Our thinking

Organisations are evolving at record pace and our lives are changing dramatically, as a result of technological disruption. For organisations to remain competitive and survive, digital transformation is a critical business strategy. Making this transformation work takes guts, resilience and an organisational wide-effort.

Digital Experience Transformation

Don't become extinct in the digital evolution!

02 February 2019

Google, Apple and Spotify have become household names and have set the benchmark for other organisations wanting to become more ‘digital’. Their success is studied and coveted by other organisations; the products they launch, the early adoption of their emerging technology and importantly the culture they create that allows their workforce to innovate. Six of the top ten most valuable brands globally in 2018 are from the tech industry. In fact, the Top 5 Tech Companies in this list have a combined brand value of over $580 billion - more than the GDP of Austria (that’s a whole lot of wiener schnitzels)!

Valuable Companies

source: howmuch.net

Identified as the ‘fourth industrial revolution’, the integration of technology and the blurring of biological, digital and physical environments, impacts all businesses and shapes the future of work. So how do leaders ensure they prepare themselves effectively for this transformation? What is the approach to introduce digital capability at an organisational level, embed strategies that find new competitive advantages and foster innovation and experimentation? What is it about the working environments in the technology sector that have led to the success of some of the most valuable global brands? 

Digital Transformation @ Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC)

PWC is a strong example of a global transformation underway; upskilling its workforce, changing its workplace culture, and building digital capabilities is a critical priority to its organisational strategy.  PWC’s IQ Survey and internal research centre has found that companies that prioritise innovation, use cross-functional teams and agile approaches, and better understand the human experience financially outperform their peers.

PWC's Digital Fitness App demonstrates how change must occur for every person and level of the organisation. Embracing technology as a medium to upskill every employee's digital 'fitness' through interactive and short-burst learning. 

So what are we thinking about all of this? 

We have been researching what this means in supporting our clients, including a focus on digital upskilling, changes to operating models and the introduction of agile management. Our beliefs include:

  1. HR Leaders play a critical role in engaging the business in meaningful discussion on workplace transformation. Preparing the business for the future, building a value proposition for the new workplace environment and mapping new capabilities and talent should be on every HR agenda for 2019. 
  2. Commercially astute HR plans that recognise investment in employees and organisational capability should be a part of every HR strategy. In the race for digital upskilling and talent attraction, this is critical. There has never been a better time to align the HR function to commercial outcomes and growth. A core trend in the success of these companies is a long-term focus and investment in organisational development and a strong belief at the executive level that the right people, with the right behaviours, in the right environment, shape future success more than any other strategy.
  3. It’s called transformation for a reason (not a dip in the ‘let’s give it a go’ pool). It is difficult, challenging and filled with ambiguity. It will also not happen immediately and require constant reiteration in the process. There are many examples locally such as our biggest telcos and banks embracing agile management and digital strategies in more traditional functions. Some of these implementations are often a second or third attempt at significant costs to create a sustainable change, but they are sticking at it, with the right leadership and a long-term plan in place.
  4. Developing physical and psychologically safe workplace environments must be an integral part of that transformation. Claiming to be agile and not identifying a change to leadership behaviours, cultural standards, HR policies and importantly ways of working, is a slap to the founders of the agile manifesto. Importantly, you can lose external credibility fast and lose great talent by masquerading. So be prepared to stare down current practices and if necessary, call the baby ugly. It is a difficult process that requires egos to be left at the door and a joint effort to make the organisation succeed, rather than driven by individual agendas or short term objectives.

We are interested to hear your thoughts and challenges in the digital evolution and about your journey in the future of work and business! Get in touch below!

Felix 

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