MENU

The Journey to Digital Sustainability.

Succeeding in the digital world means embedding the ability to constantly transform into your organization’s DNA.

Stay up to date on digital sustainability

What do digitally sustainable organizations do differently?

Traditional organizations will need to transform their culture and the way they work if they are to succeed in the digital world. But they can’t afford to transform only once. They need to be comfortable with a constant state of change. Korn Ferry calls organizations who achieve this ‘digitally sustainable.' These organizations are strong in the following five leadership and organizational capabilities.

To find out more, download our whitepaper

Discipline
& Focus ›

Agility ›

Connectivity ›

Openness &
Transparency ›

Empowerment
& Alignment ›

Discipline & Focus

Organizations that successfully transform for a digital world are clear about what digital means to them. They define outcomes and focus relentlessly on achieving them by prioritizing the things that drive the most value – typically customers, data, and talent.

 

They are also disciplined about execution. They decide quickly what to invest in and then draw on their current strengths to implement it efficiently, effectively, and repeatedly at scale.

Ask Yourself:

  • Are you clear about what digital means to your organization?
  • Is your organization organized around the areas that drive the most value?
  • Are you placing big enough bets?

Discipline
& Focus ›

Agility ›

Connectivity ›

Openness &
Transparency ›

Empowerment
& Alignment ›

Agility

Digitally sustainable organizations have the ability to adapt to changing market conditions at speed. They decide fast, implement fast, learn fast, and iterate fast.

 

They are risk takers. They focus on bringing solutions to market quickly, and then evolve them as customer feedback comes in. They make rapid decisions about what to invest in, and which ideas and innovations to draw a line under. And when they commit, they do so wholeheartedly, with significant amounts of budget and resource.

 

They also invest in their workforce, developing learning agility so their people can continually acquire new skills, learn from experience, face new challenges, and perform in an ever-changing climate.

Ask Yourself:

  • Does your culture encourage risk taking, innovation, and experimentation?
  • Is decision making fast and streamlined?
  • Are your employees open or closed to new thinking and ways of doing things?

Discipline
& Focus ›

Agility ›

Connectivity ›

Openness &
Transparency ›

Empowerment
& Alignment ›

Connectivity

Agile organizations are connected organizations. They create ecosystems made up of networks of people, from within and outside of the organization, who can drive change.

 

They work by bringing multi-disciplinary teams together from across the organization with shared objectives and metrics. They listen to their millennials and they actively collaborate with the outside world, co-developing solutions with clients, partners, and even competitors to help find answers and accelerate delivery in a world that moves at pace.

Ask Yourself:

  • Does your organization structure help or hinder connectivity?
  • Does your culture encourage collaboration?
  • Do your people work in multi-disciplinary teams with shared objectives?
  • Do you have a strategy for building and managing external partnerships?

Discipline
& Focus ›

Agility ›

Connectivity ›

Openness &
Transparency ›

Empowerment
& Alignment ›

Openness & Transparency

Lift the lid of any successful digital organization, and you’ll find an open mind set shaping the way it works. The digital economy requires people to collaborate, solve problems, and think creatively to meet customer expectations. This means giving everybody in the firm a voice.

 

These companies also tend to be deliberately transparent with their customers and employees about their ethics, responsibilities, decisions, and practices.

Ask Yourself:

  • Do you offer all employees the opportunity to contribute ideas to strategic initiatives?
  • How would your employees rate your internal communications?
  • Do you foster a culture of openness and transparency?
  • How transparent are you in your communications with customers?

Discipline
& Focus ›

Agility ›

Connectivity ›

Openness &
Transparency ›

Empowerment
& Alignment ›

Empowerment & Alignment

Digitally sustainable organizations empower the parts of the organization that are close to where value is created.

 

In the digital economy, value is most likely to be found in three places: algorithms, customers, and talent. So they put power into the hands of the people closest to these assets - IT, marketing, HR, and the frontline.

 

They make it work by focusing on alignment. Making sure that everyone from the board to customer-facing employees knows what the business stands for, what it’s trying to achieve, and how it is being put into action.

Ask Yourself:

  • Does your operating model and structure enable the implementation of your digital vision?
  • Are all of your employees clear on what you want to achieve?

How do organizations become digitally sustainable?

We’ve developed a roadmap, based on Korn Ferry’s Superior Performance Model (SPM), to show how organizations can develop the five organizational and leadership capabilities required to be digitally sustainable.

Step inside the Superior Performance Framework

The Korn Ferry model is grounded in research and outlines the people and organizational conditions that drive superior performance.

Organization

People

Discretionary Energy

Leadership

Superior Performance

Contact Us

Select a Category to Explore

Leadership

Organization Enablers

People Drivers

Discretionary Energy

Superior Performance

Leadership

Leadership

Transformation must be inspired, and driven by the leaders at the very top of the organization – then amplified down through the senior management tiers. Leaders are both the catalyst for the transformation journey, and the glue that holds the firm together during it.

 

They must design the journey, steer the business through it, and inspire the workforce to join it. This caliber of leader is difficult to find. They must combine an understanding of the digital world with the ability to drive change in a traditional organization.

ASK YOURSELF…

  • Are you clear about the profile of leader you need to drive transformation in your organization context?
  • Do you understand the potential of the talent you already have?
  • How inventive are you being in your external search?
‹ Back to StartOrganization Enablers ›

Organization Enablers

Purpose
& Vision

Choice
& Focus

Accountability
& Fairness

Purpose & Vision

Setting out the purpose and vision of the company in the digital world, aligning the top team behind it and communicating it clearly and compellingly, are critical first steps towards a successful transformation.


It’s likely that, to implement it, the organization culture will need to change to one that encourages collaboration, innovation and risk taking.

ASK YOURSELF…

  • Are you being bold enough in rethinking your business model and vision for a digital world?
  • Do your employees understand and believe in what you want to achieve?
  • Does your culture help or hinder your employees to deliver?

Purpose
& Vision

Choice
& Focus

Accountability
& Fairness

Choice & Focus

Organizations will need to make a choice about how digital the organization should become, and how quickly. Then, build an organization framework that enables this to happen. This is likely to mean fundamental changes in the operating model and structure.

 

It will also mean introducing new ways of working – cross functional teams collaborating on distinct projects. And it will mean introducing new ways to make decisions that enable the organization to keep pace with the digital world.

ASK YOURSELF…

  • Does your leadership team agree on the detail of the digital strategy?
  • Have you re-thought your organization structure?
  • Do you have new ways of working for the digital world?

Purpose
& Vision

Choice
& Focus

Accountability
& Fairness

Accountability & Fairness

Roles, accountabilities and processes within the new set-up must be abundantly clear if the digital strategy is to be put into action. And employees will need to feel there is a fair reward for playing their part.

 

Fairness should be explicit in the company culture. It should be reflected in the workforce diversity, the HR policies, the career opportunities on offer – and of course, the firm’s reward programs.

ASK YOURSELF…

  • Are your leaders clear about where their own accountabilities lie and the accountabilities are of their team?
  • Does pay drive behaviors that will enable success in a digital world?

People Drivers

Clarity

Capability

Commitment

Clarity

Employees need clarity about the vision of the organization; their role in delivering it, their place in the structure, their job description, the metrics by which they’ll be measured, and the rewards and opportunities on offer if they achieve these.

 

As always, performance management will be critical to maintaining this clarity. But, in a fast moving digital world, this will need to be a daily dialogue not an annual check.

ASK YOURSELF…

  • Are your leaders skilled at providing clarity to their employees, even in a fast moving, ambiguous world?
  • Is your performance management system fit for purpose?

Clarity

Capability

Commitment

Capability

Leaders need to translate the new strategy into the skills the organization will require, now and in the future and develop a clear plan to secure them. It won’t just be digital skills they are looking for but attributes like learning agility and emotional intelligence will be critical.


It’s likely that ‘digitally ready’ talent and those with digital potential already exist within the organization. So, identifying them is key.


Of course, most organizations will almost certainly find themselves hiring on the external market. And success will mean making sure that their employer brand appeals to a new type of recruit.

ASK YOURSELF…

  • Do you know what skills and competencies you need now and in the future?
  • Do you have a clear talent strategy to acquire and retain the right talent?
  • Do you know the digital capabilities of your workforce?
  • Is your employer brand strong enough to attract the best people?

Clarity

Capability

Commitment

Commitment

Organizations won’t achieve their digital aims without their employees going the extra mile. Transformation will be on top of the day job.

 

The best way to drive commitment is to rally employees around a common vision and purpose, a strong sense of ethical responsibility, and a clear set of ethics, values and beliefs. People must feel that they’re working for a cause, not an objective.

ASK YOURSELF…
  • Do you create an environment that encourages all employees to give their best?
  • Does your vision inspire them to go the extra mile?
‹ Organization EnablersDiscretionary Energy ›

Discretionary Energy

Discretionary Energy

The energy, or effort, that employees willingly exert in order to achieve organizational goals.

  • Employee engagement is central to discretionary effort.
  • Teams and individuals who exert more discretionary energy are more committed, proactive, and satisfied in their work.
  • They are more innovative, productive, and are stronger performers overall.

ASK YOURSELF…

  • How consistently do your employees put in extra effort to help their fellow team members?
  • To what degree will your employees go the extra mile to ensure customers are satisfied and organizational goals are achieved?

Superior Performance

Superior Performance

Encompasses a variety of positive outcomes at the individual and organizational level.

  • At the organizational level, revenue, profitability, market share, service level, and environmental impact are examples of superior performance metrics.
  • At the individual level, exceptional achievement, conscientious behavior, and minimal withdrawal from the organization all are hallmarks of superior performance.
  • Organizational and individual level performance indicators are interdependent.

ASK YOURSELF…

  • How effectively do the metrics you have in place drive high levels of achievement and competitive advantage?
  • To what degree do your organizational goals, processes, and leadership stimulate high levels of engagement and performance?

Share your thoughts and help us to shape our thinking.

Thank you for your feedback!

Take the journey toward digital sustainability.

Our new thought paper looks at the journey organizations need to make to become digitally sustainable.

Start the journey here

Sign up here to receive our latest insights on digital sustainability.

Sign up now
© 2017 Korn Ferry. All Rights Reserved.
Terms
|
Privacy

MENU

SHARE