How to prepare your culture for digital transformation? flow consulting visits the Digital Transformation Summit in Berlin. Find our experiences and best of findings from the congress for digital change in this article.

I have visited the Digital Transformation Summit in Berlin mainly because I was curious about the presentations, speakers and atmosphere. We at flow consulting have an interest in optimising our business processes on an ongoing basis. However, we also help our clients do that. Therefore, I spent the day on the congress together with two representatives of the GWH Wohnungsbaugesellschaft Hessen. 

The congress was organized by the magazine “WirtschaftsWoche”. A magazine of the Handelsblatt publishing house with themes and articles around the economy.

For my client, the GWH Wohnungsbaugesellschaft, I am accompanying the Digital Innovation Tank (DIT) content-wise and methodically. The DIT is a think tank, initiated by a group of company mentors, C-level executives of the departments IT, HR together with the managing director. It has the aim to find digital business potentials in the company. It is resembled of 10 members with various backgrounds in the company.

I visited the congress together with Robin Bittner, GWH building projects, from the company’s head office in Frankfurt am Main and Christin Lecke , GWH central customer management, business unit in Kassel.

The program was very diverse. We took an active decision on what to watch and what to leave out. Afterwards, we concluded and reflected on what we experienced. We got to know of exciting startups and could network with interesting people from different sectors resulting in valuable impulses for the DIT.

The way to a new digital culture

No matter which presentation or discussion we visited, it became apparent that the key to actively drive the digital transformation, is involvement of everyone in the pyramid.

Taking the digital leadership perspective revealed that stylish lounges and meeting rooms are not enough to change a non-digital culture.

To lead a cultural transformation with a digital transformation, ideally, the digital change process should be:

  • initiated bottom-up and not top-down.
  • aided by establishing a large network within and outside of the organization for finding digital ideas.
  • a process where all perspectives of everyone in the organization are seen as valuable contribution.
  • in a pace for everyone to keep up with.

These are the most noteworthy elements, which I concluded of a discussion in between the Head of Corporate Digital Transformation Office of BSH Hausgeräte Germany, the Global Head Digital Transformation Bayer and the Founder and CEO of the startup Tandemploy GmbH.

The term of “digital transformation” is often associated with fears. I remember one meaningful statement Chris Boos stated in regards to artificial intelligence (AI). He said that to program code means to solve the peoples’ problems. Chris Boos is a member of the digital council of the German government and an AI company owner.

Therefore, to reduce maintenance intervals or to become more efficient by the help of digital solutions, will yield in a better understanding and support of those who cannot see the digital future in their heads yet.

Leading the digital future in small steps

The digital transformation is the sum of many small process innovations, not the one big thing. Its purpose is to make things easier, to consequently question old routines, and to experiment with useful digital alternatives in iterations.

All keynote speakers and discussion participants agreed that it is inevitable for all of us to take the digital transformation serious and to find solutions for its implementation.

The digital transformation revolutionizes our everyday life, affects everyone, and we are faced of it already today everywhere (at least in our hemisphere). Especially in the small details, which maybe are not even seen by everyone we will find it. And it bears a huge potential.

Click here for the program and some impressions of the day.

By the way, I much liked to “buzzword bingo” with digital terms. The bingo ran parallel to the speeches. Everyone on the congress was invited participate and all who did wrote down known buzzwords around the headline digital transformation. These were for example: AI, mobile, innovation, data – the new oil, digital infrastructure, platforms, forecasting, change, new work, big data. During the day, the terms were then wiped off the paper, when they were used by the speakers. Once finished with that, bingo.

Though, the winning prize, a ticket to the next year’s summit, was won by someone else, the event was an enrichment for us. And the bingo was a great idea to keep up the visitors’ mood on the day.

Renke Ulonska

Picture: WirtschaftsWoche