Now’s the time to prepare your organisation’s digital future

What would you have done differently in January if you’d known the crisis was coming? Tested alternative communication technologies? Prepared your workforce? Experimented with new ways of working?

Many of us have had to learn and adapt very quickly, and there are some great examples of good practice out there – as well as a long tail of companies still struggling to find ways of maintaining productivity and engagement.

Digital technologies offer vast potential to transform productivity and enhance capacity for innovation, radically changing the ways in which we produce both goods and services. Yet research evidence and practical experience alike suggest that improvements in productivity and competitiveness will be achieved mainly by enhancing human labour through digital assistance rather than replacing it. In short, a full return on investment happens when technological innovation and human factors are considered together.

So how can we make our people and organisations ready for digital innovation?

  • Be clear about what you want to achieve, ensuring that digital innovation is fully aligned with company values and strategy.
  • Embed employee involvement in innovation within the DNA of the organisation, building workforce receptiveness to digital change.
  • Align new technologies with the whole production or service delivery process, recognising the importance of interdependent variables.
  • Understand hidden assumptions about working practices built into the design of technologies, ensuring alignment with your values.
  • Maximise the synergies between human and digital potential, building on the tacit knowledge, skills and creativity of your workforce.
  • Involve employees affected by new technology in its procurement and implementation to reduce avoidable obstacles and mistakes.
  • Upskill people to manage technologies in house and to take on self-management roles associated with leaner and flatter organisational structures.