How to imbibe a digital-first culture in your organisation


According to International Data Corporation (IDC), businesses around the world are expected to spend nearly $2.1 trillion by 2021 on digital transformation, including investments in mobility, data, and cloud computing, among other technologies. There's no denying that digital is revolutionising the way businesses operate and succeed, especially at a time when they were forced to move to digital. The current situation means digital transformation is no longer an option, but an undeniable necessity. One of the key components of driving true digital transformation is culture.

Building a digital-first culture is not just about nifty technological advancements or installing the most popular digital management software. It is about the people who are at the heart of any organisation. This digital-first culture ensures that people on every level of the organisation are educated, engaged and empowered to develop a digital attitude in-house. While it can bring about resistance, the future belongs to organisations who are agile and willing to transform.

Ways to build a digital-first culture

1) Create relevant structures and processes

Prepare a proper roadmap of your organisation's mission, goals, structures and processes. Employees are better equipped to succeed when they know there are policies in place to support the transformation. Different employees have different workplace expectations based on their fluency. Millennial workers may be closer to a digital-first mindset than baby boomers. Create structures to identify employees’ competencies and capabilities to solve particular business problems, and put performance management systems in place to provide dynamic feedback regularly. While it is important to invest in technology that empowers your employees to learn new abilities and be productive, consider the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) to work system to create a flexible and comfortable work environment.

2) Build collaborative relationships

It's no longer possible for teams to work in silos. Just knowing how to utilise technology won't solve the problem, you need to know how that technology aligns with the goals of other departments and the organisations on a whole. For e.g., content and marketing teams need to work closely to ensure that messaging for customers is right. Customer service teams and IT teams can work together to see how system improvements can be made. Host hackathons, team-building exercises and meetings around new technology, so that individuals see others beyond their designations and engage in better communication, and creativity, thus enabling collaborative high-performance.

3) Embrace transparency

Everyone in the company, regardless of their role, should have open, honest and clear communications to manage the transformation. This can be done through memos, microsites, social media groups, and monthly meetings so that employees can share ideas and leaders can communicate strategies and priorities. This, in turn, helps communicate authenticity and build rapport not just within the organisation but with customers.

4) Offer digital training

Introducing new technologies may cause the existing talent to get jittery, especially if they aren't as technology-savvy. Instead of a one-size-fits-all methodology, tap into employees' existing skills and encourage them to get certified in a specific program that will educate them in the areas of digital they need to know and will add value to their roles. Invest in a culture of continuous learning, provide resources and incentive to make this change easy on them. This can be the secret weapon to build loyalty and retain your top talent.

On the road to a digital future

The fact is that digital disruption is here to stay and by building a digital-first culture, organisations can not only take calculated risks, but also see things from a new perspective. Not enough companies are capitalising on digital probably because changing a company’s culture is no easy task. It requires you to be bold and take the difficult road — but it doesn't have to be this difficult.

An immersive learning programme for founders — ‘Digital Scale-Up: ‍The Medium Business Course’ is here to serve this purpose. As part of the course, leaders from India Inc. provide working knowledge on the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and digital transformation to fuel the growth journey of an enterprise.

The course is designed to help key decision-makers in the medium business segment create a resilient and competitive business. Right from evaluating business ideas to sustainably approaching scale, the programme aims to provide indispensable tools and knowledge that will fast-track the growth of enterprises.

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