Our perception of things always affects their outcome in one way or another. Similarly, company culture is a largely relevant factor when assessing a business's success rates in digital transformation. According to Jonathan Betcher, a CDO at SAP Software Solutions, culture is as equally important as business transitions and digital technologies. Even though culture is an abstract element, it is not an easy thing to alter. It requires persistence and consistency in order for the change to become well embedded into the organisation. Below is a list of ways of how company culture can affect an organisation's digital transformation:
Teams should learn to be open to and accepting of change:
People like to remain within their comfort zones. Yet even though consistency and stability make us feel safe, refusing to embrace change will make going digital a bumpy road. Business leaders should help their teams gain the confidence they require so that they stop fearing the changes that coincide with going digital and start embracing them. Betcher also said that in his company, rather than outsourcing difficult functions to third parties, SAP chooses to make employees learn how to use them and encourages them to adapt, even if the process is long and difficult.
Departments must discard the silo culture:
The silo mentality, a dominating culture in many businesses, has affected communication, a critical aspect of digital transformation. It is an attitude in which employees of one department view their colleagues in other areas of the company as the competition and refuse to cooperate with each other. Breaking down the silo culture will help to remove communication barriers within companies, which will undoubtedly help to ensure a smooth digital transformation.
View the customer as a business partner, not a burden:
Often times employees fall into the error of viewing customers as burdensome figures or necessary evils for whom the company is doing a favour. This is a pessimistic attitude and must change. The customer is the company, so much so that digital transformations are always based primarily on their needs.
Ensure that your entire organisation points its focus in a single, goal oriented direction:
A critical aspect of maintaining a smooth digital transition is that all business executives and their teams are well informed on the main objective of the transformation. They must have a single digital transformation roadmap so that they are unified on the goals and projects the company aims to complete. If too many ideas are executed simultaneously, resources, focus and time will be tight. This may result in too many failed projects, and even those that do achieve may fail to reach a high level of success.
Embrace the culture of failure:
This may sound a little odd and counter-intuitive but is highly relevant to being tolerant of change and having the strength to venture into unknown waters. This concept is based on the strategy of investing in a wide range of projects and plans that are targeted at achieving similar business goals. In this way, if one fails, another succeeds. This culture also encourages businesses to accept their failures, learn from their mistakes and move on without wallowing in regret and hopelessness.