The importance of culture change in your digital transformation journey

In order to grow your enterprise, it also needs to change. That means staying open-minded and embracing a new culture that values diversity of thought and learning.

It’s not enough for companies to have a diverse workforce; they also need an inclusive culture that fosters collaboration, growth, and innovation.

Culture change is not quick or easy. It takes a lot of work and dedication on the part of leadership, management, and employees. But culture change is one piece that can make or break your digital transformation journey. What type of culture do you want? How will you get there? These are important questions to ask before starting any big changes in your company.

What Is Corporate Culture?

A company’s organizational culture is the set of values, expectations, and beliefs that guide the actions of its employees and sets the company apart from others. It can be defined as “the way we do things around here.”

Culture affects the way we work and communicate. It can guide everything from problem solving to how a group interacts with customers. It’s important for businesses to have a strong and effective culture because it can impact both personal and business success.

Organizational culture is usually set by leadership and management, but it’s everyone’s responsibility to help maintain and develop it. This is true in companies of all sizes and across departments. Just like any other business goal, culture should be on the radar for every employee and manager.

What Is Digital Transformation?

Companies must invest in digital transformation to remain competitive, stay relevant, and meet their customers’ expectations.

Digital transformation shifts a business from traditional ways of doing things into an age where data is highly valued and technology fuels every decision. It is often confused with simply implementing new technologies or software; however, digital transformation goes way beyond that.

Today’s digital reality is very different from what many of us were used to in the past. Businesses need leaders who take a strategic approach and work closely with employees to implement new ways of doing things, including how the company values its culture.

Why Is Culture so Important to Digital Transformation?

As your company changes and implements new ways of doing things, so should your culture. In fact, enterprises that don’t focus on their culture often fail their digital transformation.

Fostering an inclusive work environment means having the right company values in place. These values should encourage a positive relationship between employees and management, as well as a willingness to embrace change, learn new skills, and make room for innovation. A good digital transformation starts with a good culture.

Culture change can help your company achieve and sustain success through digital transformation because it helps create the foundation for all other changes you make. If you want to be successful in your pursuit of digital transformation, you need a culture that can make it all possible.

How to Initiate Culture Change in Your Enterprise

So what can you do to change culture? Here are some steps that can help you on your way to changing culture in your company:

  • Analyze your culture, and then decide what you want to change.
  • Look at your company’s values, expectations, and beliefs to determine if they are working for or against the kind of culture you want. Start a debate about where you should head next, and get everyone involved in what it takes to make that happen.
  • Make culture change a priority for your company by making it part of your digital transformation plan.
  • Make sure every employee has a clear idea of what the new culture looks like and what it will take to get there.
  • Find ways to measure your progress, and make the necessary changes as you go.
  • Consider offering training programs to help employees develop the skills they’ll need to work in the new culture.
  • Lead the way by demonstrating how you want employees to act, and encourage open discussion as you go.
  • Give everyone a voice throughout the process, and listen to ideas that may help you achieve success faster or avoid pitfalls along the way.
  • Understand that this will take time, but as your business evolves and grows, so should your culture.
  • Most importantly, put your team in a position to succeed. Each individual should feel as if they have something valuable to contribute and that their opinions are valued and respected.

Looking to Industry Leaders as a Model of Culture Evolution

As a global leader in the technology industry, IBM is no stranger to digital transformation. Alongside this, IBM has earned a reputation for respecting individuals and recognizing their importance to the organization as a whole.

In their early days, IBM was known for providing employee education and training to help each worker develop their unique skillset. Additionally, the company was one of the first to include diversity in its hiring policies, recognizing that building a diverse workforce would help them better understand their global customer base and foster innovation.

IBM has made many transformations in their company structure and business operations through the years, always with an eye towards how that would affect their employees.

While they have never lost sight of their values or culture, IBM is willing to change when necessary. They know that it’s not just about keeping up with the latest technology; it’s about strong leadership and inclusive culture, where every employee’s input is valued.

Using Culture to Drive Change

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses found themselves forced prematurely into a digital transformation.

But these challenging times have also brought many opportunities, as we’ve been prompted to prioritize employee experience as much as we value customer experience.

Putting in place new systems and technology that can help your employees to be more successful at work is part of this transformation. But it’s equally important to develop a culture that can support employees in their roles and encourage them to respond quickly to the changing landscape.

As you reflect on your own company’s digital transformation, consider what changes are necessary and where culture change factors in. This will help your enterprise adapt to a constantly changing and unpredictable environment while honouring the beliefs and values that guided your success in the first place.

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