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Why a common "digital mindset" pays handsome rewards

Kathryn CullenBy: Kathryn Cullen, Programme Director at Technology Ireland DIGITAL Skillnet 

I have seen at close hand that whilst the term “technology” inspires excitement in many, for others it’s a term that makes them shudder with fear!

I can understand those fears. But I also believe they are misplaced, especially in a world where technology and digital adoption is transforming and democratising workplaces – in offices and at home. For all of us, change starts with an inflection point or with a classic fork in the road moment.

I led a change management process that involved re-wiring the entire working culture of a large financial organisation. We had to develop an entirely new framework about how we did business on a day-to-day basis. We did so by developing a digital mindset across the entire organisation.

This was change for the many, not just a few. We needed to bring the whole organisation with us so that everyone understood the project. Inclusiveness was the foundation of our change process: the key takeaway was that people did not to go back to work with the ‘old slippers’ on. We told everyone, “you’ve got new shoes” and we want you to wear them every day and be proud of what you have learned!’

Key to the success of transformation is building a common language and a common mindset around adopting change. It brings an increase in efficiencies and productivity and a standardisation of processes. It also creates a real philosophy for an organisation - a strategy and a sense of a real plan with real-world practical applications.

Many organisations and businesses have operated in silos with different departments and individuals ploughing their own furrows in restrictive, claustrophobic environments. People whose core competency may not be technology-focused often felt left behind and isolated – but with the shift to a adapting a common digital mindset, this old way of doing things is changing.

Companies are empowering their employees – including those who have felt excluded from the mysteries of technology - as part of a cultural shift. They are saying, ‘let’s make you an equal, let’s work in a more flexible and agile way, let’s help and support you to do that – let’s take a fresh look at what a client needs, not what we think they need.’ They are also saying ‘let’s show EVERYONE how technology helps our business’ by applying that common digital mindset to all employees.

With the Transform programme, Technology Ireland Digital Skillnet is helping companies to build a recognition and appreciation of talent within organisations and helping them to empower individuals to feel like they have a voice, that they are supported and that their talent is making a difference.

Many companies everywhere are getting ‘warning signs’ that their employees want to change and transform – Transform gives them the opportunity to provide this hugely mutually beneficial upskilling so an employer can say, ‘hey, we’re investing in you and our shared future because we believe you can help propel our business forward.’  In return, employees can feel included, confident and empowered such that everyone is using the same language to solve, or transform, business problems in their organisation.

Transform helps to remove that fear. It demystifies technology. It helps to forge that positive digital mindset.

That sounds good doesn’t it?