Implementing a Digital Business Strategy Implies Transforming Business Culture
Moving from doing business in a traditional brick & mortar way to embracing a digital business strategy takes more than just instructing the IT department to roll out digital tools across the business. It requires a profound re-designing of the business model and a complete transformation of the business culture that enables the strategy.
Companies that are taking this initiative are committed to build new competences, respond to a fast changing business landscape and consumer behaviours, create value of a different nature, but have they identified the changes required from their organisation and culture to successfully embrace their new digital business strategy?
To fulfill the transformation the following practices are crucial:
Ensure management and stakeholders are on board and aligned with the strategy
Make “digital” everybody’s business, not just IT
Become Customer “obsessed”: Align internal stakeholders on culture change
Set KPIs and measure progress
Ensure management and stakeholders are on board & aligned with the new strategy.
Implementing a digital business model requires the organisation to embrace and take ownership of what it means for stakeholders, business processes and each individual is critical to its success from Board to office floor. Habits, resistance to change or corporate inertia may get in the way and need to be addressed and dealt with early on to create a culture of employee ownership. Understanding the ‘why’ of the new digital strategy is key to enhance the sense of ownership. Once the need for change is understood and accepted, work with people in the organisation can focus on crafting the framework required to implement it - establishing key projects and milestones critical to the success of the new business model.
Make “digital” everybody’s business, not just IT.
As the company shifts away from traditional ways of working, the organisation will have to be re-trained to engage with the new business model as well as with the use of new digital tools. A more collaborative stakeholder relationship between customer, supplier, operations, technology and people will need to be invented and implemented. A redesign of business processes and a realignment with the different stakeholders will be critical. This holistic transformation will be successful when led by all members of the Management Team, together with IT in support of the technology.
Align internal stakeholders to become Customer “obsessed”.
Cultural transformation starts at the top and the success of the new digital strategy will require all individuals in the organisation to be aligned and fully committed to becoming customer-centric. Data analysis, customer insights, data-based decisions, product and service development close to customer need, customer experience feedback, multiple touch points, emotional bonding, speed of response and precision targeting are all new tools that drive the transformation, inspire the organisation and ultimately lead to success.
Set KPIs and measure, measure, measure.
KPIs are critical to set a base line against which an organisation can measure progress. It also helps various employee groups understand how they can and are expected to contribute to the new strategy for example regarding how customers rate the interaction with the business or the ease of paying online. Time is of the essence in a fast-changing landscape and cultural transformation is critical to success. Establishing robust KPIs, project implementation plans and milestones are key to ensuring everybody is committed and energised and remains inspired and engaged at all times!
I welcome your feedback and am available to support you implement your digital strategy.