Six Differentiators of Digital-First Organizations

The most successful businesses recognize continuous transformation, driven by digital innovation, as the new business as usual. To thrive in the new digital economy, they are becoming digital at their core and finding new ways to help people at work leverage and grow organizational knowledge, build networks, and respond to change. They are building new platform business models, investing in cohesive experiences across their digital ecosystems, and evolving their cultures to help every employee succeed in new practices of working, learning, and innovating.

To achieve this, organizations must support and empower their workforces through digital employee experiences that encourage new ways of work and, in turn, accelerate organizational capabilities. Built on business and digital platforms, these experiences are bringing combinatorial power inside organizations and exponential value to the business.

LDS works with some of the world’s largest companies to strategize, operationalize, and design for employee experiences in the digital-first organization.

These are some of the key characteristics we see in businesses in digital transformation.

  1. Exponential Innovation

    Platform experiences leverage network structures, facilitating new ways of collaboration, social interaction in the enterprise, and connection throughout ecosystems. They boost autonomy by guiding and coordinating decision making, leadership, and innovation throughout the ecosystem.

    These new kinds of structural relationships and connections evolve cultures of mentorship, leadership, and empowerment, where feedback and dialogue happen in real time through digital experiences. The empowerment that these platforms enable produces an effective space for ideation, experimentation, crowdsourcing, and innovation.

  2. Organizational Citizenship

    Imagine business-aligned experiences such as onboarding, collaboration, and networking that inspire workers into more symbiotic relationships with their work, mentors, colleagues, and the greater organizational ecosystem.

    Platforms contribute to the larger narrative by creating a sense of citizenship and aggregating information to measure learning, aptitude, potential and development. The more people interact, the more readily they subscribe to a social contract that defines collective behaviors and mindsets, impacting the organization’s cultural goals.

  3. Knowledge Networks

    The experience offered by today’s platforms are conducive to disseminating new knowledge practices and supporting enterprise knowledge capabilities. Specific information that workers need will come to them predictively, even before they think to look for it.

    Accessible enterprise knowledge supports the development of a nimble, interdisciplinary workforce that, in turn, heightens the organization’s responsiveness to changes in the marketplace. Workers adopt intellectual agility and knowledge practices that will help them navigate their career journey and simultaneously contribute to the growth of the organization.

  4. Capability to Change

    The organization’s and the employee’s capacities to change can be mutually supportive. By offering experiences that provide anticipatory upskilling, stretch opportunities, personalized learning, and continuous feedback, platforms drive the agility required for organizational change.

    Platforms also match and foster teams of diverse individuals who each hold varying degrees of expertise across a broad spectrum of interdisciplinary skills. Through participation, they cultivate hybrid roles to compound talent agility horizontally across the organization. This nimble talent can help organizations synthesize fragmented change methodologies into orchestrated transformation.

  5. Human-machine Workforce

    The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace frees human workers from repetitive tasks and services that would otherwise distract them from more intellectually demanding work. As it learns about individual workers from their profiles, their relationships, and their habits, AI can help workers be more productive in more complex ways.

    By integrating intelligent systems, platforms can develop human-machine partnerships, engaging workers in ambient and device-agnostic ways so that they effectively enhance productivity. Through these experiences, platforms synthesize transactional, operational, and experience data into meaningful contexts.

  6. Culture of Transformation

    With new relational structures based on distributed networks, platforms shift the social landscape of the digital organization. They impact not only behaviors and practices, but also beliefs and values, tying cultural dimensions of the enterprise directly to the work itself.

    Worker behaviors and practices directly influence their values and beliefs about their organization, which mediate how they create value for the business. Culture in action – how people work, what they believe about the company, how they relate to value, how they represent the organization externally – determines the ethical trajectory and identity of the organization within the broader industry landscape.

  7. There’s no better way to align culture than through great experiences.

    Digital transformation is not simple, but as these capabilities demonstrate, its impact is vast. Inevitably, systems and structures will be upended, old paradigms of work will need to be rethought, and people will bear the burden of adjusting to digitally-aligned models of work. This can be painful, but it holds the potential for exponential value.

    The key to success is starting with top-down digital transformation strategy, not bottom-up technology investments or siloed organizational change. A delightful, relevant, and essential employee experience aligns new work design with the needs and expectations of workers to create win-win outcomes, coordinating new abilities and outcomes for people with these transformative capabilities of the business.