and highly competitive customer experiences. Customer centricity begins at the top, in the form of a leadership team that is committed to delivering value to customers. The same concept is institutionalized and operationalized throughout the organization via customer metrics that are attended as much as their operational counterparts.
2. Data-driven Decisions: Data-driven businesses harness insights pulled from various internal and external sources across all digitally-enabled customer touchpoints to plan and execute digitalization initiatives with more accuracy and lower risk. Getting there requires organizations to strengthen and streamline their data collection and management capabilities, and promote, and reward, employees and teams that incorporate advanced analytics in their decision-making processes.
3. Innovative Solutions: In innovative corporate cultures, employees are encouraged to approach challenges with an open mind, take calculated risks and challenge the status quo. True digital leaders are open to new ideas even when these appear, at first thought, to threaten established operating models and customer engagement strategies. More importantly though, digital businesses not only invest in innovation programs aiming to generate new ideas, but provide their employees methods and tools to help them take steps toward commercialization. Innovation enhancement efforts should include workshops focusing on wrapping ideas with smart messaging, identifying employees equipped with suitable skills to develop proofs of concept, and targeting leaders within the corporate community who are interested in realization and commercialization.
4.Collaborative Attitude: Organizations with a desire to lead in digital must accept the “power of we” and enable their workforce to collaborate. Investments in digital collaboration capabilities such as online employee communities, internal messaging applications and content sharing platforms alone will not suffice. Employees must get to a state where they feel free to voice their opinions, openly share their experiences and leading practices within the corporate community. Above all, employees must feel comfortable asking for, and accepting, others’ input as a means to both individual and team performance improvement.
5. Agile Approaches: Agile corporate cultures adopt leading practices from agile software development in order to keep up with intensifying competition and constantly advancing customer needs. Attaining the highest levels of business agility requires major shift in mindset, followed by disruption in traditional organizational structures and roles, communications, processes and, ultimately, values.
Agile organizations prioritize continuous improvements over static and predictable outcomes, customer feedback over top-down directives, and horizontal instead of vertical communications. As a result, agile businesses are able to drive faster digitalization and eventually tap new markets and emerging customer segments more effectively than competitors. interested in realization and commercialization.
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