Time To Change Swiss Attitudes For Digital Transformation

  • 29 Mar 2017
  • Daniel Kaempf

The progress of digitalization and A.I. cannot be rolled back

When you mention the digital transformation, what are the reactions of your employees? Are they embracing the opportunity to speed up their daily routine? Are they happy to adopt cloud based tools and digital processes? If your answer is NO, you belong to the majority of companies worldwide. Only 20% of Swiss companies can boast a successful digital transformation.  Why? The problem lies within traditional organizational culture.  Most staff just love the status quo.

To change processes you need to change mindset

“We don’t have time for this” or “We’ve always done it this way” is the most common attitude barrier across companies. It can be very difficult to overcome, however, here are some key steps to jump-start your Digital Transformation.

1. Promote your Chief Information Officer into Chief Innovation Officer

Yes, you read it well. CIO becomes the protagonist of your digital transformation. You need an agile, open, and charismatic CIO, ready to work closely with CMO and the rest of the company. The CIO must become an ambassador of digital changes and give their best to convince all the others what are the benefits. If your current CIO is more like a tech nerd with low communication skills, then change may be required. Digital transformation starts with great leadership.

2. Advertise benefits of Digital within your company

Having an engaging CIO is not enough. Think about literally advertising the benefits of Digital Transformation and supporting its participants. You can include monthly incentives to top users of the digital tools. Try circulating success stories that clearly describe the benefits of using the new technologies or introduce “Digital employee of the month” competition. Encourage all employees to contribute this big change and make them feel important within this process.

3. Educate, educate, educate

Education is the most important and constant element. There are several levels of education: for senior executives, for employees and for you (CEOs). All of you should learn about benefits, processes, trends, and improve current skills. The cause of barrier in peoples’ heads is often a lack of knowledge. Introduce face-to-face training, group training, workshops, and educative team buildings. Make an environment of excitement towards digital and employees will help transform your business.

“At least 40% of all businesses will die in the next 10 years… if they don’t figure out how to change their entire company to accommodate new technologies”

J. Chambers, Executive Chairman, Cisco Systems


A great local Swiss example to learn from is a successful digital transformation of Swiss Post. This company achieved its digital maturity in a well-planned way. All business units contributed to this change and they even created a website devoted to its Digital Transformation.

This blog is the third in a series on digital strategy and transformation by Darwin Digital Agency, based in Lausanne and Geneva, Switzerland.