Practical Tips To Help Companies Develop A ‘Digital Mindset’ – Forbes
In a rapidly evolving environment, companies are under increasing pressure to utilize technology effectively to transform their management efficiency, collaboration and overall operations.
According to a survey earlier this year from Deloitte, 51% of companies are “currently in the process of redesigning their organizations for digital business models.”
Given the macro-level importance of the issue, I felt it would be of value to delve deeper into what executives and companies should consider as they proceed with these transformations. Accordingly, I interviewed Erica Volini, Deloitte Consulting’s human capital leader. Following is that interview.
Victor Lipman: First of all, your report discusses the need for companies to develop a “digital mindset” â what exactly do you mean by that?
Erica Volini: As organizations become digital, they need to start with defining what “digital” really means. Too many organizations are using “digital” to mean the implementation of new technology â whether it’s mobile, cloud, RPA or cognitive â but it’s really the integration of technology with a shift in mindset.
Lipman: How would you describe that shift in mindset?
Volini: That shift includes attributes such as the ability to fail fast, test new ideas, be agile and collaborative. In order for organizations to understand whether they truly have a digital mindset, we identified a set of 23 Digital DNA, or characteristics, that help an organization to pinpoint where they are on the journey from exploring digital to being digital. Looking at attributes such as how they involve customers in their strategy and decision making, how they operate across geographical boundaries, and what are the decision rights and how they are enabled across the hierarchy. Of course, enabling that shift in mindset is a journey in an of itself.
Lipman: Talk to me about that â what does that “shift in mindset” mean for HR and management?
Volini: It requires organizations to rethink everything from how their organization is structured to what the concept of a “job” means in the digital world to how to evaluate and reward individuals. If you’re trying to promote more collaboration and agility, for example, does a traditional organizational hierarchy become a limiting factor and how do you start promoting the concept of networks of teams to drive that collaboration? And with that team construct, how do basic organizational activities such as communication, day-to-day managerial activities and traditional workflows occur? What we see is that when you really start to challenge how to create a digital mindset, you start to challenge everything regarding how your organization operates and performs today. Then, the move to digital becomes truly transformational.
Lipman: Amid such rapid organizational change, what does leadership need to be most cognizant of in terms of people-management?
Volini: You naturally need to consider the talent within the organization. In a digital world, it’s too simplified to assume that robots or technology are going to replace jobs. It’s more nuanced than that. What we’re seeing is that while certain tasks are more prone to automation and redesign, a new set of human skills are emerging which are essential to thriving in a digital world. Skills such as listening, customer service, analytical thinking, communication, etc., are starting to become more critical to not only executing the business strategy but to differentiating organizations from their competition. It’s key that organizations quickly think about the skills and competencies required by their workforce and how they plan to either recruit individuals with those skills or retrain their existing workforce. Either way, it’s a significant investment in both time and capital that needs to be considered early on.
One key takeaway for me in all of this: In some ways, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Good old management fundamentals still matter. Even in the new digital world, skills like listening, communication and service are still management difference makers. Just as they’ve always been.
Victor Lipman is an executive coach and author of Â The Type B Manager.