How to Create a Digital Culture

The most successful companies understand the value of creating a strong digital culture. They strive to avoid reliance on dated technologies to run their business processes and manage their employees. Instead, they brilliantly invest in furthering their technology footprint by staying a miles ahead ahead of their competition to the point where their competitors can’t quite see what they are up to. Creating a true digital culture leads to accelerating employees growth and development. Having modern systems to manage business processes is critical to developing a digital culture. And, it’s not just the online-born companies, big and small, that have adopted this cultural change, but  traditional companies established long before the Internet who are progressively transforming their company culture code. We live a hyper-competitive business landscape. In order to compete, we must give our trainees the competitive advantage of not only tools and technologies, but the digital culture and mindset to manage its current state and future direction. To quote one of my favorite technology quotes from Steve Jobs, “What a computer is to me is the most remarkable tool that we have ever come up with. It’s the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.” Jobs understood the beauty of technology and had the digital mindset needed to change the way we navigate through the world.

Six Steps to Creating a Successful Digital Culture

Digital commerce permeates our everyday work environment reaching every industry throughout the globe. Leaders at traditional companies must propel themselves forward with the digital automation mindset complimented by an electronically-empowered workforce. Now, let’s take a deep dive into these six critical steps you’ll need to take into order to cross this digital cultural divide:

1. Define Your Company’s Digital Vision

Dream big in digital to become more digitally mindful  — Commit time to documenting the desired digital outcomes for your company in a 1, 5 and 10 year digital strategic roadmap, one that is clearly written and easily implemented at all levels of your organization. This roadmap includes what future software, systems, and technology employees you will need to reach your business goals. Enterprise-wide cultural change takes time to evolve, so set realistic deadlines for planning, implementation, and refinement. It is much like a vision statement being very succinct and to the point. You will be expanding and elaborating this vision in further detail on Step 6, The Digital Culture Code.

2. Document Your As-Is Technology Landscape

Put your stake in the ground right where you are now — To help identify exactly what cultural changes you need to make going forward, you must first identify what systems you are currently using so that you can assess where you need to be going forward from a digital culture perspective. Developing a digital culture means not only developing the digital mindset, but providing your employees with proper technology and systems that will help them do their jobs more efficiently. Continuing to process job functions, even within the realm of training management, will limit your employees and your company from reaching their potential growth and goals. This As-Is mapping will be used as your “before” comparison and will help to benchmark your current digital culture and shape what changes will be necessary moving forward.

3. Set SMART Digital Goals: Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic and Timely

As management consultant Peter Drucker once said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”  — Setting some solid goals and performance indicators with let your managers and employees know when they are hitting the mark in creating this enhanced digital culture. The goal you set should be: Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic and Timely  

4. Empower Through Digital Leadership

Leaders must walk the walk, not just talk the talk Your organization’s digital cutlure will expand and grow at rapid pace if your employees believe your leadership team is authentically prescribing to the new digital regime. Our acutely social world makes this easy to accomplish. Have your leaders share their transformation stories in townhall meetings, company news articles shared bot internally and externally, YouTube video testimonials and social media platforms. Whatever the channel or content, make it exciting and inspiring and your employees will be encouraged to follow the leaders.

5. Reward Through Recognition & Compensation

Pavlov was right — We are at work after all, despite many of us absolutely loving what we do. Once you’ve established the Digital Vision, As-Is Technology Landscape to compare the before and after results, the SMART Digital Goals to concretely measure, and the digitally innovative leadership to back it all up, spread the icing on the proverbial cake to seal the deal with your employees with verbal and monetary praise. It will delight and motivate them to continue to grow and learn in this new digital culture that you’ve now established.

6. Create the Digital Culture Code

Keep Moving Forward — Walt Disney was famous for this message of progress and evolution. To keep the digital culture an established “thing” moving forward into the great beyond, finalize the digital implementation process by wrapping up steps 1-5 in a Digital Culture Code. This document will list out the major qualities and associated desired outcomes once achieved. Hang your digital culture code proudly and openly within your companies physical office. Post it on your website’s About section, push it out in your company enews. Make tee shirts or microfiber cleaning cloths out of it. Evangelize it. Nurture it. Evolve it over time.

Photo Credit: Innovation Lab

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