If you want your digital transformation journey to be a success make it a shared story and focus on company culture.
“I am full of this management b****t on Lean Startup when we clearly just keep on doing things the exact same way. KPIs are the same. The way we work is the same. Everyone’s calendar is so damn stuffed you can barely book an half an hour meeting not to mention a three day sprint!”
This outburst occurred in a Service Design training I was facilitating some time ago. I was a bit surprised since this smart, talented man was working for a large Finnish company, which for me, as an outsider, seemed to be a forerunner in digitalization.
He explained that yes, there was this innovation unit in the company and yes they were working in agile, customer-oriented ways but for him it was just the tip of the big company iceberg. He was stuck below the water not knowing if he would ever see the surface.
Little after this encounter I came across with a very similar situation. I had a discussion with a communications manager who had just been assigned a task to craft a company story. We both agreed that the story should not be invented outside, it should stem from the identity and culture of the organization.
The problem was that the comms manager felt there was actually two separate identities and cultures within the company. On the one hand there was the “old company” doing the established business it had done very successfully for decades and decades. And then there was the “new company”, a team of enthusiastic service business innovators.
Between these two companies there was very little interaction, trust or respect. Comms manager said that some people in the so called old company even felt their work was not valued anymore. Some were worried. Would they all be sacked because everything would be automatized? She was struggling how to turn this schizophrenic situation into a narrative which every employee could relate to and be inspired by.
Let’s make digital transformation a shared story!
In the beginning of the digital transformation journey it most certainly can be a wise move to establish a separate unit or a team that can operate above the constraints of everyday business. This however is not a long term solution. Digital transformation should become a shared story as rapidly as possible.
How is your company doing? Any symptoms of digital schizophrenia? We at Eficode have developed lots of promising therapies for that. If you want to hear more, feel free to contact us or directly drop me a line: email@example.com.
Published: August 28, 2017
Updated: June 1, 2021