Why Tradition Still Matters in the Age of Digital Transformation
ANZAC Day – It’s one of the few national traditions observed in our relatively still-young nation. It’s a truly iconic Australian tradition that has steadfastly held strong over several generations. Each year, local ceremonies around the country remind us that the ANZAC Day message is a powerful and unifying one. It does make you stop, take stock, and be thankful to generations before ours and the country we live in today.
Back to the office post Anzac Day though the previous day’s focus on “tradition” – remembrance, legacy, gratitude, history, age – fades quickly into the blur of more modern-day digital pressures. Why? Because these are not necessarily values that businesses believe they need to uphold in the quick-or-the-dead era of digital transformation. Heck, these are probably words that the majority of business leaders actively avoid using with our teams and clients.
In fact, terms like tradition, legacy, history and age, actually feel pretty counter-intuitive to concepts we might be trying to drive, such as transformation, change, progress, innovation.
So while we’re hyper busy pushing to change-adopt-lead-repeat faster and faster, does tradition still have any place? Is there still value in say, taking time out of an otherwise jam-packed schedule to revisit the past, reflect, reassess and recalibrate? Where’s the value or ROI on that?
The answer is most definitely YES – tradition matters big-time in business and it should in your organization as well. The reason? Tradition represents a critical piece of our personal and company culture. If we fail to value our traditions, big and small, we lose touch of our identity, as business leaders, and as a business. Here are 4 ways traditions matter – more than ever – in our organisations of the future and in the age of digital transformation.
Never underestimate the power of a great story! Think back to why you started your business, or how it was started, or why you do the job you do. The traditions and stories behind you or your business are immensely interesting, real and motivating. Your staff want to know these and so do your customers. These are the stories that tell your staff and your customers about your brand values and what you’re all about more than any polished pitch!
Inclusion and Team-building
Traditions and a company culture that grows out of them gives a team a sense of joint purpose – a reassurance that within their organization all change, no matter how dramatic, will be executed within a community.
Traditions provide a showcase for modelling behaviours, dealing with failings and celebrating successes, expressing thank-yous for contributions, and giving your customers a way to experience how you operate. Building on traditions and revisiting them can help set the bar for the way things get done in your organization.
Building on tradition, familiarity, culture and values is critical to building trust – both within and outside your organization. There is simply no underestimating the importance of trust in getting the most out of your team, building your brand, winning and keeping customers, and perhaps most critical right now, attracting the right kind of millennial talent to your team that can build on your traditions and take your organization somewhere new.
So whether it’s beer-o-clock on a Friday, or the team retreat every year – Don’t sacrifice your traditions when things get too busy. Take time to build on the traditions and values that made your business what it is now and use them to map out where you want to go.
Want to know what the future holds for Australian SMEs in the Digital Economy? Download our 2018 Report for FREE today: Forging Our Digital Future by Maxsum Consulting