Openness to new ideas, as well as sustained courage and transparency, are the success factors for a sustainable culture. Most of us know how important a good business culture is. But it is precisely with regard to digital strategies that the culture of a company often recedes into the background. Above all, digital transformation means establishing a new mindset within a company in the context of existing values and visions.
Here, too, companies can learn a lot from startups. The sometimes extremely high motivation of startup staff is dependent on the staff identifying with the culture and values of their company and knowing where the journey will take them. Startup culture doesn’t mean having a loft and a couple of foosball tables, but rather having a different approach to “co-creative” teamwork: Our experience has shown that continuous communication on all levels is crucial for employee satisfaction and motivation. To do this, companies have to trust their employees, allow them to take on responsibility, and enable them to use their strengths.
Only with committed employees who identify with the company‘s vision can the engine of digital transformation run smoothly and the brand message be communicated credibly to the outside world. But we all know the process of change, especially when it comes to digital transformation, is a big challenge. Most people, understandably, are instinctively defensive against change. Based on our experience, we know that the positive outcomes from the implementation of a successful work process, can change a culture sustainably. The company culture evolves automatically with every small step and success, which convinces even the biggest skeptics. It is therefore all the more important that the executive team, as role models, set a good example by living the desired changes.
One thing is clear, an open culture is a prerequisite for fast, agile and customer-oriented action. This is best achieved by supporting independent thinking and co-operation throughout all departments, and also by involving employees in the change and letting them contribute to the change process.
Open dialogue has a positive effect on all areas of a company, particularly when it leads to a transfer of knowledge across all departments. This knowledge transfer promotes holistic, cross-functional thinking and creativity, but also gives every employee the feeling of being heard and respected, in short, of being an important piece of the puzzle.
A company that promotes a culture of cross-functional teams, flat hierarchies, transparency and diversity creates precisely this sense of unity that characterizes the startup scene. In this way, the entire corporate culture can be gradually transformed into an open, dialogue-ready communication culture.