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A number of years ago, one of our customers in the public sector was struggling with how to improve service to their citizens looking for digital offerings. They launched an innovative program to consolidate identity cards to allow citizens to seamlessly access any government service with one card.

Unfortunately, the project failed to gain wide adoption across government services. This failure to scale is a widespread problem in our industry. Years of research from McKinsey & Company has placed the failure rate of digital transformation projects consistently at around 70%. To differentiate organizations as great digital leaders, executives must transform faster and be more agile.

The burning question: How do you do that? Spoiler alert: collaborate on everything, learn by doing, be open.

Through the failure of their initial project, our customer found that successful IT projects must engage all stakeholders as an ecosystem to create something that meets everyone’s unique needs. The team looked for examples of successful digital delivery and stumbled on the blossoming success demonstrated in open-source developer communities. This collaborative community approach became the path forward for the government. They mapped out a grassroots solution for an open-source hub to bring developers from the public and private sector together to meet, share, help break down barriers and accelerate service delivery.

There were looking to achieve three things:

  • Leverage the digital assets or resources of the government and use it as a springboard for growth and opportunity with tech entrepreneurs and developers.
  • Speed up the rate of service improvement and innovation within the government.
  • Create better experiences for citizens and the public that they serve.

Over time, this developer-focused grassroots idea led to the creation of a central “digital office” for the government. It has been the critical hub leading all necessary application developments during the pandemic.

Today our customer is hailed as a high-performing digital leader because they proved digital transformation isn’t an outcome; it’s a culture. It’s all about cultural change that engages your customers and constituents, empowers your employees, and inspires them to transform your product services and optimize your operations. Those who get this right differentiate their organization.

A recent Gartner® report, CIO Leadership, Culture and People Primer for 2021, explored the new demands placed on the CIO by the pandemic and hybrid work. According to Gartner: “The leadership and management skills that got today’s CIOs where they are will not take them to where they need to be. It is also important that CIOs have a holistic view on the transformation that the enterprise is undertaking. Leadership, culture, people, and a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment are all interconnected. A cultural change demands the CIO review leadership and talent development practices.”

The open and agile culture was the invisible ingredient that made it all come together for our customers. It was a lightbulb moment that was rooted in transforming the developer experience. It united everyone in a common cause where they could contribute their talents, execute and deliver more expediently.

Our customer envisioned an enterprise that could operate with less hierarchy, silos and a flatter structure. When they adopted an open model for agile development teams it fostered transparency and collaboration both internally and externally with other stakeholders: jurisdictions, service providers, vendors and citizens. By creating new delivery patterns of continuous service improvement they fostered a culture of agile delivery of value where everyone had an opportunity to share their ideas, feel invested in the outcome, get a chance to enhance their talents and nurture pride right across the government.

This story of developer-driven transformation was the proof I needed to confirm my suspicion on the extreme importance of an organization’s culture in determining success. When I engage with customers to support our sales team, I can dig deep down into the technical details with the best of them. But I choose to lead conversations by trying to understand a customer’s culture with a focus on listening.

You don’t necessarily focus on what customers need to do, but how they are going to do. I share my belief in the success of an open and agile culture and offer my perspective. I understand the customer’s staffing challenges because I am also a hiring manager competing for talent in this competitive market. You can’t deploy anything without the right specialized talent and I know our customers’ success depends on having the right people.

I work to create a common understanding and to determine the areas of strength and weakness if we are to help our customers achieve successful innovation. These are some questions you can ask to probe and create thoughtful discussion:

  • Do you have areas of your business where you find it difficult to innovate? If so, which areas, what are the risks they are managing?
  • How well are you able to adapt quickly to the changing markets?
  • What are your challenges with being open and agile?
  • Are your departments collaborating well? What are their challenges with collaboration?
  • How does learning occur in your organization?

An open and agile culture model can be adopted by any enterprise today but some key considerations need to be kept front and center. You need to consider the impact on individuals driving innovation. It’s critical to create a collaborative culture where employees are comfortable sharing their ideas about tackling challenges and are motivated to take risks because they know they will be supported by their leadership.

The enterprise transformation with our government customer began with an idea from a handful of employees. How are you ensuring your employees are being heard? It could transform your organization.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Paul Pinkney

Quelle/Source: Forbes, 12.11.2021

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