Dexterity. When was the last time you used it in a sentence?
It certainly doesn’t get used in an office setting that often. But actually, “dexterity” is a word that holds great importance in today’s workplaces.
It means deftness, adeptness, adroitness, agility, nimbleness, handiness, ability, skilfulness, effortlessness, slickness, and mastery.
When it’s combined with the word “digital” it all of a sudden becomes the most wanted business quality of today. Digital dexterity is what every enterprise needs.
What is digital dexterity?
Digital dexterity is “the desire and ability of employees to embrace existing and emerging technologies to achieve better business outcomes.”
It’s an organization-wide, digitally-forward mindset. It’s certainly not just a matter of skills; it’s an attitude aswell.
How digitally dextrous are today’s enterprises?
Decades ago, the most common technological innovation in business was the telephone. Then came the computer and the process of digitization began.
There was a steep learning curve for those first employees that were tasked with the conversion of analogue data into digital. But at this point, the challenge was still relatively contained.
It wasn’t until enterprises began to digitalize their processes that the serious need for organization-wide digital dexterity became apparent.
Time and project management is now digitalized; communications and relationship building is digitalized; data entry and research is digitalized. Technology has enabled businesses to move faster, achieve more, and work smarter.
Finally, in 2019, we’re at a point where digital transformation has actually become critical to business survival.
CTO Peter Salvitti points out the amount and gravity of the changes required for digital transformation to occur.
He mentions cultural change, which goes hand in hand with the notion of digital dexterity. Key to an organization being digitally dextrous is a mass commitment to embrace change.
The issue is that, even if the C-Suite wants to embrace digital evolution, it doesn’t mean employees do.
So what does digital dexterity mean for enterprises?
Gartner lists some of the reasons why enterprises should take digital dexterity seriously:
- Digital in every job is increasing
- The pace of new technology is increasing
- Digital business cycles are accelerating
- The nature of work is changing rapidly
Digital dexterity is important because:
- Digital technology is developing at breakneck speed. As a result, more advanced tools are finding their way into the modern workplace.
- A growing amount of employees’ daily tasks are being performed using digital systems.
- Business strategies need advanced digital capabilities in order to improve operations and provide a good customer experience.
The bottom line is that digital dexterity is required for employees to achieve digital adoption. And digital adoption is necessary for digital transformation to occur.
How can your organization become more digitally dextrous?
1. Make digital dexterity your priority
Digital dexterity starts with you. Make it your responsibility and an objective in your role to pave the way for digital dexterity around you.
You must embrace the latest technological innovations yourself, champion hands-on learning experiences, and understand how to motivate others to do the same.
2. Embody and model digital dexterity in your team
Whether you work in HR or in IT, it’s up to you to spread digital dexterity amongst your team. Modelling this digitally-receptive state within your own team is the first step to it permeating throughout the organization.
Do your research, make a plan, and identify threats to digital dexterity. All barriers must be removed in order for it to take hold.
3. Influence others and spread the idea of digital dexterity
Once you’ve seen digital dexterity in action within your own team, you’ve identified its successes and benefits, you can share this information internally with other decision-makers.
You may have been its initial champion, but for an organization to become truly digitally dextrous it takes a collaborative effort and a shared digital vision.
4. Formalize and embed digital dexterity in the workforce
Now, it’s a case of testing, adjusting, and constant monitoring. You have to engage employees frequently, flex, implement feedback, and continue to evolve.
Rapid digital adoption is always going to be your goal. And the only way to get there is by maintaining a digitally dextrous organizational culture. This way lies the path to digital transformation and ongoing success.
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