Like it or not, organizations that wish to become and/or stay successful in their fields in the next decade will need to get aboard the digital transformation train. A large part of said transformation must take place first and foremost in a business or other entity's culture, and that's a shift that's often easier announced than accomplished.
There are, however, ways for companies to help ensure they'll be successful in promoting a digital-ready work culture. Here, the digital transformation experts at Ripcord give their top three tips.
Tip one: Make like Silicon Valley
A digital-ready culture is a "shared and mutually-reinforcing set of values and practices that enable high performance in service of innovation and execution in a digitally-enabled business environment," according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology lecturer and principal research scientist George Westerman. With "high performance" playing such a star role in the definition, it's fair to say productivity and solid levels of output are what power the truly digitally ready workplace. But how do successful organizations do it? Easy: They emulate tech giants (think Apple, Microsoft, and Dropbox) and take some chances.
Calculated risk-taking is a commonality among companies that take the lead in digital savviness, according to a recent survey by PwC. The consulting firm found that the companies it deemed digital transformation rock stars are all "digitally fit. They engage early in digital initiatives. And they’re digitally overhauling their own functions by staffing and equipping them with data-driven capabilities (including skills, tools, and techniques), by serving up more real-time insights and by acting in concert with their functional peers to deliver a common view of risks."
Tip two: Push partnership
Gone are the days when employees of an organization could go years working in their own, compartmentalized silos, rarely if ever having to interact meaningfully with those outside their job's purview. Today, "[a]s business becomes more globalized and the world becomes more interconnected, the prevailing paradigm is a shift away from cutthroat competition and toward collaboration," an HR Magazine piece by Susan Ladika reads, in part. "At many companies, working on teams has evolved during the past five years from a “nice to have” to a “need to have” ... In fact, organizations with effective collaborators saw revenue increase about 5 percent more than those without them between 2012 and 2013 ... "
Perhaps that's because cross-functional work is a long-searched-for key to more efficient work. For example, the sharing of insights from one department to another could mean significantly changing -- and boosting -- customer servicing, resulting in increased revenues.
The company that strives for digital readiness, then, must seek opportunities for collaboration between team members. Leadership might consider organizing non-work-related get-togethers, lunches, or happy hours (of the virtual variety, for now) during which people can simply get to know one another. These can help break the ice between employees in different departments with different job functions, increasing the likelihood of a smooth transition to work collaboration down the line.
Tip three: Turn on the transparency
A cornerstone of a digitally mature company is trust between employees and leadership -- and such trust is built in large part on organizational transparency. Rather than make workers go hunting online for information they have a right to know (the company's financial health and worker salaries, for example) a business wanting to cultivate a digital-ready culture should be upfront with that information. Doing so shows that the organization trusts its people. In turn, its people will be far more likely to trust the organization, leading to greater employee retention and satisfaction.
Transparency also goes hand-in-hand with our first tip: to take calculated risks. A company can do this by hiring the best talent and then stepping back and allowing the talent to make its own decisions when it comes to work. As Vallari Gupte writes in a piece for human-resources media platform People Matters: "A transparent culture begins with an openness and willingness to share information and extends into trusting employees to make their own decisions, sharing the relevant results of plans once they’ve been implemented successfully or not so successfully."
Bonus tip: Work with Ripcord to transform faster
One of the obstacles to building a digital-ready culture is often getting buy-in across your organization. Working with many clients over the course of time, Ripcord has found that one of the best ways to win over your employees to a digital-first mentality is to show rather than tell them about the benefits of a digital transformation.
That's where Ripcord can help. Our leading-edge document digitization services can revolutionize the way your organization stores, accesses, and leverages its data. We live to show organizations just what their data can do. If you're ready for a digital-ready workplace of your own, contact Ripcord today. We can help you get there.