Building Digital-Ready Culture in Traditional Organizations | MIT J-WEL

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Building Digital-Ready Culture in Traditional Organizations

Faculty Director for J-WEL's Workforce Learning Collaborative, George Westerman—along with co-authors Deborah L. Soule and Anand Eswaran—has a new article out in the MIT Sloan Management Review exploring how traditional companies are adapting to the digital world while preserving what has made them great companies to begin with.  From the article:

When Jonas Samuelson became CEO of Stockholm-based home appliance maker Electrolux in 2016, he wanted to reignite innovation and growth by building a faster, more digital-ready organizational culture. Yet many of the practices of Silicon Valley did not seem appropriate for his 100-year-old company or the social and business culture of Scandinavia. Samuelson couldn’t ask 55,000 employees to work 70-hour weeks and couldn’t incentivize them with millions in stock options. He couldn’t fire people just because their core skills started to age. He couldn’t constantly redesign the company’s processes and products — Electrolux makes hardware, not software, and customers expect to keep their products for many years. However, he could drive a culture shift that would energize employees to generate more innovation and profitable growth. He believed strongly that this could change Electrolux for the better without losing what was already terrific about the company.

Read an extended excerpt (free) or the full article (requires purchase).