Culture Eats Digital Transformation for Breakfast

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Culture Eats Digital Transformation for Breakfast

It's not enough just to change the way your business runs; it has to be changed completely, from the inside out, from the bottom to the top.

· Agile Zone ·
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"Culture eats strategy for breakfast." —P. Drucker

Now is the time of digital transformation. Traditional businesses are investing millions to look like their GAFA models (Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple) which have become in a few years the symbols of disruption and innovation.

To survive in this world of uncertain future, where everything goes faster and faster, where the goal of unlimited economic growth begins to show its limits, and where the pressure of competition is constantly increasing, these companies are forced to place the customer at the center of their concerns to be able to understand their expectations, that’s a question of life or death! Nokia, which missed smartphones, or Kodak which missed digital camera are examples of companies which did not know how to reinvent themselves.

They spend millions, recruit, train, and implement scale Agile frameworks, with the aim of optimizing their processes and thus maximize their profits. It's beautiful on paper only, because in reality, there is not much that changes. New roles replace old roles; we do Scrum and find retrospectives are pretty cool for improving, we are rather satisfied because we managed to deliver a product in a few months instead of a few years, and then we believe we have arrived, and that the company is evolving for a better future. In fact, we are just stopping the bleeding because the corporate culture eats the digital transformation for breakfast. In other words, it is inefficient to launch a digital transformation without changing the culture of the company.

So how can we transform this culture of power and unlimited profit that no longer truly corresponds to our "standards of life," with a purpose that can inspire employees around a common vision and give them true meaning in their daily work?

The answer is quite simple: We must change the organization

An organizational change that tends to empower teams and flatten hierarchical structures is the key to boost digital transformation. A company that puts the employee at the center of their concerns, recognizing their true value, and building a consultation-based model of collaboration where management controls the system is replaced by a people trust system, where anyone can share their ideas, regardless of their role or hierarchical position, will sustainably activate its innovation and value streams.

This approach requires courage to break down the walls isolating top and middle management from the field. No more bi-, tri-, or quadrilateral meetings where we exchange our little secrets away from opportunistic ears; meetings are now global, and facilitated by coaches. Information no longer means power, it means sharing and collective intelligence. Digital transformation is a team journey, where everyone is not just looking for individual success.

I will end this post with a quote from Barack Obama:

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."

Business leaders, what are you waiting for to change the world?

agile, agile adoption, digital transformation, organizational change, organizational culture, organizational transformation

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