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Digital Transformation Review n° 10

The Digital Culture Journey: All On Board!

Featured Contributors

Points of view are provided by those representing traditional companies, academia, and the Silicon Valley.

The view from traditional companies

How are large and traditional organizations tackling the thorny issue of digital culture?

Pete Blackshaw Pete Blackshaw, Global head of digital and social, Nestlé, argues that organizations must take nothing for granted when it comes to digital culture change. He says, “Changing culture must also involve a certain element of fear, restlessness, and even insecurity.” .
Janice L. Semper Janice L. Semper, culture transformation leader at GE corporate, outlines how to shift attitudes and mindset in an organization the scale of GE, including the importance of two-way communication and experiments focused on culture change.
Jennifer Waldo Jennifer Waldo, Chief HR Officer at GE Digital - created by GE in late 2015 to bring together all of its digital capabilities under one roof - outlines how digital transformation should not be treated as yet another transformation program. She says, “The things that have worked to manage change in the past are unlikely to work for culture transformation in the digital era.”.


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The View from Academia

What advice do leading academics have for organizations attempting to get digital culture change right?


PDeborah Ancona Deborah Ancona, Director of the MIT Leadership Center at the MIT Sloan School of Management, argues that front-line employees do not always understand what aspirations such as ‘agility’ and ‘innovation’ mean for them, and that organizations should focus on changing ways of working rather than mindsets. She says, “Culture is one of the slowest things to change. It is deeply ingrained and often tacit.”
Ethan Bernstein Ethan Bernstein, assistant professor in organizational behavior, at Harvard Business School, outlines how organizations need to transition to a true employee-centric culture to achieve their culture aims. He says, “Most companies have developed a management-centric digital culture, with little or no importance given to developing digital tools the way employees— not managers—would ideally use them.” .


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What do digital-native firms do differently when it comes to digital culture?

Tariq M Shaukat Tariq Shaukat, President of Google Cloud, Customers, outlines Google’s core belief that good ideas can come from anywhere, and how the business’s leadership team plays a critical role in creating a collaborative culture at Google.
Vala Afshar Vala Afshar, Chief Digital Evangelist at Salesforce, shares how his company has embedded social collaboration to drive transparency and support learning. He says, “Our social nature means that we have a culture of transparency, collaboration and continuous learning.”


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