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article imageBusinesses going digital need to develop new employee mindsets

By Tim Sandle     Feb 27, 2018 in Business
Businesses undergoing digital transformation need to consider work culture and the set of practices and attitudes of employees as much as they consider specific technologies, according to a new report from Gartner.
The key message from the research by analysts at Gartner is that a technology shift that is not sufficiently supported by a corresponding cultural shift will place the success of a digital business initiative at considerable risk. A considerable emphasis need to be placed on 'growing' the mindset of the staff. This is outlined in the report "Digital Business Requires a New Mindset, Not Just New Technology."
Speaking with IT Online about the new report, Aashish Gupta, who is a research analyst at Gartner, says that mindsets must be aligned to the mission and culture of the organization. “This requires a healthy and psychologically safe team environment within a growth mindset organizational culture", the researcher suggests.
In undertaking this change in perspective, a careful plan is required since there is no off-the-shelf set of solutions. This is because each organisation has its own unique culture. Thus C-level executives need to understand the nuance of attracting and retaining talent with the appropriate values and mindsets for digital transformation.
Nevertheless Gupta goes on to state, from the Gartner report, that there are some general approaches that businesses need to adopt, adding in their own special characteristics. These core values are:
Vision
This value is about developing a compelling vision, in the form of a shared narrative designed to inspire and motivate staff with the desire for the change. This helps with the "growth mindset", which is about people being "comfortable with the speed of the digital era." In a mature culture, employees will accept and take responsibility.
Define
Businesses need to define key behavioral attributes, which reflect the target mindset change. These attributes may be individual or team orientated, and include achieving new business goals or employees acquiring new skills.
Implement
With implementation, there is an important role for Human Resources, who should ensure that metrics now include the key behavioral attributes. This ensures that the required cultural changes are visible.
Measure, Monitor and Wait
It is important for businesses to take each stage at a time, allowing time for the changes to percolate. The time to move on should be selected from continuous measurements and monitoring of the changes. Other measures include the use of employee surveys.
The new culture does not simply apply to staff outside of the IT function. An earlier Gartner report notes how Information Technology leaders need to adopt businesses acumen in order to gel with other leaders within the organization. This is necessary as so to shift IT focus from optimizing IT operational efficiency to driving business effectiveness.
For an example of a company that has reformed its management roles and responsibilities and which is revising its employee culture, see the Digital Journal article "Aegon embarks on digital platform journey."
More about digital transformation, Businesses, digital technology, Gartner