Culture: Change It or Digital Transformation Will Fail

Digital transformation means changing the way your business works, and that means changing the way your people work.

“Companies find themselves in a crisis because they can’t respond to change, even if they recognize the need for transformation. This is the age of extreme competition.” – Idris Mootee, Idea Couture. 

It’s large organizations that face the biggest challenge in this area, having made idols of stability and predictability – which directly oppose the need for agile experimentation. There’s a particular tension in highly regulated industries such as financial services and healthcare where the need for governance and compliance creates a barrier to agility.

Sound familiar? Well if your organization needs cultural change (and I can almost guarantee you that it does), then here are a few thought starters to get you on the path to agility and innovation:


Don’t underestimate the importance of language in the way your business works. Change the way you talk about work, and you’ll start to change the work itself. Are there terms used in your business that don’t reflect your aspirations?


Think about how you could restructure your team, and even your board around the results that you want to achieve. Changing leadership structure is an important way of refocussing your organization around key goals.


When it comes to digital transformation in an enterprise, individual change agents are critical, but it won’t be long before they need to call on their counterparts, so think about how you could foster collaboration between teams.


Every organization is built on processes, so process improvement is a vital foundation for digital transformation. If not already documented, you need to model your business processes. As you’re doing this you’ll quickly see opportunities to optimize those processes, which you can then automate and digitize using agile process applications.

For many organizations, the biggest barrier to digital transformation is cultural resistance, and while the responsibility of delivering digital transformation may appear to fall on just a few people, it requires the support of many across the business, including the C-Suite. So your strategy for overcoming resistance should be based on evangelizing the benefits of digital operations by demonstrating quick results.

You can do this by focusing your initial efforts on one area where you can make rapid progress. By digitizing and automating a relatively simple business operation that touches many parts of the organization, you can illustrate the benefits and methodology without risking any disruption of critical day-to-day operations.

For more information on delivering results fast download our free guide on ‘How to Kick Start Your Digital Transformation‘ and for an analysis of the role of technology in transformation, read our post on ‘How Can Digital Business Platforms Speed Up Digital Transformation?