Management guru Peter Drucker has said that “Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” meaning you can do everything right from a strategy standpoint, but if you don’t have the correct culture, then you won’t be successful. A key part of culture is talent. Not talent in the sense of the unequally bestowed gift that separates Meryl Streep from anyone who has ever appeared on Jersey Shore, but talent in the sense of what employees bring to their work roles. This is more than the sum of their technical skills…it includes hard-to-measure qualities coveted by leadership like adaptability, creativity, problem-solving, and an appetite to learn more. And without talent, digital transformation is impossible.

So how do you win in the digital economy? Talent.  Digital transformation blossoms when organizations keep these three people-centric practices in mind.

  1. Create a culture focused on your people. As technologies surrounding advanced data analytics, machine learning, AI, and more gain sophistication seemingly by the day, it’s tempting to think that a What can solve more business problems than a Who. But even the best technologies can only go so far. As you learn in our eBook, Seeing 2020: How to Focus on Digital Transformation Without Losing Sight of Your People, people-first thinking is the key to unlocking successful digital transformation.
  2. Foster a learning environment. This is where investing in your people…your talent…makes all the difference. Shortsighted companies think the solution to this dilemma is new hires. “My people aren’t ready to support our digital transformation?” a CEO thinks. “Then I’ll hire new people.” But this strategy is deeply flawed for a simple reason: that highly trained, tech-savvy, industry-specialized person you dream of finding may exist, but they are undoubtedly being wooed by other companies pitching better salary or perks than you can offer. And if you do land that unicorn, how likely will they be to stay if your culture doesn’t encourage their growth? Nurture creativity and innovation. Talent comes from unexpected places, and if you build a culture around breakthrough thinking, you will give people the opportunity to learn. This learning is critical for improving your workforce’s digital dexterity and data literacy and supporting them in becoming better stewards of your most important asset: your data.
  3. Allow employees to adapt. Grow and develop talent from within. Make your workforce part of your journey. Provide an environment that reduces fear and instead encourages people to be authentic and take chances. If failure is destigmatized (hey…even Meryl Streep made some bad movies), then people will feel empowered to try a skill that they’re not sure they can master, or suggest an idea that may not work, or volunteer for a project that seems impossible. Showing your employees you value them no matter what, builds trust, and for workers, that trust inspires confidence in their own abilities and in the organization.

In the end, if you focus only on technology, you won’t be successful. You must turn your attention to your people and make them part of your digital transformation journey. Because that’s when the magic happens.

To learn more about how Sense Corp Organizational Change Management services can help with the right processes, tools, and techniques to achieve your digital transformation, contact us.

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