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Digital Dexterity Means Succeeding When Introducing New and Better Ways of Working

By Craig Roth | June 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

Digital Workplace

A digitally dexterous organization is one that can succeed when introducing new and better ways of working. In all this talk about digital dexterity and how to increase it, sometimes that purpose gets lost. As well as the importance. The Wall Street Journal’s CIO Journal had an article called “Automating Workplace Tasks Can Backfire if Employees Shun the Technology” that said “Only about a quarter of these efforts will be successful in changing the way the employees do their jobs.”

This is a simplified version of my assumption from “Predicts 2019: Digital Workplace Programs – Follow the Signposts to Digital Dexterity” which reads:

Strategic Planning Assumption: By 2021, only one-quarter of midsize and large organizations will successfully target new ways of working in 80% of their initiatives.

I targeted a few years out because I estimate the current figure is even lower. A Gartner Research Circle – a quick pulse survey of a panel of companies – backed this up by finding that only 17% of the 90 companies surveyed said they usually succeed (80%+ of the time) with NWOW initiatives. I specifically mentioned midsize and large organizations to exclude small business like mom-and-pop grocery stores and dentist’s offices. I’m sure they can succeed as well, but the profile is quite a bit different!

NWOW Success

On average, these organizations were successful only 48% of the time. Given the amount of planning, expense, and personal capital (such as trust and relationships put on the line) that goes into digital workplace efforts, that is a painfully high rate of failure.

The point of this assumption is to emphasize the difference between succeeding with one particular, known work improvement initiative and the ability to succeed with any number of unknown work improvement initiatives that will become mission critical in the future.

Many organizations were successful moving their content authoring and email to Office 365 or G Suite. But how many of them can hit a home run at the next at-bat as well, such as with Teams or Currents (when it comes out on G Suite)? And then for the next initiative the business deems critical too?

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