Balancing Technological Change with Cultural Change

Culture is important: the cultural transformation involved in a digital transformation is widely underestimated. Companies don’t really want to talk about it – they think they can just send out internal communications and sort it that way. Many employees are still not clear on why culture is important as technology in transformation.

Start from the top: to drive real change, alignment must happen at the CEO level, board room, and c-suite level.

Do not wait – People will always be busy, there are other priorities. You know you need to undergo digital transformation, but it seems like a long project, and you don’t know where to start, so you are putting it off. You must start somewhere, so chunk the tech transformation into phases. Find an easy, short and attractive phase one.

It will impact the entire process: transformation is more than just implementing the platform. It’s about doing work differently, about going to partner more closely with all departments and impact the entire process. It may involve changes in people’s jobs. Constantly remind everyone why you do the project, what the outputs are going to be from change.

Learn the customer journey: learn what your customers must go thru. Think the digital transformation is happening because of customer experience expectations. The mandate customers are giving your brand is so strong, that you are willing to put yourselves through these multi-year projects and come out the other side because you need to modernize.

Volvo’s case: they spent a lot of time upfront talking about the cultural transformation involved. The CEO made what seemed like a crazy statement: ‘I don’t want anyone to lose their life in a Volvo automobile by 2020’. Then the company reorganized, changing people’s job roles and breaking down silos based around what it learned about the customer in order to drive change.