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Book synthesis

How to create and anchor a culture of agility

Digital transformation is about tools and talents, but they cannot do the jobs all by themselves. Quite the opposite, in fact. You have to roll out a culture that encourages cohesion, cooperation and agility. Your collective performance depends on it.

According to a 2016 McKinsey study1, corporate culture has a strong impact on performance. Silos, risk aversion and lack of global vision are all cultural obstacles that equate to negative economic performance. Back in 2002, the major actors in Silicon Valley were in competition to build the online advertising system of the future – a market that came to be worth several billion dollars. In creating AdWords, Google won the battle against the giant Overture, even though the latter’s human, technical and financial resources were far superior. How? Overture was weighed down by a rigid bureaucracy, whereas Google prioritized trust, flexibility and collaboration with its teams. It was the culture, not algorithmic expertise, that made the difference.

1. McKinsey Digital Survey 2016 based on responses from 2135 managers.
2. “Bâtissez une tour, bâtissez une équipe” by Tom Wujec (Ted.com, February 2010).

Excerpt from Business Digest N°285, April 2018

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Caroline Schuurman
Published by Caroline Schuurman