4 Steps to Transform Your Work Culture for Speed and Innovation

By Caitlin Denham-Swanson

In the digital era, Speed + Agility + Innovation = Competitive Advantage. And too often, digital transformation is hailed as the singular answer. Countless apps and digital productivity tools promise greater speed and agility, but do they deliver? In today’s business environment, digital transformation is not enough.

Digital Transformation + Cultural Transformation = Success

While the right technology offers incredible potential, it must be accompanied by a shift in workplace culture to fully unlock speed, agility, and innovation — a new work style tailored to the digital age, emphasizing collaboration and empowerment so teams can get more done. The formula is “Digital Transformation + Cultural Transformation = Success.” Or, more succinctly, it’s called a “Culture of Action.”

3 Challenges in the Age of Digital Disruption

Why do companies need to create a workplace driven by a Culture of Action? Consider the pressures they face on three fronts:

  1. Faster competition
    Digital technology and intensifying competition are accelerating the speed of business. In a recent Forbes Insights/Treasure Data survey, 80% of executives said they are being directly affected by competition from digital and data-savvy players.
  2. Rising customer demands
    Customer expectations are at an all-time high. Super-connected, hyper-informed customers demand fast and accurate responses.
  3. Changing employee expectations
    As the war for talent continues, attracting and retaining digitally talented employees is essential to remaining competitive. Today’s workforce demands more autonomy, flexibility, and collaborative approaches.

A Culture of Action allows for greater speed — an essential response to these challenges. Organizations that are too slow and unresponsive will not survive. To remain competitive, they must evolve their digital technology and workplace culture in tandem.

4 Steps to Creating a Culture of Action

A Culture of Action can be built at any organization, large or small. Here are the four key steps, each with a culture and technology component:

1.CONNECTION: Connect every person and every tool to drive operational agility.

a. Culture: A Culture of Action starts with connected people, all of them plugged in and energized with the same purpose and passion. A team spread halfway around the world should feel the same sense of trust, transparency, and inclusion as those working face to face.
b. Technology: For employees to work faster and more dynamically, tools and platforms must be tightly integrated with one another or replaced with a unified productivity platform that brings it all together and integrates with CRM.

2.COLLABORATION: Embrace purposeful collaboration across every team.

a. Culture: Make collaboration a core part of your culture, but always initiate “purposeful collaboration” with an end goal in mind, focused on outcomes and results.
b. Technology: For speedier collaboration, migrate to a unified productivity platform that pulls info from various sources to create a single, contextual workspace — no more constant jumping between separate tools and apps.

3.EMPOWERMENT: Empower teams to make faster, better decisions.

a. Culture: In a Culture of Action, organizational leaders empower teams to solve problems with greater autonomy. Teams are aligned around corporate goals, accountable for results, and encouraged to share new ideas.
b. Technology: Today’s digital tools must support empowered teams by providing instant access to information and communication (comments, messages, etc.) that is visible to all, rather than siloed like email or chat.

4.INNOVATION: Translate productivity gains into constant innovation.

a. Culture: A Culture of Action gives employees the gift of time. But leaders must set the expectation that productivity gains be invested in continual innovation and improvement.
b. Technology: A single productivity platform allows good ideas to be captured, discussed, and quickly elevated if worthy of pursuit.

In an era where innovation advances at breakneck speed, you need to empower leadership and encourage new ideas at every level of the organization. By building a Culture of Action, you’ll achieve that competitive advantage. Get ready for more decisive and productive employees, happier customers, and faster growth.

Learn more about transforming workplace culture: Download The Empowered Workplace: How to Build a Culture of Action in the Digital Age.