Digital transformation: why culture is the key to success

It’s a fairly common situation: you’re ready to start your digital transformation, but you’re coming across resistance from people within your organisation. Whether you’re installing new software, creating a new website or introducing mobile working, to make this a real success, you need buy-in from your team members – to truly embed digital change, you may also need to change your working culture.

The latest Charity Digital Skills Report indicates there is a growing concern about culture within not-forprofits, with 46 per cent of organisations surveyed reporting this as a barrier preventing them from getting the most out of digital. Similarly, figures from the UK Business and Charity Digital Index show that, even in today’s technological age, 31% of charities acknowledge that being online is not seen as being relevant for them.

In contrast to this, 92% of charities with a digital strategy in place expect this to have a measurable impact on the services they deliver going forwards. If you’re undergoing a digital transformation, it’s a continual process – one thing inevitably leads to another. When you have buy-in for the technologies you’re implementing, this can be the start of an exciting journey, which your team can take full ownership of.

So, how do you convince people who are resistant to change? One of the main reasons for implementing digital transformations is to boost productivity, increasing your ability to provide a better service. However, without buy-in from your team, you could see the opposite effect – experiencing a drop in productivity as people look for an excuse to avoid using or trying it altogether.

We’re all creatures of habit, and change can be hard for people who can’t see the benefits. To be a strong digital leader, you should lead by example by becoming the first person in your office to adopt new technologies, showing your team how things will work in practice. Accept that there will be people who need help. Encourage continuous learning by sharing your vision, mapping out the journey you’re taking and being open to suggestions.

To illustrate the transformational nature of the projects we work on, for a number of years, we helped the Disability Trust make their services more efficient, streamline processes and integrate technology into day to day services. As part of this, we introduced Skype for business, switching from traditional landline use to wireless headsets. Although there were initial doubts, these were quickly banished after people saw the benefits, creating an environment where conferencing, unified communications and video calls became the norm. At first, we were driving the change, but by the end, we were merely facilitating.

The key to getting your team on board is your ability to show them what they can achieve. They might see a new piece of software, but what you see is a way to track donations, engage supporters and improve services.

Of course, this will also be a learning journey for you. While it is expected that, as leaders, we know about law, HR and finance, this should also be the case for digital. To do this, put digital first, look at how new technologies can help you solve challenges within your organisation, and then find the right support to help make this possible.

This article is sponsored by OJO Solutions. For more information, please visit

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