In an era of continuous change, a proactive and adaptive culture is a critical asset and Chief Information Officers (CIOs) will play a key role in establishing the right mindsets and practices. Gartner predicts that by 2021, CIOs will be as responsible for culture change as chief HR officers (CHROs).
“A lot of CIOs have realized that culture can be an accelerator of digital transformation and that they have the means to reinforce the desired culture through their technology choices,” said Elise Olding, research vice president at Gartner. “A partnership with the CHRO is the perfect way to align technology selections and design processes to shape the desired work behaviors.”
The mission and values of an organization usually fall into the remit of HR. The partnership between IT and HR can shed light on how IT can make technology and process design decisions that foster the intention of the desired organizational culture. Enterprise architecture can adopt principles that align to the cultural traits, and when business analysts design processes they can create them with the intended traits in mind. Hence, IT supports the way an organization behaves in cooperation with HR.
However, culture change is a process. This means that there will be barriers to digital initiatives — in peoples’ mindsets and practices. “A great way to jump-start culture change and enable adoption of new technologies and processes is the culture hack. Start with a small, motivated user group and use it to showcase fast wins and results,” Olding said.
Culture change initiatives
A recent Gartner survey found that 67 percent of organizations have already completed culture change initiatives or were in the process of doing so. The reason for many of those initiatives was that the current culture has been identified as a barrier to digital transformation.
“In 50 percent of cases, transformational initiatives are clear failures and CIOs report that the main barrier is culture,” said Christie Struckman, research vice president at Gartner. “The logical conclusion is that CIOs should start with culture change when they embark on digital transformation, not wait to address it later.”
Organizations today need better decisions made fast, ideally at the front line. To achieve this objective, teams must consist of multidisciplinary, diverse members with the autonomy and accountability to act and to realize financial targets. Diversity & inclusion (D&I) is critical for the success of those teams.