Business culture becoming digitally mature – but people are lagging behind

Sep 9, 2015 | Digital marketing skills, Online advertising

Global brands are beginning to see a new business culture emerge as a result of digital transformation, but they have yet to really identify the digital capabilities needed to fully embed this change, according to new research. New research among senior management has revealed that six out of ten directors (57%) say their business has […]

Global brands are beginning to see a new business culture emerge as a result of digital transformation, but they have yet to really identify the digital capabilities needed to fully embed this change, according to new research.


New research among senior management has revealed that six out of ten directors (57%) say their business has seen an emergence of a new culture integrating company heritage and appropriate digital behaviour.
It also indicates that their organisation has an increasingly mature attitude to risk and the need to change ahead of disruption.
In addition, 14% go one step further and believe they have a fully-fledged learning organisation – one that continually evolves and adapts whilst still remaining true to the company mission and customer values.
However, more than a third (35%) say their digital change still relies on hobbyists and passionate individuals and that they have no specialist digital people (so-called ‘Digital Natives’).
In fact, only 4% would call their employees genuine Digital Natives: agile and entrepreneurial change agents who are both passionate about customer value and embracers of technology.
The survey of over 40 senior managers at some of the world’s biggest brands was carried out at an event hosted by Brand Learning and global executive search firm Boyden.
In addition, it found that many organisational processes still aren’t fully aligned with digital: nearly half (43%) of organisations still rely on ad hoc processes, individuals and external agencies to provide basic digital services – and a similar percentage are only slightly better with established but still siloed digital processes.
Paul Randle, digital capability director at Brand Learning, comments: “Even companies that appear to be doing well in the digital space can be overly reliant on a small number of individuals, when the real challenge is to embed digital skills and behaviours across the organisation.
“Senior managers such as CMOs, CDOs and HR directors play a key role in identifying digital capability gaps and implementing solutions to address them. Unfortunately many feel frustrated as to how to embed digital change in the organisation. They feel too much focus is put on the technology or the exciting front end, rather than on the people-based capabilities required to enable real change. Many global companies are still struggling to become digitally mature. Their processes and cultures are slowly shifting, but they need to expand their pool of digitally-adept people, build skills across the organisation and to fully align their business objectives with their digital ones.”

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