Today, employees need to interact more with the customers and “and see themselves in the customer’s shoes”. They constantly need to be on alert to the customer’s needs. This means a paradigm shift in our way of cooperating at work. Digital companies are so much more than their digital products, service commitment, and customer relationships. It is people’s behavior and communication that the customers experience from the company. It is easy for customers to compare prices, customer service and so on, on the internet, the culture becomes a decisive factor for the customer’s choice of supplier.
A digital culture means more freedom for those who work further out in the organization. They need increased personal responsibility, with the powers to make decisions and act more according to their own will. This means less control and less direct management. The organization, therefore, needs to create a new culture that promotes courage and responsibility and encourages people to be brave enough to try new things. Not least, the management of our companies has a lot of development work for themselves to do in order to get a digital culture in place.
The digital transformation puts old ideas on its tip. It will no longer be impossible to keep old hierarchies as they were before. Of course, there need to be clear guidelines that put the team ahead of the self. But above all, there must be leaders who are role models and physically present in the organization. They are the ones who can shape a digital culture because cultures are not formed in strategic forums, but in daily interactions with the people at work. This results in completely new demands on the leader in order to guide people in real-life situations based on an emotional mandate that strengthens the organization. It also means to manage for results and set limits for behaviors and communication that are not acceptable at the workplace.
In a recently published article from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), there are three steps to digital culture. It can be summarized to:
1. Expression with words the change that needs to be made. What do the
words mean more specifically?
2. Leaders need to identify the key initiatives that lead to a digital
culture based on the company’s strategy, goals, and purpose.
3. Identify the gap between real culture and the desired culture.
The digitalization will change our way of working and looking at ourselves.
A digital culture needs to support the overall strategy, which is where the human comes into the picture and becomes the decisive factor in developing a digital culture.
According to the article from (BCG), there is still a “window” for taking the organization into a digital culture, but the window is about to be closed. Soon, a digital culture will be the basis for being able to compete at all.
Journey Consulting AB is working on developing a digital culture for management teams and self-organized groups. We work both with open leadership programs and we work practically every day in the business to support a culture shift.