52035374 - business people teamwork collaboration relation conceptWelcome to the digital age. It’s not surprising that we’ve arrived. It’s everywhere and touches every business. How does it affect your culture? Or perhaps could you say that your culture affects the digital age? If you’re looking to create the right in-house culture to improve your business’s digital impact, we’ve got some superb tips for you right here.

But to start, a question: What would you guess is one of the main impediments to succeeding in the digital age?

According to McKinsey’s recent survey of global executives, shortcomings in organizational culture is at the top of the list.

Did you realize that culture has such a big impact on a business’s success?

If you take a few minutes to think about it, it’s really not that surprising, is it? Perhaps there’s a company that needs to roll out a new management system to replace aging software. How many long-term employees might feel like running for the hills? Or maybe it’s a business that’s pushing to move more and more of its data into the cloud, but executives have real concerns about security? If the culture of the business isn’t one that can foster support for those long-term employees or provide real solutions for the executives and their concerns, such impediments will be very costly to businesses. Especially in the digital age where the pace of advancement leaves laggards in the dust!

Here are three ways to create the culture you want:

Make risk a positive thing

Wouldn’t it be amazing if your business culture was one where people felt emboldened to try new things and fail gloriously? Did you know that a big term in agile software development is FAIL FAST?! Don’t be scared off by this phrase. Here’s a great way to explain it, from Ben Rossi, “…if a failure is going to take place you want to reduce the time lag in a) detecting the failure, and b) relaying the detection back to the responsible developer.” Failures happen when you take a chance. You need to take a lot of chances in business.

Start at the top, with the right attitude and actions from leadership. McKinsey put it this way: “[Leaders] must break the status quo of hierarchical decision making, overcome a focus on optimizing rather than innovating, and celebrate learning from failure.” How cool is that?

Here’s the summary of how to create a culture that allows risk:

  1. Share decision making
  2. Learn to innovate
  3. Celebrate failures.

You can totally do that!

Set goals that match the pace of digital disruption

Every industry has already been or will be disrupted by digital innovations. If you don’t have a game plan for responding to disruption, now’s a great time to pull it together!

This is an area where the small and medium businesses have the upper hand. Why? Because your business can be more nimble with resources! In a big firm, how long might it take to reallocate to an area where you need to digitally innovate? How long does it take to approve capital purchases? How many roadblocks could be in the way because of policies and procedures? Yes, they may have the money, but how fast can a giant beast turn around and run in the other direction? Take advantage of your “little guy” agility and become a disruptor. Focus on building for the future.

Be loved by and love your customer

The digital age has given the customer the power. But it’s also giving businesses the tools to allow the customers to drive the ship. Give your customers the user experience they’ve dreamed of by using digital solutions to provide the following:

  1. Fast response times
  2. Customized products or services
  3. Easy access to information.

As the McKinsey report put it, these are the ways that companies such as Amazon and Apple provide “best-in-class user experiences.”

Sometimes the hardest part about this step is figuring out the right tools. We’d love to sit down with you and tailor some tech solutions for your business. Create the business culture that fosters digital success. For today’s industries, it’s a must have!