HEC Paris Leaders of Tomorrow Series

A Human-Driven Transformation (Digital Transformation)

Digital technology is reshaping the economic landscape and the frontiers between different sectors are becoming less distinct. Driverless cars are a perfect example.

 

Breaking down barriers

Only a few years ago, we would have associated them with science fiction, but thanks to rapidly evolving technology and the involvement of different sectors in the project, they are now a reality. Ranked as one of the most promising recent innovations, self-driving cars are a direct result of the effective collaboration between car manufacturers, internet giants and specialized startups. The complexity of the project requires as much skill in automotive engineering as artificial intelligence.

This convergence of sectors, which at first glance does not seem to have much in common, is one of the reasons companies find themselves in unfamiliar competitive environments. This is why they need leaders who can think and act quickly, and who have the ability to transform their business models.

You need to consider your ecosystem in the broadest sense and include your employees, suppliers and customers. Being the architect of your digital culture requires patience and the ability to bring together diverse skills in an open-minded way to ensure every team member can take ownership of the project.

To encourage collective intelligence, it is necessary to break down silos, promote interaction between employees and to open up the business to the outside world, as ideas can come from anywhere.

To be effective, a digital transformation culture has to begin inside the company. The first key step is to make the transition from a co-operative working culture to a collaborative one. You need to begin by identifying and developing the talents you have in the organization, and decide on the best way to deploy them in the company. It is only at this stage that you are in a position to establish what resources and skillsets are missing, and who you need to recruit.

Giving employees more flexibility and freedom in managing their workload enables companies to develop greater diversity and creativity. Modern open space workplaces enable startups, freelancers and corporate professionals to interact and exchange. Encouraging informal meetings, both inside and outside of the company, is an ideal way to promote a collaborative mindset.

“In major companies, it’s important to work in small groups in which team members with different skills can work together and help each other, instead of competing against one another. Being the architect of your digital culture requires patience and the ability to bring together diverse skills in an open-minded way to ensure every team member can take ownership of the project.” JEAN-RÉMI GRADATOUR, HEC PARIS DIGITAL CENTER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

 

Click here to download the HEC Paris White Paper
HOW TO DEVELOP DIGITAL CULTURE THAT TRANSFORMS YOUR BUSINESS

About the Author

HEC Paris specializes in education and research in management sciences. As a leading academic institution in Europe and worldwide, HEC Paris offers a complete and unique range of education programs for students and executive education programs for leaders.