This post on CULTURE is a follow-up to our previous article titled “DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT”. We will continue to delve into critical aspects of digital transformation within the federal government as part of this series of articles.
COMPANY CULTURE EXPLAINED
Company culture is a critical component of any large-scale digital transformation initiative. In the context of federal government agencies pursuing digital transformation initiatives, company culture refers to the shared values, beliefs, and behaviors that shape the way employees interact with one another and with external stakeholders in relation to the implementation and adaptation of new technologies and digital processes. It includes the organization’s attitude towards innovation, risk-taking, experimentation, and willingness to change established ways of doing things. A positive company culture in this context can help employees feel more comfortable and excited about the changes, and be more willing to adopt new technologies and processes. Conversely, a negative company culture can also lead to resistance to change and make it harder for the organization to achieve its digital transformation goals. To position the federal government for success in digital transformation, leaders must cultivate talent, team dynamics, and work environments that actively foster collaboration, communication, curiosity, and flexibility.
INSIGHTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Key steps that government agencies can take to position themselves for successful digital transformation initiatives include:
- Communicate the vision: Clear and consistent communication is key when it comes to any major initiative. Government agencies should communicate a change story, which helps employees understand the who, what, where, and why the organization is changing, and why the changes are important. This will help to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals and that any resistance to change is minimized.
- Emphasize collaboration: Digital transformation initiatives often involve multiple departments and stakeholders. The Boston Consulting Group put it in clear terms stating “…Like customers, employees expect more today: they crave transparency and collaboration, want their voices to be heard, and want to be engaged in meaningful work. They want to know that their contributions have impact…” Government agencies should foster a culture of collaboration, encouraging cross-functional teams to work together to achieve the goals of the project.
- Promote a learning culture: Implementing new technologies and processes can be challenging, and government agencies should be prepared to support employees through the learning process. Leadership should assume responsibility for their team members’ futures, sharing their expertise, knowledge, and passion during training sessions. The Harvard Business Review discusses this in greater detail in its article “Developing a Digital Mindset”
- Encourage experimentation: As with any major change initiative, there will be some level of uncertainty. As noted by MIT Sloan in its Management Review: Accelerating Digital Innovation Inside and Out, agility is the key to any transformation. Government agencies should foster it starting by creating a business culture in which experimentation is encouraged and innovative ideas can flourish. Promoting the experimentation of new technologies and processes and sharing their successes and failures. This will help to build a culture of innovation and experimentation, which is essential for success in the digital age.
- Recognize and reward success: Finally, government agencies should recognize and reward employees who positively impact the digital transformation initiative. This helps to build a sense of ownership and engagement among employees, which is essential for long-term success. One way high-recognition companies foster this is by empowering team members with the ability to recognize their fellow employees through social reward systems and regular appreciation activities targeting the whole team. “These companies have 31 percent lower voluntary turnover than companies with poor recognition cultures,” according to research from Deloitte.
In conclusion, company culture plays a vital role in the success of large-scale digital transformation initiatives. By focusing on clear communication, collaboration, learning, experimentation, and recognition, government agencies can position themselves for success and ensure that the digital transformation initiative is successful and meets the goals, objectives, and priorities of the organization.
ROAM FEDERAL is a veteran-owned small business (CA certified small (micro)) headquartered in Carlsbad, CA providing consulting & advisory services worldwide. Our team delivers integrated strategy, digital and domain expertise, and applies real-world experience and insights gained from supporting clients and organizations across the Federal Government.