By Joseph Do, CEO MindLink
Embracing digital technology is not just a business necessity, but also a smart cultural move. The evolution of technology has invariably prompted cultural change within organisations across the globe, but should it act as the primary driver for it?
Whilst technology can act as a trigger, it is an organisation’s culture that has the power to nurture forward-thinking tech adoption and ultimately improve long-term business growth.
The global business proliferation for technology that bridges the gap between social and enterprise means organisations are being forced to evolve to meet the changing technological needs of their workforce.
For example, The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend is making a whole host of additional communication and technologies available in the workplace. Research shows that by 2016, 1.62 billion mobile devices will be in use on a daily basis in the workplace. It is because of findings like this that organisations need to be open to change and willing to embrace the forward-thinking nature of employees and the culture of business.
It is down to business leaders to take an open approach to new technology and consider how it will impact the people within their organisation. Just because a company has a progressive, corporate culture doesn’t necessarily mean employees understand how best to utilise digital tools. People will have to want to learn to yield and progress, so training remains essential if culture and technology are going to work together and have a real impact on company performance and revenue.
The spread of collaboration tools has cemented online communication as a completely new mode of operation for employees. Businesses should be looking to invest in smart collaboration tools instead of viewing them as an expense.
So first things first, what are the key components of a tech-friendly corporate culture?
Without sufficient investment in staff development and training, technology will never reach its full potential within a business. Providing the right level of technical support and offering training to employees shows a company’s commitment and sense of support. It is important to go beyond just making tools available to a workforce and hoping people will naturally adopt them.
The future success of a business relies on being open to new ideas and embracing new processes and structures rather than being resistant to them. It is up to business leaders to have an outlook that not only accepts, but also understands, how technology can benefit their business. No good will come from holding onto antiquated communication, leadership, management or sales structures in the hyper-connected, modern business environment.
As with most relationships, trust is key. Businesses must trust their employees if they want to capitalise on the potential of a fully mobile, collaborative workforce. Many people would agree that you can’t fight the BYOD culture (and in effect any digital culture) and why should businesses want to? This ‘always on’ way of working is an advantage for an organisation if it ensures precise guidelines for usage and compliance are laid out and sufficient security policies are in place. Establishing communication as well as knowledge sharing platforms will enable staff to work more efficiently and in a more connected way, whilst also helping businesses to benchmark the productivity of employees no matter where they are.
People within the organisation need to be open about sharing knowledge and insight in order to benefit the wider company rather than their own personal development. This means the mentality of a workforce is vital to maximising any new technology, especially when it comes to collaboration tools and software. A collaborative culture is needed before any new technologies are introduced while everyone needs to be working towards the same goals. If this collective attitude is commonplace within an organisation then there will be a natural fit when collaborative technologies are introduced.
There is no question that technology impacts working practices, but a receptive and open corporate culture must exist for technology to have a positive effect on business processes – rather than a disruptive or, worse still, damaging impact on performance.
Cultivating the right attitude at every level of your business is the best place to start building the solid foundations that will support technological innovation. There should be a symbiotic relationship between technology and corporate culture, as neither technology nor culture can succeed in improving a business’s performance in isolation.Google+