Hacking to help, not hinder
Let me share some culture hacks from other organizations to prime your business for effective digital transformation. In this sense, I'm talking about hacks as actions or techniques that can help drive change. As Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, explains, “Hackers build something quickly and test the boundaries of what can be done… They believe that something can always be better, and that nothing is ever complete."
1. Do a culture health check
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, believes the C in his job title stands for culture. The CEO is curator of an organization's culture, but a CEO's vision is a fraction of what is needed to transform company culture. For example, once you identify how to update company values, hold communication workshops to translate values into actions.
2. Experiment like a startup
In the past, it took P&G three years to bring a new product to market. By using a minimum viable product concept, they bought two new products to market in just one year. Other “lean startup" practices more traditional organizations have adopted include: daily “stand-ups" for faster decision-making, quarterly instead of annual planning to make room for experimentation, and implementing flat organizational structures for improved collaboration.
3. Don't fear failure but fail fast
Google X created a culture where failure is rewarded as much as success. This allows employees to experiment without fear. This led to good ideas being realized more quickly and bad ideas being left behind sooner. For example, you could initiate a time limit for key decisions to be made. It's not necessarily about being right; it's about empowering employees to act. And, when something doesn't work out, being able to move on quickly.
4. Support continual learning
Genpact is investing in Genome, which combines learning science and new operating models derived from MIT's Center for Collective Intelligence. The program identifies employees who have the skills and knowledge others need, and helps their peers put learnings into practice. Learning drives employee satisfaction, so consider how your organization could make continual learning part of the company culture.
In summary, culture is the foundation upon which digital transformation is built. It's not about the technology. If leaders want to be effective with their digital transformation, they first need to create a forward-thinking culture that puts everyone in the right mindset for success.