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Nurturing your workforce, in a digital native organisation

2 Mins read

 

When it comes to digital transformation, most businesses focus on new-age technologies and tools that can be used to explore ways to appeal to existing customers and discover newer segment of customers. However, focusing a bit too much on technology and tasks that are a part of a larger digital transformation strategy often leaves out a vital component to successful transitions – the employees within the organisation. Leaders often mistakenly overlook that it is indeed the people in the organisation who need to be enabled to use the technology, feel comfortable and supported in the roles that they would be playing.

As a leader, you want people to create agile, cross-functional teams who can punch above their weight and create disruption in the marketplace. The secret recipe for creating such teams lies in understanding that one size does not fit all and there are diverse individuals in an organisation.

The idea is to crack the right mix. Employees in an organisation can broadly fall into three categories. The three types of personalities that you should think about are – the 3 I’s – inventors, innovators, and iterators. Each of them would excel in a specific area. Inventors come into the picture when you want to break new ground or create something that does not exist and where the problem has not been solved yet. Innovators would help you to solve a problem using a technology that your company has already invested in, or when you try to reapply a process in an innovative way. You need iterators when you have already found the product/market fit and you need support to make iterations to the product, to drive it to be the best version for your customers as no product survives overtime, without modifications and updates. Typically, depending on the stage of your business, you must find the right mix between these personalities. Earlier on, you can invest heavily in finding inventors, who can solve big problems quickly. Later, people who are comfortable iterating and making adjustments would be tremendously valuable too.

In essence, being digital-first is multi-faceted and not bound by technology. In fact, being digital-first has very little to do with technology. Although imperative, technology is available to everyone. Technology can be bought and rolled out. The differentiating factor between a digital-native and a digital-immigrant is the mindset. As an organisation, there has to be a cultural shift, to embrace ideals of digital first, otherwise, the successes enjoyed by and associated with digital-first organisations would be far-fetched.

Culturally, there also needs to be a focus on continuous learning, across people, at all parts of the organisation. One facet that digital-native organisations tend to realise is that things move and change very quickly and when that happens, you must be equipped to adapt. To not learn perpetually and holistically would be to not prepare the team to counter what is about to come and eventually fall behind.

You also need to have a company-wide obsession with clients and make sure they are happy with your products and services. If you are not client-driven, technology will not be able to save the day. As a digital-first organisation, technology empowers us with data to make better decisions, at a quicker pace. Technology should be perceived as an enabler, to learn how well the business is doing, its progression, to identify strengths, potential pitfalls so that you can adapt quickly. These are some of the elements you must get in order, apart from technology to make digital-first a success.