Here's a great read for those who seek to become digital ready.

This article raises the following key obstacles that can hinder effective Digital HR transformation in businesses, and inform some of the challenges we face on client sites. A greater awareness and stock take of these prior to our work commencing on client sites informs and enables us to adapt our approach.


  • Slow or stalled decision-making caused by internal politics, competing priorities, or attempting to reach consensus.
  • Inability to prove business value of digital through traditional ROI calculations, resulting in lack of senior management sponsorship.
  • Too much focus on technology rather than willingness to address deep change and rethink how people work.
  • Lack of understanding operational issues at the decision-making level and difficulties when going from theory to practice.
  • Fear of losing control by management or central functions, and fears that employees will waste time on social platforms.

Work culture

Work cultures can either accentuate or alleviate the above obstacles. Of these the following were identified in the article:

  • Strong, shared sense of purpose vs. weak, inconsistent sense of purpose
  • Freedom to experiment vs. absolute compliance to rules and processes
  • Distributed decision-making vs. centralized, hierarchical decision-making
  • Open to the influence of the external world vs. internally focused and closed to the external world

Not surprisingly, of the above cultures the article identified that a strong, shared sense of purpose alleviates many obstacles, especially those of internal politics. 

A strong sense of purpose alleviates political resistance: people are moving in the same direction driven by shared values. A low sense of purpose makes it difficult for people to come to agreements and decisions. They are five times more likely to face obstacles from internal politics, five times more likely to be concerned about employees wasting time and three times more likely to suffer from lack of senior management sponsorship than organizations where there is a strong, shared sense of purpose.

This is one of the biggest cultural challenges we face.

We continue to challenge our teams on how we can best assess obstacles and organisational culture readiness for the digital HR projects we engage on a weekly basis.

View the full article on HBR here: