Posted by MeridianLink | August 16, 2022

How Corporate Culture Impacts Digital Transformation

Corporate culture – the set of beliefs and behaviors that guide how an organization’s management and employees interact and handle business operations – can have a huge impact on the success of the company. More than just progressive employee benefits programs and positive cross-cultural experiences, organizations are also focusing on a more tech-conscious, modern approach to fostering a strong corporate culture. 

Digital transformation is a hot topic, and organizations – including the financial services industry – understand how newer and better technology solutions can allow for more seamless communication and collaboration within the organization, as well as to accelerate growth. What’s more important than technology, however, are the people who use it, and how they interact with their organization’s stakeholders. 

The success of any digital transformation is dependent on culture. It can support the transformation process, or it can kill it before it has a chance to become reality. Some organizations have cultures that are slow to change, where people frequently say, “we’ve always done it that way.” With that mindset, it’s unlikely a digital transformation initiative will be successful. 

Five key barriers to a successful digital transformation are: 

  • Lack of leadership vision and commitment to the strategy
  • Lack of digital skills
  • Fear of change
  • Poor communication
  • Limited opportunities to collaborate

Creating an environment where people embrace change is the type of culture where innovation and production thrive, where employees challenge the status quo and proactively question, “how can we improve this process?” 

Organizations transforming digitally require a successful leadership strategy where the executive team is familiar with digital technologies, aligned, and committed to the vision. And that vision needs to be communicated clearly, early in the process, and often.  

A comprehensive communication plan that delivers key messages from the right people through multiple channels will help alleviate the fear of change. Adoption of the overall digital transformation strategy will depend in great part on the people affected by the change, and they will get on board faster when they understand the purpose of the change.  

Developing talent and digital skills throughout the organization is one of the most important factors in a successful digital change effort. Redefining current individual roles and responsibilities so they align with the strategy and vision, providing training opportunities to build digital muscle, and attracting the right digital talent will build capabilities for the future. 

Empowering employees to work in new ways and gaining their input on where digitization could support the business will support transformation success and organizational change. Creating different, more positive experiences for everyone within the organization will help drive change and deliver the results the organization is targeting. 

Consumers demand a faster, easier, simpler digital experience with everything they do. And that includes loan and account origination and other banking services. Transitioning to a digital-first approach can improve current operations, create new processes to deliver more value, and help organizations meet and exceed their digital transformation goals.  

But organizations can’t drive change without addressing their corporate culture. Companies that focus on culture are five times more likely to have a successful digital transformation. To move forward successfully, organizations will need to create an environment where the people feel empowered, take personal accountability and connect with the goals and vision of the organization. 

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