Digital, all companies talk about it. But some still have some difficulty in making the leap in a concrete way. How to become digital ready and engage in a digital transition process?
We saw in a previous article what digital readiness was and the advantages of implementing this culture in companies.
Moving to a culture of digital readiness is above all a matter of perspective . A digital ready company is involved in a continuous improvement project at all levels of the organization and involves all its employees. Traditional companies tend to see technology as complementary to existing ways of working, while digital ready companies use new technologies to fundamentally change their activities and the way they do things. To do this, they need a real strategy, thought out over the long term.
The importance of having a long-term vision
Digital transformation is a planned process , which requires a long-term vision. Such a fundamental change usually doesn’t happen overnight. Even as technologies keep changing, it’s essential to have a clear and compelling vision of the future of business. This digital vision must be communicated clearly and understood by staff, as transformation is taking place at all levels of the business.
Your strategy dictates how the change should be led. And it’s this way of leading change that makes all the difference between success and failure. Digital ready
leaders generally have a longer strategic planning horizon than their competitors. This strategy is based on the company’s current capabilities and takes into account the place that new technologies must take.
Based on this vision, digital ready leaders identify and take advantage of new digital opportunities. They also initiate innovations and experiments to implement their digital strategy .
Digital readiness is characterized by curiosity and experimentation .
These experiments are conducted continuously, iteratively. Innovations that work on a small scale are then tested on a larger scale, and small experiments are implemented again. These two levels are conducted at the same time and continuously. Experiments that don’t work aren’t treated as failures, but as ways to learn. Indeed, constant learning is one of the values of digital readiness . Experimentation is trying, making mistakes and learning to better innovate.This way of working is intimately linked to the culture of innovation and requires good risk tolerance.
This way of thinking and doing is in line with the principle of “acceptable loss” (or affordable loss ), ie seeking the optimal investment that can be made without degrading the current situation. This principle induces the right to trial and error.
An MIT study describes risk acceptance as one of the most important characteristics of digital corporate culture. Digital ready companies have overcome their aversion to risk and encourage their employees to innovateand experiment quickly, accepting the risk of failure. The leaders of these companies develop a culture of non-blame . An experiment does not always give the expected results and can be a complete failure. But instead of considering this experimentation as a mistake, digital ready companies make it a learning opportunity and continue to encourage their employees to experiment.
Develop new working methods
Fostering innovation among employees also means being open to their ideas. In a digital ready company , employees are encouraged to think about new ways of working and new digital services.
The company must be open and willing to the change in working methods that results from the digital transformation. It must also allow employees freedom to innovate . This is why these companies emphasize employee empowerment . Decision-making is decentralized and new forms of management (lean, holacracy, etc.) are generally put in place.
Digital readiness is a culture of rapid responses to changes in the digital environment. Flexibility and agility are important elements of work organization. The desire to respond quickly and to constantly innovate also implies the use of agile methods at all levels of the company.
Digital ready companies have a more collaborative culture than other organizations. The work teams of these companies are generally cross-functional : they are made up of professionals from various backgrounds in the organization (marketing, IT, data, management, other professions, etc.) who bring together a wide variety of skills.Digital readiness encourages involving customers in innovative processes . By understanding customer expectations, it is possible to innovate to adapt the offer and services to meet them. For this, the use of tools such as data collection, satisfaction measurement, surveys, user tests are all advantages to be used to place the company and innovation in a customer orientation .