Many companies struggle with digital transformation. It goes against the grain of established ways of working and is a threat to management practices that have existed for decades. Digital tools free people throughout the organization to share information easily. Communication managers no longer have total control over message, target, and timing of news and announcements. Horizontal and bottom-up information flows become stronger at the expense of the traditional top-down.Digital lets expertise emergenaturally as people ask and answer questions peer-to-peer. People build up reputations across the organization as the “go to” person for topics even if they are not the official experts. This bypasses HR’s system and procedures for validating experts.
IT management risks losing control over enterprise technologies because in a fast-paced business world, teams — unwilling to wait for IT to rollout official solutions — solve their own needs quickly by resorting to cloud-based, consumer tools to manage projects and share information.
Personal branding worries management, as people who are active on the internal social network become “stars,” with greater name recognition inside the company than certain top managers. These de facto thought-leaders become a force to reckon with that is completely outside the hierarchy.
And yet despite all of these “threats,” some companies embrace the changes digital offers. What sets them apart?