Liderazgo y Gestión July 17, 2019

How does digital make us review the way we work and learn together

Written by  Gilles Baudens and Frédérik Barbieux  

To embrace the full value of digital, it is important for an organisation to make a people transformation, both individual and collective.

A challenge about digital, for any company, is to become a learning organisation, through the development of three categories of practices: those related to the relationship with oneself and with others. Those allowing to perceive, represent, understand and share all the complexity of the systems encountered. And those gathering the know-how necessary to engage collectively in value-creating actions.

The benefit to the company is the acquisition of the know-how to operate in agile mode end-to-end, throughout its value chain.

The stakes

Digital is the opportunity for everyone to access information in a global way. It allows massive exchanges of ideas, opinions, information and experience sharing.

It is clear that this is a great asset to promote products and services to a great number of people, and to continuously adapt to better address the market. For a given company, this mass of available information is to be captured and computed in order to better manage the activity.

How can we seize this opportunity?

Firstly, collect

A first step is to implement a perpetual monitoring to collect information from the customer journey upstream of purchase, then their comments and feedbacks about how they perceive the offers of the company and its partners.

The company can also scrutinize the communication of its suppliers and partners, searching efficiency and effectiveness levers.

A third enhancement of the information available, aims to monitor the initiatives of existing competitors, and those of potential new entrants, who propose innovations likely to shake the established players in the market.

Then, welcome and analyze

Exploring the environment could lead the organisation to adopt a position of reactivity to the observations and changes it observes in the market. To go beyond the stage of reactivity, a posture of welcoming and openness must instead allow the company to find its singularity, which is a source of value creation for its market and for itself. 

This welcoming and open approach to the opinions and ideas of customers, partners, suppliers and competitors, leads to an analysis that truly integrates the complex dimension of the ecosystem, taking into account all its diversity.

It requires a collective ability to break away from its cultural envelopes. Each actor of the organisation is then invited to question the practices, beliefs and values, objectives and meaning that have led the organisation to its current functioning and to the offers it has today for the market.

Then, reinvent yourself

This detachment from the practices, beliefs and values present in the organisation will prepare it to build its future identity. This will be either based on a reinforcement of its singularity, or it will result from a progressive or radical transformation of all or part of its offers, resources, practices, objectives, values and beliefs.

It is the synthesis between its past, present, and its emerging future. It selects the evidence between its own singularity stemming from its past, on the other hand the objective understanding of the posture and the expectations of the actors in its current ecosystem, and finally the observation of what emerges by the stimulation of the creativity of employees likely to lead to innovations. 

Finally, act
This synthesis of offers and practices, of meaning and objectives, of values and beliefs, is the breeding ground for defining the new shared meaning for the company, which concretizes the beginning of a new chapter in its history, allowing each collaborator to find the conditions for his engagement.

The next step will then be to get organized to project ourselves collectively, in order to achieve this desirable future for all.

One condition: your ability

In order to engage the company in its path for success, it is necessary to acquire know-how through the development of individual and collective practices. For everyone and in a collective way, this ability to welcome the ideas and opinions coming from their ecosystem, to adjust the meaning and then to take action, requires a heavy work on oneself and significant learning activities. These revolve around three axes.

 

The first axis is to learn to better perceive and represent the system with which we interact, taking into account all the elements, their links and the diversity that results. Sometimes it is much simpler to ignore certain data or relationships to facilitate analysis and decisions. Yet understanding and modeling complex systems, capitalizing on knowledge and sharing it, helps showing the relevance of choices, and thus better decision-making.

 

The second axis is to develop the relationship with oneself and others in order to achieve effective and efficient exchanges. Often, we adopt avoidance strategies that prevent us from addressing real problems or proposing original ideas. A developed relationship translates into a quality that integrates collective emotional intelligence supporting dialogue, collaboration and the balance of professional and personal life.

 

The obtained value

Finally, the third axis of progress is to develop individually and collectively our ability to question, perceive and adjust meaning at the heart of an uncertain and constantly changing environment. For the sake of efficiency, we sometimes forget to explain meaning when making a request. A collective and shared sense is very often for each of us, the condition to rebound, mobilize, engage and take action to participate in a business project that each of us will perceive as collective.

Although this requires stepping out of the comfort zone for each of us, this learning brings an undeniable value. It allows the entire organisation to change its operating mode: to go from a mode of transactional execution, to a way of managing the value chain, through efficiency and effectiveness, in agile mode.

 

To know more:

-  Two experts, involved in several transformations linked to digital, have partnered with Krauthammer to propose a workshop on the human factor in digital transformations. Please contact us if you want to know more about this.

-  Read also: The 3 pillars of digital transformation , CIOs are in the middle of digital transformations.

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