The dawn of the cognitive era creates newer, and in many cases bigger, opportunities for businesses to generate value from and for their customers. Imagine helping your workers take an amplified intelligence approach that combines human insights with machine-generated insights to focus on improving core operations and enabling better outcomes. These things are finally within reach.
All of this is creating a world where it’s possible to anticipate and meet every need of your client consistently, while enhancing that relationship through a series of seamless experiences – regardless of the touchpoint or business division. It’s a vision we’re all familiar with, as business leaders today. But getting there is still a huge challenge. So, how do you actually make this vision a reality?
If you’re leading a large company, you most likely came up in a world where technology and its limitations were the biggest challenge to delivering on customer needs. As technology and data capabilities have accelerated exponentially, that has shifted. Now, our biggest challenge lies in reorchestrating our people to realize the highest potential of these technologies – so that they in turn can meet the needs of our employees, suppliers, and ultimately our end customers.
Many of our clients are in different places on that journey – somewhere on a spectrum that includes exploring, doing, becoming and being “more digital.” And being digital is, at its core, the essence of what we call the Intuitive Enterprise – it’s the ability to work with speed, agility, and continually iterating your products and offerings to sense, adjust, and influence your marketplace.
Executives are often measured by their success in delivering results, product releases and improving operational efficiency. This can make it difficult for them to knowingly cause disruption with initiatives to become more digitally mature as they address critical business issues such as Digital Transformation, Customer Experience and Future of Work.
We all know that growing digital maturity is disruptive – because it is so much more about how people work together, than just giving them new tools. More than 70% of digitally mature organizations say they are increasingly cross-functional. That means your people have to learn to work across traditional business divisions, and the path to get a project done may be completely different from what it would have looked like 20 years ago.
As leaders, this means we need to make the commitment to setting new expectations and incentives for our people so that they can make these shifts toward a more collaborative and integrated culture. It’s critical not only for our organization’s digital maturity, but ultimately the success of our businesses. We have to collaborate and converse so that, together, we propel the business forward.
Of course, we can’t discount the level of technology sophistication needed. But from my perspective in working with many different clients, the root of this comes down to the attitude of your people – a deeply cultural element, which can be an enormous challenge to shift and is often a barrier to reaching your goals.
Stanford University psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., discovered a simple but groundbreaking idea: the power of mindset. Our attitude, by definition, is a set way of thinking typically reflected in a person's behavior. Making shifts starts with the power of believing you can improve and make a difference.
As we’re looking at the biggest gaps in our businesses today – between what is possible and what we’re really able to deliver – harnessing the power of attitude becomes the unifying link. When the people in your organization are empowered with the right attitude, it unlocks the potential of all the technology you’ve invested in. That attitude is one that accepts risks, is open to collaboration, and willing to be nimble. After all, advances in technology are the fuel, but our attitudes drive behavior and reinforce the culture of our workforce for sustainable success.
In other words, when you have people willing and eager to work together, make meaningful changes, and take needed risks, that is the secret sauce that brings you close to realizing the true potential of digital. Achieving digital maturity rests in the ability to merge this kind of attitude with our human and artificial intelligence.
The challenge to become digital is, at the end of the day, about people right now. And until we as leaders realize this and focus on the shifts in behavior needed to harness it, we will lag behind what is truly possible.
How are you leading your organizations into this frontier? And how are you shifting the attitudes, so your people are primed to take you there?