How to Drive Culture Change in an Organisation

You can’t undermine the importance of effective culture as it’s one of the main components of a successful digital transformation project. Although part of its purpose is to make staff members enjoy their time in the workplace, the bigger picture revolves around utilising the culture change to provide a trustworthy citizen service and implement technological change.

If you’re at the start of this journey, here’s how to drive culture change in an organisation.

Evaluate the Existing Culture

Think of this as a culture audit. Not necessarily your 'company values' but look at your existing work systems, hardware and software to see what's served well and what will benefit from being changed.

For example, if your goal is to drive change and innovation through the potential of cloud computing, consider what you have already that can help you get there and what's holding you back.

Does that mean future-proofing systems to ensure they don't quickly become obsolete? Or when evaluating your existing organisational culture, did you find that legacy systems are holding you back?

By evaluating what you currently have, it puts you in a better position to build a lasting, digital-first culture in your organisation.

Plan the Desired Outcomes

To really drive culture change in your organisation, you need to know what it’s going to look like. What is it you want to create? Why? How will it benefit your employees and what impact will it have on the service you provide to citizens?

Again, this goes beyond just your organisation's values. Think of your culture from a digital perspective to find out what your end goal is. It could be adding automated processes which you don't currently have to increase your team's productivity, for example, without compromising the service they provide.

It might also be managing your tech stack better to produce more efficient ways of working by keeping everything in one place. This is opposed to services and tech not being used by the relevant departments and valuable resources being wasted, ultimately holding you back.

Finalise what your desired change is before mapping out the steps to get there.

Get Top-Level Support and Provide Training

Support for changes needs to be given from the top-level and it needs to be beyond verbal acknowledgement. Although a challenge, it's vital to get a higher budget allocation for your department in order for you to make necessary changes. So, start by explaining what the increased budget will help improve.

A bigger investment in IT is what allows you to make changes such as replacing legacy systems, utilising the latest tech stack and putting methods in place to automate processes. Without this investment, it can hold your organisation back, especially since you can't be one step ahead and keep an eye on emerging technology.

In the long run, to give yourself time to spend on the bigger picture and overall strategy, it's also a good time to mentor and train new IT staff. Not only does this eventually give you time back as you don't need to support with ground-level tasks, but you also help upskill your team to increase productivity.

This is something Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council achieved through its collaboration with customer portal provider, JADU. Their aim was to re-engineer customer portals, CRMs and end-to-end transactions.

What the council also focused on was staff training to ensure sustainability in the future. It succeeded in two areas - it adopted a digital vision to improve the customer service journey and also upskilled their team for the future.

If one of your aims is to future-proof systems, then training your staff can help with the sustainability.

Learn From Previous Mistakes

Understanding where mistakes had been made previously when trying to drive a digital-focused culture is a surefire way to ensure your plans are a success. It helps you pinpoint what didn't work and what you can do better to achieve the transformation you're seeking.

When trying to make digital changes that will benefit both your organisation and your end-users, it's important to understand that you don't always need to change every single part of your organisation.

This is where your initial audit can be helpful. It highlights what you can leave as it is and instead, focus on specific areas that need developing or opportunities you can take advantage of.

For example, in the past you might have learnt that you didn't focus enough on ensuring your organisation has the most up-to-date knowledge on a certain area. Or, you didn't pay enough attention to connecting existing and new systems and the failure connect held back your digital culture change.

Whatever the reason, learn from it and focus on what really matters at the time. As focusing on too many areas at once can slow the entire initiative down, it can be a better idea to focus on particular areas so there's no friction between departments.

Take Inspiration From Other Successful Transformations

If you've noticed certain organisations have enjoyed great success in changing their culture to be more digital-first, find out what they did which worked so well. You might find that there's a lot of crossover and that there are certain initiatives you can apply in your organisation to ensure similar success.

Digital transformation within organisations is quickly becoming a key driver for growth and innovation, especially in the public sector. While it's a good idea to look at other organisations, be sure to read successful case study examples for more inspiration.

Another valuable way to drive culture change in your organisation is to attend events dedicated to this very subject. 

Although it's an exciting process and journey, it can sometimes be difficult to know where to start and which steps to take, especially with your usual day-to-day tasks. However, digital transformation events give you unique insight into upcoming trends, best practices and more.

Planning a culture change can often be considered the ‘easier’ part of the journey. What’s more difficult is putting it into practice and driving change to ensure success. To begin the process of driving culture change in your organisation to be more digital-focused, make sure you check out our all-in-one cultural transformation guide.

Begin Your Cultural Transformation Journey

To ensure your organisation undergoes a successful cultural and digital transformation, we’ve created The Cultural Transformation Roadmap to highlight the best practices. You’ll find relevant key data, benefits, industry expert insights and much more.

To capitalise on the benefits of culture change in your public sector organisation, click the link below to get your free copy.

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