Business Transformation Change Management Digital Transformation

How fostering a growth mindset will cultivate a company’s culture to digital success


It’s not all about technology, alignment of culture and strategy is essential for any business yet building a better culture for growth is not a top priority for CEOs. Leaders should look to be creating a cultural growth mindset with a shared mission and vision which runs right through the organisation extending capabilities leaving no disparity. The top challenge facing digital transformation is company culture, and although it takes time to get right, an amazing culture is built around a growth mindset. Leaders can look to drive digital transformation forward, swiftly and successfully once they have cultivated a culture that’s right for them.

Avado works with industry leading partners like Google providing transformation through learning and say that culture has been identified as the number one barrier to digital transformation. If CEOs are making decisions that impact the business such as cutting costs, improving revenue and increasing productivity, which are all part of the digital and business transformation process, then part of this process of change should be building a great culture. Transformation of any type is a continuous process, but with a growth mindset company culture, the transformation will seamlessly deliver.

Microsoft, Google, Walt Disney and Nike all created a culture that cultivated a growth mindset.

We found that in most cases where there was great company culture, training was a key element in organisations. Fostering a personal accountability and responsibility in individuals tends to nurture a passion for learning. With organisations facing digital transformation with technology advancing at lightning speeds it would make sense to build a culture with a growth mindset. Companies such as Nike, Twitter and Walt Disney to name a few, are great examples whereby a growth mindset is crucial to their company culture. Also among these companies, a top ranked company with good culture is Google, and they hire people who are smart and determined and favour ability over experience. They look for talents that grow with them.

Microsoft’s culture includes an element of a growth mindset. Microsoft mission and culture state “At Microsoft, we’re insatiably curious and always learning. We ask questions, take risks and build on each other’s ideas, because we are better together. We lean into uncertainty, take risks and move quickly when we make mistakes because we know that failure happens along the way to innovation and breakthrough.

As part of Nike’s strategic aims that guide the company, the focus is to unleash human potential. Nike has created their culture by providing their employees with training programs to maintain employee talent. The company also has coaching and mentoring programs.  Hiring the right people and people development are crucial to their company.  A glimpse into Nike’s culture written by Bianca Blartz outlines Nike’s culture in further detail. In summary, Nike is passionate about creating a workforce that can push boundaries and limits. Their Motto of “Just Do it” extends right the way through their community including their customers, employees and management.

Walt Disney believes in creating and nurturing a culture of excellence. What’s interesting about Disney is that their recruitment process is very important and they hire the right people who will share the company’s values and beliefs. They state that “Once you have hired people with a propensity for excellence, your orientation process and training must reinforce your company’s principles as well as impart new skills and knowledge.”

“There are four interconnected processes that define an organisation’s culture: employee selection, training, care and communication. Each is crucial to creating and nurturing a culture of excellence. With a rich tradition and heritage built upon creating memorable experiences, The Walt Disney Company has consistently worked to attract, develop and retain employees dedicated to this vision.”

Creating and nurturing a love for learning throughout an organisation will foster strong, productive teams and individuals who are passionate about their development but also want to grow with an organisation. It’s a process over time which leaders should not ignore if they are to transform their organisations.

Similarly, a cultural element key to the success of Starbucks has been employee excellence. Howard Schultz established a successful coffee chain, with a passion for coffee that he could outline and share his experience with his customers by communicating to his employees what he expected: Make it your own, everything matters, surprise and delight, embrace resistance and leave your mark. This summarises the type of employee that Starbucks hires. Shaun Frankson’s  culture case study of Starbucks outlines this experience and explains the partnering ethos.

A strong and creative culture is fostered at Lego. The LEGO Group look for smart and talented people that embrace Lego’s innovative spirit and enhance Lego’s fun and collaborative culture. Lego states “The LEGO Group constantly strives to live up to our motto, “Only the best is good enough”, and for that reason, our recruitment process is thorough and extensive. Our focus is to ensure we hire the right people who have the skills and desire that match the job criteria as well as competencies and values that fit into the LEGO culture. We will support your growth and give you the tools you need to be successful; in return, you will help us enrich the lives of children around the globe.”


In today’s digital world with digital transformation inevitable Greg Satell at Mapping Innovation says We shouldn’t be so quick to blame algorithms. When we don’t like what we see, it is possible that we are looking at the cultural problems we have created.” Greg’s article on  How This Restaurant Chain Built a Data Culture To Design a Better Customer Experience explains how Cava Grill built a data culture and as a result the CEO of the successful restaurant chain created a data-driven organisation.

The importance of culture to a digital business.

Ikea’s founder, Ingvar Kamprad’s great mantra “you can copy business, but you can’t copy culture.” This very true and in summary, the companies mentioned above believe in people excellence, accountability, responsibility and a passion for learning and embarking on a journey of growth. It seems this is a key element of culture which contributes to the success of a company.  In fact, Facebook’s culture includes fostering personal growth alongside other perks.

It’s not all about technology it’s about collaboration and openness to ideas and digital extending the capabilities for people to perform better.  If we look at Twitter, their mission is to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.  They ensure that every single employee has a voice and contributes to the progression of the company.


We all want to work for a company that gives us flexibility, provides a training programme and offers us perks and most importantly values our contribution. Happy people create opportunities, create and innovate, working alongside each other in teams to drive the company forward.

What do you think are the essential elements to creating a good culture?

You may also be interested in these articles:

Digital Transformation will often fail with existing culture

Why it matters to leverage Artificial Intelligence for business transformation

Useful resources to get you started:

Leadership practices to foster a growth mindset

8 Step Plan to build a digital culture

Six steps to effective cultural management

Secret to building a successful company culture

Three cultural characteristics of Pret A Manger

Google’s Culture


Lessons from digital leaders an article by Deloitte on the Digital DNA of an organisation which explores three core factors organisations should be considered when looking to improve digital maturity levels – leadership, talent management, and organisational design.

Business Transformation Change Management Digital Transformation

Why it matters to leverage Artificial Intelligence for business transformation.


As humans, we do not prefer to interact with chatbots and bots yet businesses are leaping into embedding Artificial Intelligence like chatbots into their products and services. Transformative technologies are evolving incredibly fast and the deployment of bots across all industry sectors: financial, motor, retail, food and public sector have created a shift in the way we are interacting with businesses.

“CIOs should be looking at these transformative technologies to drive speed, scale and consistency in their digital transformation.” Kasey Panetta writes in her article “The ABC Technologies Will Change Future Customer Experience.”

These transformative technologies are certainly the way forward if you are looking to give your clients a better service and need to increase revenue channels. Embedding chatbots into your services and products to use the data and digital intelligence to generate new insights will be fundamental to understanding customers.

With 2017 upon us it would be a good time to start looking at chatbots and including them in Digital Transformation Strategy.

Here’s why it is important to understand the benefits of using bots in your services and products.

1.     For businesses and organisations to provide a personalised service, it is all about collecting data. This data will give you valuable insights to improve your customer service.

2.     Chatbots can improve and enrich the customer experience and can be available to deliver 24/7 for customers. Basic information like opening hours and contact details can be given out by a bot, online forms on websites can be made easier with a bot at hand to help.

3.     Increased operation efficiency and streamline services.

A source from PWC found that 82% of UK CEOs see technological advances as the main global trend which will transform businesses. Organisations that stay ahead of trends better place themselves strategically and prepare themselves for the future. However, mastering technology and preparing for shifts in trends like implementing chatbots and AI is becoming challenging due to the speed in technology advancements. We have the tools and technology to work faster than before, and we are far more advanced in technology than ever before so integrating transformative technologies within our services and products should get easier.

How do chatbots improve revenue and increase customer experience?

An example of Amazon’s recommendation engine uses an algorithm to suggest additional purchases for consumers and have grown their sales by an estimated 10 – 15%.

Offering a personalised service by using chatbots to collect data from your customers will provide valuable customer data which in turn provide insights to improve customer experience. In addition, It will also open up new revenue streams.

Drawing on survey data from the UK, PWC illustrates “Infographic: Chatbots and the future of customer service. How respondents view chatbots as well existing frustrations with online customer services.”

The survey revealed that utilities and councils were industries with the two most frustrating online services for consumers.

The introduction of chatbots in governments and local government.

We see a rise in the usage of chatbots in governments around the globe including Singapore and America. The Whitehouse encourages local government to embrace chatbots.

In London, Enfield Council has become the first local authority to develop the use artificial intelligence a robust cognitive platform to help deliver public services. The AI assistant Amelia will help residents to find information on online and help complete forms using a chat feature. It is a start to development, and Enfield council would like for other councils to develop and use bots to improve customer services.

The adoption of chatbots and bots in Banking.

Although we are in early stages and bots are limited to what they can do now, chatbots can answer basic queries. Let’s look at some examples: American Express and MasterCard. The MasterCard Kai, the bot for banks will extend MasterCard services to customers on messaging platforms. The introduction of bots in banking is to create better money habits. Erica is the Bank of America’s new chatbot. The Bank is looking to offer and deliver a one-to-one personalised service to customers. Bank of America wants customers to be connected with them whenever and wherever they choose. Learn more about Erica and what it can do.

A chatbot MyKai another banking bot is available through the Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. It offers the functionality of dealing with customer transactions and access to account data. RBS have jumped on board too and have planned to develop their technology to improve their customer service with chatbots.

The usage of chatbots in the motor industry.

Ford are to bring Amazon’s Alexa to millions of cars. Alexa will be able to switch the car on and off and lock and unlock doors as well as control IoT connected in the home. Nick Hastings writes “Every Device That Connects to Amazon’s Alexa” Nick has compiled a list of all the devices that are compatible with the Echo.

Uber using the Facebook messenger app allow customers to request a ride by starting a conversation with the Uber chatbot.

It seems that we have only touched the surface with bots as artificial intelligence (AI) extends to aviation. Turkish Airlines are looking into IoT, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), wearables and robotics.

British Airways launched their facebook chatbot, only for the month of December last year, for personalised offers and recommendations. The bot recommended discounts at hotels and shopping centres such as Westfields and a London guide.

An excellent article by Clint Boulton who writes for the CIO says “Virtual assistants, chatbot poised for mass adoption in 2017. Enterprises will continue to experiment with virtual assistants and chatbots in 2017 as they look to balance better customer service with operational efficiency.”

Chipotle, Whole Foods Market, Dominos and Pizza Hut have seamlessly integrated bots with excellent customer service too.

Ordering a Pizza’ through a Facebook messenger Bot requires little effort and time. Using the Chipotle bot enables you to pick up your burrito when it is ready at your preferred location. Pizza Hut can have a delicious pizza delivered to your door.

All these require a simple texting app using Twitter and Facebook, and within minutes we have what we want.

Technology Advancements in healthcare.

Technology Advancements in healthcare could see chatbots help people take their medication. The data collected from a patient would be invaluable.

Scott Wasserman, a CTO partner at Stuzo, writes “How a Chatbot could help people take their medication.”

How data from these bots are used to empower customer experience.

With heaps of data to be processed and analysed, it can become overwhelming and time-consuming. Sifting through data from multi-channels including social media, blogs, online surveys, customer feedback forms, online reviews and websites is a lot of work. The benefits of using AI platform is that you are able to quickly access the information rather than going through considerable data.

Hotels like Hilton and The Dorchester are great examples of how data from AI is then used to measure customer experiences. The Dorchester Collection has partnered with RicheyTX and together have created an AI platform. Metis. Nikki Gilland a writer for E-Consultancy recently wrote an interesting article on “The Impact of AI on the Travel Industry“, she explains how hotels are finding it easier to collect the data from their customers and then provide a better service. Nikki writes “Metis helped Dorchester to discover that breakfast it not merely an expectation – but something guests place huge importance on. As a result, the hotels began to think about how they could enhance and personalise the breakfast experience.”

Apart from Facebook, Google and Amazon, IBM Watson also offers a cognitive customer engagement virtual agent. It provides an automated customer service and can be customised for your business needs.

Once we have the data, it is merely what we think the data is telling us and what we then go on to do with the data.

We have become familiar with transformative technologies like Google Assistant, Amazon’s Echo and Apple’s Siri yet we are apprehensive when companies are beginning to introduce chatbots to interact with us. Will bots lack the empathy and intuition related to human relationships that are required to deal with complex problems? Research from Gartner sees 33% of all customer service interactions as still needing a human intermediary by 2017, down from nearly 60% in 2014.

Implementing chatbots into your products and services may not be at the top of your agenda but if you are looking into AI then ask these questions: How well will chatbots serve your customers? What will be the impact of chatbots and bots on customer experience? What does the data tell you about your customers and How will you use the data that you collect?

We would love to hear your thoughts and comments. Like if you found the article interesting and share if you think your connections would find it useful.

Business Transformation Change Management Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation will often fail with the existing culture.


Digital Transformation can often fail due to the existing organisational culture and structure. There’s no point in implementing digital tools and new technology in an organisation if the staff do not feel confident and will not champion the transformation, especially if they see no value. After all, it is the people within an organisation who must run with the change and successfully transition to the innovate and adaptive stage in the digital transformation.

An interesting article by Clint Boulton writes about the top 10 digital transformation stories in 2016 and mentions Subway on this list. Subways transformation is in early stages, and the CIO has hired more than 150 technology, marketing and operational professions to deliver their transformation. Read the Top 10 digital transformation stories in 2016:

Having worked with numerous organisations and from our experience in transformation we deliver by putting a team in place with the right skills and competence to help drive the transformation. Michael Curry says “Put people at the heart of your digital business transformation.” in his article about people and digital transformation. You can read about it here:

We totally agree with Michael Curry. Putting the right people in the right place will see success in transformation as it is the people, who will ultimately change the business and drive the change.

So what’s the link between Organisational culture and digital transformation?

Organisational culture is a set of values, beliefs and behaviours that characterise the functioning of a business or organisation.

Having a fixed set of values and behaviours throughout an entire organisation is often not the case. Our experience in working in public sector and private sector organisations in the UK has proven that often different sub-cultures exist within an organisation. For example, The IT department will have a different culture to the finance department and the HR department. In some cases, this can prove to be difficult when project managing change for an entire organisation.

Driving digital transformation and changing an array of business processes to use new technologies simply won’t happen if the existing organisational culture is reluctant to change or resist change. This stage “Business as Usual” often is the hardest obstacle to overcome. The comfort in traditional ways of working and introducing any change or a different way of working imposes a threat to the existing workforce.

Digital transformation: shifting from projects to business operations and culture. Digital Transformation 2017 and beyond is an insightful read into digital transformation by J-P De Clerck from the iScoop blog. He says the entire organisation requires a cultural change.

From our experience in business transformation, to overcome some of these challenges a culture change from the top down is necessary for any successful change alongside strong project management skills. Understanding digital, business and the customer is fundamental and the key question in most organisations is how do we move forward? Digital transformation must fit in with the business needs, and ultimately the customer needs.

Every third company is unprepared for digital transformation. Just seven percent have completed the process says Sead Fadilpasic in his article:

Companies are unprepared for digital transformation and IT spending is rising too. Public sector organisations are looking for help from Microsoft. Investing in Microsoft Dynamics online to keep up with the digital expectation of citizens in the provision of the online services public sector are jumping on board. Recently Wokingham Council implemented this software to enable retiring legacy systems to a one case management system to deliver cost savings and improve customer service. At the centre of this transformation is data but not realising the real potential of data can become an issue to the success of transformation.

Essex County Council also earlier on in the year invested in IT. The ITIL programme was part of the broader review of the council’s IT function, and they had a rollout of Windows 7 and planned to migrate to Windows 10. However, is this too slow in the fast-paced digital era?

A new report from Forbes Insights states that half of the executives believe that digital transformation will be crucial within the next two years. So it seems that executives understand that the comfort in traditional business practices can be difficult to break but must change soon, however, through realisation and the need for IT throughout an organisation can transition from the “business as usual” phase to the “present and active stage”. The six stages of digital transformation explained by Jamie Brighton (Adobe).

There is the need of commitment to digital and technology and a willingness to change within an organisation to truly transform an organisation. The value of IT and technology must have a strong presence within an organisation.

Today’s leaders need to have excellent business acumen and technology expertise. We have transformed numerous public sector organisations and far too often the challenge has been the culture and the lack of skills to deliver within departments. In most cases, the persistence of willingness and training available to staff to change the way they work and to implement new ways of working is too challenging and can be discouraging within an organisation if not supported.

The combined skills of strong leadership, excellent business acumen and technological expertise can take a business to the next level. However, finding the right people is difficult.

The London Mayor has also outlined digital plans for traffic management. The aim is to reduce congestion in London by using technologies.

“Ensuring people can get around our city easily and efficiently is vital for London’s future prosperity,” Khan said. “We need to be much smarter in how we use our roads to tackle the causes of congestion head-on.”

Only time will tell.

Quickly completing transformation and not delaying decisions but implementing change at a fast pace will increase staff morale and in most cases successfully deliver transformation. In all industries and all sectors, we see digital business transformation but not all are seeing the success. Maybe we can learn from companies like Uber, Airbnb and Amazon moving ahead and staying ahead understanding customer needs and providing the services that customers want efficiently through digital.

Change Management

The First 3 Steps to Creating a Climate for Change


Creating a climate for change is the basic building block and foundation of a change project. Successful change is often achieved by following a systematic approach to transformation. Follow these first 3 steps to lead change:

  1. Communicate a sense of urgency when driving change.

A necessary level of energy is required to get the change off the ground. To accomplish heightened energy levels motivation and determination are key to change. In addition, change managers and project managers must build a sense of urgency about the change. Reduce insecurities amongst staff and feelings of fear, anger and complacency that may have developed within the organisation. Change can be difficult for employees to accept but understanding why the change is happening and what the changes mean for them can improve the receptiveness to change. Helping individuals understand and make sense of what change means to them.

  1. Build Guiding Teams is essential for the success of a change programme

Leaders who are enthusiastic, focused and committed will lead change successfully because they will have an in-depth understanding of the concepts of change and model the right behaviour. Strong leaders will take accountability and drive change with a drive of determination and with positivity and confidence change the behaviours of others leading staff to appreciate the need, and know how to, adapt their attitudes and behaviours in response to change.

The objective of the leader is to guide teams and people so that they can adapt to and appreciate ‘the new’. Don’t forget people are at the heart of change and they will determine the success or failure of change.

Integrating people fully into the business process and planning is always almost a challenging initiative. Prioritise building the people dimension into the strategic thinking to increase energy levels, knowledge and creativity amongst people within an organisation.

  1. A clear vision which is achievable.

Creating a clear concise vision within an organisation which is achievable. Ensure that the vision describes the key behaviour required in the future state so that the strategies so that the KPIs can be created to support the vision.

Rebecca Newton explains how the role of cultural change doesn’t rely on HR alone. There are some important and interesting points in this article about cultural change. Read Rebecca’s article here:


Business Transformation Change Management

New Ways of Working initiatives that every manager should know about


Bringing together technology and people in the workplace seamlessly is the New Way of Working introducing flexibility to employees and increasing staff morale, resulting in productive teams and delivering savings.

What determines the success of New Ways of Working Programme?

The greatest challenge that is faced by project managers when implementing New Ways of Working is not so much the planning phase of the project but changing the mindset of employees to work better and more productively in locations: Office premises and remotely primarily cultivating efficiency and increasing staff morale within new organisation structures. So the New Ways of Working with open plan offices, hot desks and the use of new technologies will lead to better working styles getting rid of traditional ways of working. Driving this kind of change can become a challenge if not communicated effectively.  Communication will not only determine the success of the change programme but also how well change is accepted within teams.  It will fundamentally set the foundation and building blocks of how employees work, and accept and embrace the New Ways of Working, realising the potential and enormous benefits; most importantly comfortable with change.

Cultural and behavioural aspects of this kind of change will determine the success of New Ways of Working.

Taking away the traditional style of working from an organisation and introducing a flexible and collaborative workforce can be a challenge, however, allows for a boost in staff morale, confidence and trust within a workplace. Getting more done with the right technology and tools and at a great speed will cultivate a more engaged workforce with increased collaboration and time, but most importantly improving the overall happiness within a workplace. A well-written article in Raconteur by Charles Orton- Jones explains how to improve company culture

Top 3 Initiatives when considering New Ways of Working.

  1. Think about renewing office leases occupying less space

A good time to implement New Ways of Working would be when an office lease is up for renewal, or your department is looking to re-accommodate. Design seating plans and include hot desks allowing for mobile and flexible working.

  1. Introduce Flexible working – No more fixed hours and fixed location.

Think about what technologies need to be implemented to enable staff to work remotely. Deploy the right technologies will allow flexible working.

  1. Paper- less office

With a clear desk policy staff will be able to plug in their laptops and work without the need for clearing desks. Deploying the right technologies will improve collaboration and communication between employees and teams within organisations.

So New Ways of Working is about improving staff morale and changing the mindsets of a workforce to improve the quality of the work and increasing productivity.


Download Infographic new-ways-of-working-initiatives

Change Management

7 Simple Steps on How to Initiate and Manage Change

Business transformation projects can become complex. Follow our simple 7 step process to successfully deliver your transformation projects.

Download your free 7 Steps to Successful Change Management guide to help simplify and deliver your change programmes.