In the spirit of #ThrowbackThursday, I am reflecting on my trip to Lyon in March.

Mariam, why now? Well, following our idea consolidation sessions in Lyon, we are now working with our European partners to develop a Digital Maturity Model. Here, I want to share with you what happened when 40 consultants from around Europe came together to explore the impact of digitalisation and where it is going.

SPACE is a partner network of management consultancies around Europe which OE Cam has been a part of for over seven years. With our drive to explore what is really going on in organisations, we are passionate about conducting relevant and exciting research.

Most recently, with SPACE we conducted a European-wide research on the impact of digital transformation. The report revealed some key insights into digitalisation, including: dealing with the challenge of digital disruptors, addressing engagement, culture and mind-set around risk taking and failure, attracting and retaining digital talent and exploring the impact fast decision making processes has had on organisations. You can download the full report “The Digital Wave: surfing through digital chaos for successful transformation” here.

Destination Lyon

As a result of this research, it was “Destination Lyon” for our annual SPACE Management Consulting conference in March. The event brought together 40 consultants from Sweden, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Finland and the UK to explore how to put our research findings into action, and how can we as consultants help our clients manage the digital transformation.

Hosted by our French partners at their Algoe Office in Lyon, we divided into groups, each focusing on one of the following challenges that organisations face around the digital transformation:

  • Change management
  • Strategy and Organisation Design
  • Decision Making Processes
  • Human Resources
  • Leadership
  • Digital Market Place

The purpose of this was start thinking of ways consultants can help clients deal with these challenges.

Cross-Cultural Consulting in Action!

Working with such a diverse, multi-cultural set of people was a chance to share our knowledge, understand new and different perspectives, discuss tools and theories and grow our capabilities. For example, one of our European partner consultants, with a background in theatre, had an interesting approach to understanding decision making processes using role play exercises – this role play was acted out in four different languages!

The day ended in Eurovision-style battle of pitching ideas: in front of a tough judging panel, groups of consultants had to share what was the most useful outcome of the days session. One group sang whilst another did a dramatic reading. In true diplomatic form, everyone was a winner.

Introducing the Digital Maturity Model

Outputs from the session have fed into developing our new Digital Maturity Model. Initially developed by our partners in Spain, the model uses self-reported measures to highlight an organisation’s level of digital maturity.

This self-assessment begins by allocating organisations to 1 of 4 progressive transformation stages:

Stage 1: Organisations at this stage are in the very early stages of digitalisation; with limited digital investment, knowledge and awareness of what digital transformation process can mean for them.

Stage 2: At this stage, organisations are taking their first steps towards change; as they see how digital transformation processes will help them to be more efficient and competitive. Nevertheless, they still present traditional structures and culture; which can make it difficult for employees to quickly acquire the necessary knowledge for successful digitalisation.

Stage 3: At this stage, organisations have an advanced level of digitalisation, as they carry out many transformation initiatives, which allows them to build a digital culture and organisation.

Stage 4: Organisations at this stage are aggressively disruptive in the use of digital technologies and business models to affect markets, to the point of being able to change the rules of the game.

Using this tool, the organisation becomes aware of which stage of the digital transformation they are at. To understand where best to support the organisation through the digital change, the model explores five core dimensions of an organisation during digital transformation: strategic alignment, leadership, organisation, culture and people.

We continue to work with our SPACE partners to further define this model and look forward to using it with clients to help them to navigate through digital transformation.

mariam.mirza@oecam.com