Developing a Digital Mindset: 5 Tips to Embrace Technological Innovation in Your CompanyReading time 6min
In today's rapidly advancing digital world, embracing technological innovation is crucial for the success of companies across various industries. Executives understand that the latest technologies can have a transformative impact on their organizations.
Although many companies are aware of this importance, there is still a discrepancy in some cases between the development of digitization strategies and actual implementation.
We therefore want to explain how you can develop or strengthen a digital mindset in your company in order to become even more open to technical innovations.Because with the right mindset, digital content can be better understood and effectively implemented.
Defining a Digital Mindset
A digital mindset encompasses specific behavioral dispositions that reflect openness to new technologies and processes. Those who already have a digital mindset have an understanding of the positive effects of digitization and recognize its potential for improving business models.
This positive attitude is clearly demonstrated by an interest in new developments on the market and an optimistic basic attitude toward state-of-the-art technologies.
This includes both digital natives (by definition, these are people who have grown up with technology) and digital immigrants (i.e., people who have only become acquainted with technology in adulthood).
Do Many Companies Get Excited About New Technologies?
According to a survey, 91% of companies see digitization as an opportunity rather than a risk. However, only one in five companies is investing in digital business models.
However, it should be kept in mind that a digital mindset not only describes the way of thinking, but also refers to the entire basic attitude toward digitization and even includes behavioral patterns.
It is not a matter of whether the person or the company already has digital competencies. Rather, it is about understanding that these new, often agile processes have an enormous impact on our lives and the success of a company.
Many companies now rely on flat hierarchies and agile processes, as it has proven to be particularly efficient to present work results in relatively short time intervals, which serve as the basis for further planning and the next work steps.
Unlike traditional management with a vertical hierarchy and rigid annual planning, the following model lends itself to this:
Shorter sprints instead of annual planning. Here, teams can work independently towards a work goal within a time-limited framework. Afterward, feedback is obtained, and the next sprint is planned.
Transparent hierarchies, which promote and demand personal responsibility.
Obtain regular customer feedback already during the project phase.
The Six Dimensions of the Digital Mindset
A digital mindset has various manifestations, and these have been divided into six dimensions. They have significant impact on business success and show a beneficial influence on employment development.
These six dimensions include:
1. Openness and agility
This describes the attitude and understanding towards new technological developments. For example, how does a person or company react to new technologies when confronted with them for the first time? How can one react relatively quickly to work results achieved and incorporate them into further planning?
2. Proactivity and entrepreneurial action orientation
This refers to the motivation to actively drive digital processes forward in companies.
3. Creativity and design motivation
Here, attention is paid to how well one can create and introduce innovations.
4. Customer centricity
Of course, the opinion of customers is also important. Customer centricity is used to show how important a company takes customer satisfaction in terms of approaches to solving problems and how it deals with feedback.
5. Criticism skills
This describes how critically one's own actions and those of others are viewed.
6. Dealing openly with failure.
This describes how to deal with failure. It is a learning process that states that not every new approach automatically has to be a success, and that one can learn just as much from mistakes.
Among the six dimensions, openness & agility and proactivity and entrepreneurial action orientation have the most significant influence on a company's bottom line.
A digital transformation does not mean introducing new technologies as quickly as possible. Rather, it focuses on steady progress and dealing with sudden changes.Companies must continuously adapt to different requirements and needs in order to reduce risks.
The Importance of a Digital Mindset in the Application Process
A digital mindset is different from a digital skill set. While the skill set refers to the candidate's existing competencies in this area, the mindset describes the attitude toward digitization.
In common interview questions, the first question asked is about skills, and the candidate's answer allows conclusions to be drawn about the digital mindset.
If a recruiter is asked to test candidates for their digital mindset, the focus is more on how motivated the applicants are to acquire new skills. This motivation is becoming increasingly important.
For recruiters themselves, a positive attitude toward digital technologies is also necessary. Hiring processes are continuously changing and recruiters have to deal with the new requirements.
For example, there are new technologies and recruiting channels that can be used to reach talented candidates. Among other things, the use of social media is also becoming increasingly important in recruiting.
Using Digital Mindset to Increase Company Success
Apart from the factors of technology, business model and agile processes, the digital mindset of employees is one of the main areas of digital transformation.If employees have a good attitude towards advanced technologies, innovative ideas can be better implemented and new solutions found.
Skill sets such as creativity and customer focus are essential to remain competitive.
According to a study, the dimension of openness & agility in particular has the potential to increase a company's success by about 13 percentage points.
5 Tips on How Your Company Can Develop Digital Leadership
Having highlighted the importance of digital mindset, let's now share tips on how your company can strengthen the mindset of its employees.
1. Start by determining how good your company's digital status quo is and how individual departments are performing.
This will allow you to identify any weaknesses and make improvements.
2. Plan digitization processes sustainably and integrate them into your employees' everyday lives.
Offer opportunities for further training to make it easier for your employees to deal with the unfamiliar.
3. Understand digitization as a dynamic process that always produces new technologies.
Your company should be prepared to always remain flexible and embrace further innovations.
To achieve this, rely on flat corporate structures and agile processes.
4. Be open to new forms of collaboration.
Contractors/clients will offer new tools that are initially unfamiliar.
By being open-minded, you ensure the success of the changed collaboration models.
5. Use your creativity in a solution-focused way with respect to transformed business models.
New ideas are at the heart of digitization and should be seen as such.
Having a strong digital mindset can increase the success of your business. According to the definition, digital mindset describes the basic attitude toward technological developments, as well as the willingness to learn new processes. It shows how motivated your employees are to engage with new technologies and acquire new skills.
The right mindset also plays a crucial role in recruiting. More and more recruiters attach importance to applicants demonstrating their open-minded attitude.