Technology holds the key to prosperity and growth for many businesses. That said, you’ll need a culture of change and adaptability if you want to make the most of it. Even more than size and budget, culture is a huge predictor of a company’s ability to succeed in today’s digital age. The good news: you can build a culture that embraces technological advancement. In fact, every leader in today’s workforce should make it a top priority if they want to succeed in today’s rapidly changing business world.
Understand Your Current Culture
How does your company manage change: With collaboration, forward movement, and support? Or infighting, crisis, and delays? The digital workforce requires adaptability and a clear vision to be successful. Lacking in that area? Don’t worry. The tech revolution can be a gift. It offers a chance to revisit your company’s culture and rebuild it from the ground up, focusing on collaboration, mission, and agility.
Just as it’s important to understand your own company culture, take time to know and understand that of your competitors. What are they doing well, and how prepared are they to manage the technology flowing into your industry? It’s impossible to live in a bubble in the digital age. Take time to learn from those around you.
Lead by Design
While top-down leadership is largely a thing of the past, it is still a key factor in ensuring the success of tech adoption within your company. Change is scary. Your employees want to know that leadership is on their side—on the field—in the game right along with them. How can you expect them to undertake a massive change otherwise?
Still, it’s not enough for leaders to merely model tech adoption. In the age of Instagram and Facebook—when even idols and super stars are accessible via one click—leaders must also make themselves accessible. The digital workforce prefers horizontal leadership, and that means working right alongside your team to ensure a smooth tech transition.
Offer a Clear Vision—and Stick to it
So, your company is tech savvy. Now what? Getting your team to embrace technology is pointless unless you can also get them on board with your company’s vision. Both digital revolution and vision must work together if your shift will be a successful one. When planning a digital roll-out, take time to thoroughly strategize and vet both short- and long-term plans. Employees are facing enough change in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, and they know from experience that whiplash isn’t fun. Ensure that the changes you plan to institute have staying power.
Communicate Early and Often
We live in an era when it’s possible to see global news in real time. It makes sense that employees expect clear and constant communication from their employers. Many businesses fall short in creating adaptable corporate culture because they forget that their employees—just as much as their customers—play a key role in the company’s success. Still, it’s not just enough to send formulaic emails and newsletters. Make sure your communication—be it email, text, town hall, or video message—is clear, authentic, and true. Let employees know when major changes are coming, and how they will be impacted. Just importantly, let them know the ways it will make their jobs and lives better.
Offer Time—and Training
Nothing creates more stress than unrealistic expectations. When planning major tech shifts, ensure adequate time to allow employees to get well-versed and comfortable with the new tech they’ll be using. Have the foresight to budget for additional training and back-up temp workers if needed to keep things moving smoothly. Your employees will be grateful—and so will your customers.
Make it Fun
If nothing else, technology is exciting! It offers new opportunities to increase efficiencies and make your entire company even more successful. Don’t forget to allow that element of fun to seep into your corporate culture. Allow for team socializing and strategy sessions, and invite involvement from all layers of your company, not just the C-Suite.
Remember, change is about evolution, not a revolution. Choose the apps, software, and aaS that truly serve and makes sense for your business, rather than creating extra layers of change where it is not truly necessary. Tech for the sake of tech alone is simply bad decision-making. Know your culture—and your business—well enough to embrace only that which promises to drive progress for your company.
Additional Resources on This Topic
Digital Transformation Cannot Succeed Without the Right Culture
The Role of Company Culture in Technology Integration Success!
Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in CIO.Com, CIO Review and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 5x Best Selling Author including his most recent “Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy,” Daniel is also a Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post Contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago Native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.