Leaders drive Culture which affects Digital Transformation

Leaders drive Culture which affects Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is the process whereby your organisation embraces the online world. Whether it is through client facing systems and processes or if it is only in the realm of the employee. This change to business process and operations remains critically in the heads of leadership who can make or break a change to the way business is done and how the culture of the organisation responds.

When we look at a digital transformation project we have to understand the readiness of the organisation in two very specific spheres.

1. Cultural Readiness for digital transformation

This is an often overlooked element of digital transformation. The cultural makeup of your business has a greater effect on your digital transformation initiatives than anything else. The plan for transformation can be sound and groundbreaking once it is implemented; but if the organisation will not embrace digital transformation because the culture does not support it: the transformation will fail.

Organisations who successfully manage their culture are those who succeed in transformational projects.

Culture’s that are naturally inclined to digital transformation:

  • favour collaboration over hierarchy
  • favour action over planning
  • are focussed on the client; not internally

2. Leadership readiness for digital transformation

Leadership has a critical role to play in setting the tone of the organisations culture. Very often their personal values and cultures come to bear on the organisation. To this end, a leadership team who are dynamic by nature and wanting to move forward are far more adept to becoming digitally transformed.

To get this right organisationally; leadership must align behind the mission and purpose of the organisation; as well as critically the role that digital is to play within their organisation.

Arguably this is more critically important than any other aspect of digital transformation. Your business model; your legacy systems; your processes all pale into insignificance if you do not have a united and willing leaderships team.

Digital readiness of your leadership team is vital to success! It is made up of a few elements:

  1. shared understanding of digital transformation – what it can and cannot do for the business
  2. willingness to change the way things are done – if an executive cannot and will not change their behaviour, they will have a hard time convincing anyone else to do the same
  3. a passion for strategic innovation – this is about making things better with a goal in mind. Not just innovation for innovations sake!

When the organisations culture and leadership are geared for change; are able to embrace it; then the sky is literally the limit. These are the biggest inhibiting factors when it comes to digital transformation and indeed organisational transformation!

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