- A successful digital transformation is only possible with a digital culture, analysts at Boston Consulting Group (BCG) said in a recent report. This means that organizations must not only have digital products, services and ways of relating to customers, but also that businesses need to cultivate a culture that supports transformation and the way businesses relate to others internally and externally, analysts said.
- In evaluating 40 digital transformations, BCG found that by focusing on culture, organizations were five times as successful in making the transition than those that didn't focus on culture. In the firm's other findings, 80% of organizations that fostered a digital culture reported breakthrough performance in the transformation.
- A healthy digital culture will grow from five key elements, according to BCG. Digital culture-focused employers encourage employees to focus externally and engage with customers and partners; value delegation over control; inspire bold over cautious action; promote more action and less planning; and value collaboration over individual performance.
Culture is at the center of all organizational functions and initiatives; without every member's stake in and support of a major transition, that transition has far less chance of succeeding. A cultural shift requires changes in mindset and behavior and in the way things are traditionally done.
What trips up many in HR is determining what "culture" really is. But a practical way to frame culture is: the way an organization works and how it gets things done. As the nature of work evolves in line with digital transformation, culture must shift to keep up with the change. Lagging functions, operations, behaviors and thinking patterns jeopardize an organization's competitiveness in attracting, retaining and engaging talent.
Culture also contributes to an organization's internal and external brands. Just as a positive, forward-moving culture can elevate a company as both an employer of choice and an innovator, a culture that's stuck in the past, or tarnished by unlawful or unethical conduct, can have the opposite effect.
As the overseer of human capital management, HR professionals have the know-how to change culture and help lead their organizations in the digital transformation and beyond.