The unprecedented times we are living in today, ushered in by a global pandemic, have revolutionized the way businesses are being conducted and how! Everything from working to learning to doing is now enabled by technology and tools.

But is this how Digital Transformation was meant to pan out? What about our readiness and the timelines we had laid down to roll it out at OUR pace?

Covid-19 did what most businesses couldn’t do themselves. It created a new order, a new normal with DIGITAL at its heart.               

The Digital Transformation Disruption

Even though 87% of companies believe digital will disrupt their industry, only 44% are adequately prepared for projected disruption due to digital trends.

This ‘preparedness’ was overridden by corona virus, which compelled businesses worldwide to go digital, making ‘remote’ the middle name for all things working, doing and learning. Employers and employees alike had to learn and adopt to new tools and technologies along the way affecting efficiency, productivity and team morale.

“There is a tendency to see digital technology as an opportunity or choice. However, the mounting pressures of a rapidly shifting business landscape are turning digital from a choice into an imperative. The longer a business waits, the more marginalized it will become.” – John Hagel, Co-Chairman of the Centre for the Edge at Deloitte

While the reasons for the sluggish transition to Digital Transformation have been varied, on one hand it’s the lack of understanding of what it encompasses and entails and on other it’s the nature of the industry and the workforce (read: traditional, blue collar), the number one limiting factor across the spectrum has been looking at tech adoption as a ‘risk and cost’ vs. ‘value and differentiator’.

Whichever way you choose to look at it, Digital Transformation is here to stay.

Connecting the dots between Digital Transformation and Learning

The goal of digital transformation is to use technology to solve traditional problems. Drill this down and you will uncover areas where the rubber meets the road – it’s about integrating technology into the very fabric of the business – seamlessly. When done right, digital transformation allows companies to provide unprecedented value to all stakeholders.

But how do you do it for a journey (yes, Digital Transformation is a journey, not a destination) with multiple moving parts?

The answer is in the details. Or rather, in L&D.

Learning and training is the missing link to Digital Transformation as it enables smooth transition to a tech-enabled way of (work) life.

  • The Culture Pillar

“The big moment for an organization is when they have embraced the fact that digital transformation isn’t a technical issue, but a cultural change.” – Ian Rogers, Chief Digital Officer at LVMH

Culture dictates what happens and does not happen in a company, it’s as simple as that! Being the shared ethos of an organization, it lays down the framework on how the business will be done, how people will co-work, what working style will be accepted etc. oftentimes without an explicit definition of the ground rules.

So much is the importance of the company culture that it can work for or against the business. It’s no surprises then that 62% of organizations consider their company culture the number one hurdle in their journey.

To develop a culture conducive to digital transformation, company-wide transparency, communication, collaboration, development and mind shift is essential.L&D plays an integral role in this by identifying the culture and leadership competencies that support accelerated change. A culture of continuous learning, for one, encourages self-paced, self-driven training for employees. A critical piece to this puzzle is buy-in from the top management. Every executive and leader must play a role in championing digital change and uniting digital transformation with the company’s bigger picture. After all, Digital Transformation is a top-down initiative requiring change at all levels of an organization and can’t be done in siloed environments.

  • The People Pillar

“Transformation is not something you can do for somebody. You have to do it with somebody.”-Nigel Vaz, Global CEO at Publicis Sapient

While Digital Transformation strategy is about technology, it doesn’t amount to much without the workforce embracing it. Which is why due emphasis needs to be placed on killing people to leverage new opportunities brought in by technologies and tools.

71% of leaders cite the workforce as either very or extremely important in supporting their digital transformation strategy.

For Learning and Training, the needle needs to move from being reactive to proactive. It’s no longer about closing a skill gap or solving a performance problem, it’s about empowering employees to become a strategic enabler for the business.L&D needs to plan for training interventions that inform and educate employees about the evolving digital landscape, ensure they have the competency for new software and processes, and can stay skilled according to emerging trends and evolutions from a future-proofing perspective.

  • The Change Pillar

“The key to digital transformation is re-envisioning and driving change in how the company operates.” – Capgemini Consulting

The only thing that remains constant is change. Which is why L&D needs to be immersed in the organization’s strategic and operating priorities, so it can provide practical, meaningful programs that support and drive change.The lack of which will not only lead to the failure of digital transformation but will prevent the business from achieving a competitive advantage.

With regard to bringing about change management, merely telling your people about it isn’t going to help them become change agents. But equipping them with the necessary tools and techniques will enable the alignment of the company’s culture, values, people, and behaviors — to encourage the desired results.

At the end of the day, Organization Culture, People and Change Management need to work together to bring about Digital Transformation as each acts as a feed forward loop to lay the ground work for the next.

Join us for an insightful webinar “Learning and Digital Transformation: Connecting the dots” on May 5, 3PM IST to learn:

  • The what, why and how of Digital Transformation (DX)
  • Importance of L&D in DX
  • Relooking at organizational L&D from the POV of: Employee Development, Change Management, Organizational Culture

Book your seat now

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