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Digital Fluency: Why it Matters in the Era of Disruption?

Digital Fluency: Why it Matters in the Era of Disruption?

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“If we can’t understand digital clearly, there is no way we can master it”

– Rajiv Jayaraman- Founder, CEO- KNOLSKAPE, Author of Clearing the Digital BLUR Book

Introduction:

A thoughtful digital transformation isn’t a one-off event. It’s a ceaseless process that requires constant iterations to align and evolve. 

The digital age is upon us- Right from technologies to workplaces and people to processes, everything is going through digital shifts. 

But for the real transformation to happen, businesses need to wholeheartedly embrace “Knowing”, “Doing” “Becoming” and “Being” Digital.

While organizations are catching up with the pace of digital transformation, the clarity around “digital” still remains unclear.

How Do You Define Digital Fluency? 

We had the opportunity to interact with industry experts and hear their insights on the matter!

A few excerpts from the conversation:

“Digital fluency is an essential advanced skill. It is not just important for an organization, but also its people and processes. To thrive in this digital age, businesses must fully embrace digital.”

– Raja Ahmad Hidzir Raja Muhamad – Head of Human Resources & Administration – Air Selangor.

“Digital fluency is making the best use of technology to solve new challenges. Employees at our company are using Digital Skills Index to identify their skill gaps and area of expertise.”

–  Emeya Lee – Director, People, and Culture, Roche

“Digital fluency is for every person – not just the tech department. It is the fluency or the combined efforts of people around me, around my team to capitalize on digital technology, which will give us a competitive advantage.

– Clayton, Ju Chiae Tan – Sr. GM, Head of OD, Sunway Group

Why Is Digital Fluency Important?

As digital pervades into every aspect of the business, digital fluency is a skill that everyone in the organization must possess.

As mentioned by Emeya, “In Roche, we are using the Digital Skills Index to assess the strengths, weaknesses and improvement areas of their employees.”

To make their employees digital-ready, organizations like Roche have begun investing in employee’s skill sets. They do an internal assessment to analyze the gaps and problem areas, and how these can be retouched using digital.

This will enable both employees and the organization to gear up for the forthcoming obstacles. 

What Impact Does Digital Fluency Have On a Business?

Digital, being a cultural change, allows organizations to rethink conventional business models and become more agile in their ability to meet customer needs.

Emeya talked about “Roche Holistic Experience” – delivering the right content to the right person, in the right place, at the right time. 

She stated that every person within the organization must speak the same language if they want to remain competitive. Digital should be an organization-wide capability- Today, if organizations fail to evolve holistically, they might drop behind.

Simply adding the latest tech to a business model won’t yield results. Organizations need to consistently make strides to deliver better customer experiences. 

“Digital fluency helps us cope up with the new technologies that we bring into our organization”- Raja Ahmed, Head of Human Resources & Administration. 

He further elaborated saying, “Digital fluency will help create an employee experience. And the outcome of what we are doing internally will also be translated to how our customers experience our services. So, a combination of Employee Experience (EX) and Customer Experience (CX) is what helps us!” 

According to Clayton, Ju Chiae Tan – Sr. GM, Head of OD, Sunway Group

Digital technologies allows us to build before we physically build” 

Digital technologies allow businesses to plan much better, ultimately saving costs is what Clayton stretched upon further.

What Are the Elements That Organizations Need Before Moving Towards Digital Transformation?

What would vacationing without a destination be like? The same stands true for digital transformation!

You definitely need a vision right from the get-go. 

Here are some major elements organizations should consider before plunging into digital transformation journey:

The Vision Must Be Cascaded Through the Organization

“Involvement from people is key”– Raja Ahmed, Head of Human Resources & Administration. 

Digital transformations tend to start off strong but lose momentum along the way. What most organizations fail to understand is that transformation is as much a cultural transformation as a technological one. While technology is the fuel for digital, people still remain at the heart of transformation. 

No transformation can succeed unless you (as leaders) cascade a vision of an inspiring future! (We also talked about this  in our earlier blog post where Dr. Swatee gave her two cents on seamlessly weaving digital into every aspect of your business.)

It is important for employees to understand the “why” behind the transformation. Without a “why”, they can’t actually board the “how” and further drive the change. 

People need to visualize digitization. They need to believe in the change to bring it to fruition.

Organizations like Air Selangor are kicking in DIGITAL DRIVE to let their employees witness the organization’s digital efforts and journey. 

Seize the Right Mindset

The wisest organization is one that rides on its collective talent to fix serious business challenges. 

To put it in a nutshell, it’s the people who execute the change. However, getting employees up to speed requires a radical shift in thinking and decision-making.

In what ways are companies doing this?

Organizations like Sunway Group, Malaysia run hackathons and ideation challenges where employees flock together to ideate, collaborate, design, and iterate to push boundaries and think laterally. 

We spoke with Clayton, Ju Chiae Tan – Sr. GM, Head of OD, Sunway Group, to discuss some mindset shifts the organization is embracing to move towards digital fluency. 

In his words, “ We run the ESSA program, E-Eliminate, S-Simplify, S-Standardize, A-Automate to relook processes within the organization if we can eliminate it first. If it cannot be eliminated, how do we simplify it, if not how can we standardize being a huge organization, and otherwise how can leverage technology to automate it. This has helped us very much when it comes to productivity and growth. As soon as these projects get results, the mentality automatically shifts to continue working on more projects in the same area.”

Similarly, Air Selangor is heavily relying on the establishment of a digital workplace as a starting point for embracing digital change. 

Also, upskilling employees to embark upon new challenges and opening avenues for new learning platforms will prepare them for the change.”- Raja Ahmed, Head of Human Resources & Administration. 

For organizations to experience fewer disruptions, upskilling is a must!

Unlearning

“Unlearning is equally important, not just learning.”- Emeya Lee – Director, People, and Culture, Roche

The pandemic has taught us that now is the time when people need to come out of their shells of skills and get exposed to new realms. The potential to unlearn sloppy ways of thinking is very critical to effective change management.

“To make the change stick in the organization, leaders must set the tone right. As leaders, you must also inspire people to have the stamina to learn new skills.” – Raja Ahmed, Head of Human Resources & Administration. 

digital reset at mindtree

Ending Notes:

Digital fluency needs to be seen as a language- an essential skill!

To embed digital changes deeply, organizations must perform it religiously. Leaders have to be actively involved in the process. 

Properly executed, digital transformation can potentially transform the entire ecosystem- people, processes, platforms, data, design, and agile!

“Digital transformation is a marathon, It’s not an overnight thing!” – Clayton, Ju Chiae Tan – Sr. GM, Head of OD, Sunway Group

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About KNOLSKAPE

KNOLSKAPE is a global leader in experiential learning with a mission to help organizations and employees become future ready. Using a large award-winning portfolio of simulations aligned with 100+ competencies and cutting-edge talent intelligence, KNOLSKAPE produces stellar outcomes for more than 375+ organizations across 75 countries. Driven by research and thought leadership, KNOLSKAPE offers its products and solutions in a flexible subscription model powered by omni-channel delivery.

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