How to: change business culture

07/21/2017  |  Corporate Innovation

Culture change is a vital factor for accelerating your business into the future. However, establishing a new mindset goes far beyond the adoption of new technologies: It’s more crucial, yet harder to achieve. As economist Peter Drucker once said: “culture eats strategy for breakfast” – if done right! So don’t worry, we got your back with a how to guide to business culture change. Let’s go through the key elements that drive cultural change in the era of digitalization!

Step #1: the customer is king

The most successful companies all follow a customer-centered policy. Dig a little deeper and you’ll see that customers are getting far more value from internet disruption than businesses. This highlights the need for organizations to drive loyalty through relationships with their customers, which in essence is created through multiple touch points in the entire consumer journey. The way to improve these touch points builds on in-depth customer understanding.

There’s a distinctive need for a shift from an analogue culture that pushes ideas to the market to a digital culture that pulls in ideas from the market and responds to customer needs efficiently and effectively.

Step #2: purpose-driven

Businesses today require far more than a vision and a mission; they require a clear sense of purpose for both, employees and customers. But to get both parties to pull together you need a purpose – it’s not just about making money. Defining your social responsibility, which is of high importance to your customers, right through to measuring your employee’s levels of happiness should be at the top of your agenda.

Step #3: rethink leadership structures

Nowadays, more and more businesses are following the trend of doing away with complex hierarchical structures and are opting for a far leaner approach. Surely not every company can function without hierarchy though. Nevertheless, businesses can still benefit from a reconsideration of leadership structures. However, keep in mind that a change in the leadership style should be prepared, supported and communicated well to all employees of the company. Read more about what leadership in digital transformation requires.

Step #4: clear and focused objectives

Organizational change can often be met with disgruntled employees becoming demotivated, especially when the objectives for change are not made crystal clear to all from the outset. Change often affects everyone to some degree, so it’s important to include the entire workforce in the process and be sure to communicate both, the opportunities and risks, that are likely to arise.

Step #5: commit, whatever the cost

When considering a new cultural shift within your business you need to empower the people who will support the project and get the job done on time and on budget. This support is vital for a successful process and allows you to embrace change for the better, rather than nervously waiting to see how things may pan out.

Change can often be difficult for many of us to accept, that’s for sure – but don’t let the fear of the unknown hold you back from improving yourself. Instead, trust in your cultural shift, leadership and collaborations.

Want to learn more about how to improve your business processes and working habits? Feel free to browse through the Business-Hacks section in our blog.