By Raj Ramachmandran, Senior Client Partner, Korn Ferry.


Most leaders I know would agree that business transformation is one of the most difficult tasks they will ever have to take on.

It means fundamentally overhauling almost everything about an organization: its operating model, structure, working practices, processes and procedures, workforce capabilities…and, perhaps most dauntingly of all, its culture.


But the demands of the digital era take the transformation challenge to a whole new level.


Digital transformation isn’t a one-off exercise. The digital economy is constantly and rapidly evolving, and demands that companies continually adapt. To thrive in the digital world, firms need to be digitally sustainable.


An organization’s leaders are, of course, paramount to its ability to achieve digital sustainability. They must ensure that their firms have the right strategy, culture, talent, rewards practice, and capabilities to make the necessary transformation.

To do so, they must ask themselves a series of key questions about each of these elements:

- Strategy: What does the business need to be in order to succeed in the digital era, and how does it plan to get there? Has this been clearly communicated to the workforce? Does each employee understand his or her role in helping to achieve the end-game?

- Culture: Will the corporate culture support the necessary transformation? How will the culture need to change to unleash the speed and agility that are required for the digital age? And how can it keep evolving as digital technology advances?

- Talent: How can the business attract and retain the right abilities, when the skills needed to keep pace with the digital economy are continually in flux? How can it identify which employees have the potential to keep adapting and growing in a digitally sustainable environment?

- Rewards practice: Are rewards and performance management aligned with the digital strategy? Do they incentivize the right abilities, behaviors and mindsets required to make the transition to digital sustainability? Are they flexible enough to change with the needs of the business in the fast-moving digital economy?

- Capabilities: Does the business have the organizational capabilities required to execute its digital strategy? Are people enabled with the tools and autonomy they need, at every level of the organization?


Our Rebuilt to Last report identifies the five critical capabilities leaders must instil in their organizations in order to embed continual change into their organizational DNA.

Businesses are poised for change on an order of magnitude that is unprecedented. Achieving the next level of change will require a nimble balance between strategy, culture, talent, rewards and capabilities. The sudden emergence of a more digitally engaged generation and the stepped-up pace of technological change, suggest that time is of the essence.

The question is, does your organization have the critical capabilities to achieve digital sustainability?

Publié le 01 octobre 2019