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Isabella Johnston
By
November 24, 2022

INSIGHTS ARTICLE: Employers 4 Change - The Future of Cultural Transformation

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The Future of Cultural Transformation

 
Does it seem that technology is changing our culture? Open up your favorite social channels, you have to adjust to new configurations. Updates on your smartphones used to ask permission, now they update because you accepted the terms on a previous update. On just about every cloud-based application you use, you might notice how automation of repetitive tasks are anticipating your communication patterns. Cultural transformation is an evolving and developing process that shifts individual, personal, and work cultures.
 
Let’s start with the basics
the definition of Cultural Transformation. We start by breaking the two words down in their respective definitions. Cultural (adjective) means relating to a particular society and its ideas, customs, and art. Transformation (verb) to transform something into something else means to change or convert it into that thing. So how is cultural transformation defined? It changes as quickly as the pace of technology. This happens globally, in business organizations, and personally. It requires us to realign the culture to its vision, mission, and core values to achieve its strategic objectives.
 
Media Peanut reported that starting in 2010, several technological advancements caused a significant shift in lifestyle, education, healthcare, communications, and farming.
 
Due to the progression of technology and its increased rates of change, there is a large gap of lifestyle changes constantly evolving. This gap in technology between generations is most clearly observed between millennials, baby boomers, and younger generations. (Media Peanut)
 
Digital culture is characterized by the way an organization uses digital tools and insights to create a positive impact across a business (World Economic Forum).
 
Since COVID-19, our world experienced an overnight transformation that accelerated cultural transformation through remote work using cloud-based platforms for everyday personal and business lives that included, shopping, personal, and academic functions. Through the course of history, humans created industrial changes through technological advancements.
 
Examples of Cultural Transformation
 
Technological innovation and innovation -for instance, the internet connects people across social groups.
 
Globalization -the integration between nations causes different cultures to copy each other, resulting in a new culture.
 
To date, there have been four industrial revolutions and five and six are rapidly closing due to accelerated technological advancements.
 
First Industrial Revolution: Coal in 1765.
Second Industrial Revolution: Gas in 1870.
Third Industrial Revolution: Electronics and Nuclear in 1969.
Fourth Industrial Revolution: Internet and Renewable Energy in 2000. Right now, we are going through the Fourth Industrial Revolution, aka Industry 4.0.
Fifth Industrial Revolution: Human–machine collaborations, with a specific focus on the well-being of the multiple stakeholders (i.e., society, companies, employees, customers).
Sixth Industrial Revolution: it is not about the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic because those have already happened, we are living it. Instead, it is about how we will manage this new way of life so that societies do not divide and how we address the implications of global aftermath.
 
Strong digital cultures are created by leaders who work collaboratively to enable innovation (World Economic Forum).
 
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Cultural transformation requires knowledgeable and thoughtful leaders that weigh the pros and cons of digital decisions. It is vital, to be honest, and poll employees within the organization about where they stand on the desired company culture, and how they are role-modeling the change they want to see in the organization (e.g. empathy and compassion). Here are nine ways to foster digital culture:
 
1. Acknowledge you are human
 
2. Review your communication style
 
3. Communicate the vision and direction
 
4. Create a sense of empowerment
 
5. Launch an ambassador network
 
6. Initiate reverse mentoring
 
7. Create an exchange circle
 
8. Set up behavioral experiments
 
9. Start a 30-day challenge
 
One key nugget that we learned from Covid, Great Resignation, and Quiet Quitting is that the world of work has changed dramatically. There are seven generations currently in the world and five are in the workplace now. Each generation has been shaped and influenced by technological advancements, historical events, political climate, and values each generation is born into and values. Depending on the year you were born (refer below) you can think back on how rapidly the world has changed through your lifetime and take note of how culture has transformed.
 
The Greatest Generation (born 1901–1927)
The Silent Generation (born 1928–1945)
Baby Boomers (born 1946–1964)
Generation X (born 1965–1980)
Millennials (born 1981–1995)
Generation Z (born 1996–2010)
Generation Alpha (born 2011–2025)
 
According to PWC, we are living in times of major transformational cultural change. Automation and ‘thinking machines’ are changing the skills workers need, while demographic changes promise a talent shortage, longer lifespans and other significant shifts that will affect the workplace.
 
These changes raise huge organizational and HR challenges at a time when business leaders are already wrestling with unprecedented risks, disruption and political and societal upheaval.
 
A survey commissioned by PWC reviewed responses from over 10,000 people globally from China, India, Germany, the UK and the US to better understand the future of work.
 
The findings (download the survey) resulted in the development of four world of work scenarios for the future that reflect the various forces in the market.
 
The worlds are labeled Yellow, Red, Green, and Blue. Each is an aid to scenario-planning to help you imagine what the future may bring. Each has implications for your people and how you work, your products and services and your business model. If you want to see where your world of cultural values are then tax the quiz and share your thoughts in the comments section, connect with me on LinkedIn or shoot me an email at isabella@e4c.tech and be sure to type in Future of Cultural Transformation in the subject line.

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