Digital Transformation

Openness: fuelling digital transformation

26 September 2017

Openness: fuelling digital transformation


In essence, companies’ digital transformation is based on openness. “The eye sees only what the mind is prepared to comprehend”, said the philosopher Henri Bergson (1859-1941). Opening up is allowing new ideas to come in, shaking up the established order and facilitating dialogue with ‘dissidents’, as this change requires. All this is only possible through a strategy of openness. It’s an essential fuel to move forward and accelerate. 

It’s a fact, the company being a platform is posited today as a primary condition by the most advanced organisations. Creating a strong connection with customers in a co-design approach, for example, makes it possible to meet their expectations and to instantly identify their disappointments and their difficulties. Involving partners and employees in these discussions switches on the company and its suppliers.

Opening up to the ecosystem

  • Extended companies

Companies are required to deliver services that are increasingly comprehensive, to venture beyond their core business.

To maintain its level of excellence, a company has no other choice than to focus on its core business, in which it excels, and to entrust the services in which it is weaker or has no experience, to more well-honed partners.

  • Open innovation

Very broadly involving start-ups, universities and employees, open innovation accelerates the discovery of new ideas and new services. It enables one to confirm their economic benefit very quickly, and consequently accelerate decision-making.

Opening up to new managerial and professional practices

The demands and pressure arising from the digital revolution require strong commitment from all employees, high responsiveness from teams, and new capacity for adaptation.

Opening up therefore means opening the company up to a very broad ecosystem that encompasses the end customer, partners, employees, start-ups and universities.

But it’s also opening up to new managerial and professional practices.

The demands and pressure arising from the digital revolution require strong commitment from all employees, high responsiveness from teams, and new capacity for adaptation.

Irrespective of their beliefs, directors and top management must open their minds to new ways of managing teams and organising work. The aim is to empower and mobilise collective intelligence to stimulate employee commitment and to develop pleasure at work and ‘gaming’ in order to meet the aspirations of the new generation, thereby attracting and retaining talent.

Opening one’s eyes to what is already happening in one’s company

For the director, openness is fuel for the digital transformation. It will inspire, enlighten and accelerate it. But if it is always looking outwards, isn’t the company at risk of ignoring the wonderful things that are happening within it?

In your company, you will find ‘dissident or pioneering’ managers who are already open, who experiment on their team with new management styles, who already maintain close relationships with their ecosystem. You will find hidden talent, people who only speak outside the company, who keep a blog, who develop apps on their own behalf… There is great in-house experience that the directors can hold up as an example and on which they can rely to draw others into the transformation.

Ignore these pioneers and you will demobilise them. Open your eyes, detect these pathfinders, dare to put them on a podium, and you will refute the proverb that “no man is a prophet in his own land”.

By Jean-Claude Lamoureux – Group Executive Director – Sopra Steria Consulting

Group Executive Director at Sopra Steria Consulting for over a decade, I'm leading our clients to the success of their digital programmes by offering creative approaches, collaborative working methods and tools to accelerate the company's digital transformation
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