Jenny Davis-Peccoud: Organizing for Digital



The new variables of the digital age are forcing companies to change in a few key ways. Jenny Davis-Peccoud, who leads Bain's Organization practice in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, shares three things companies can do to transform themselves for digital success.

Read the transcript below.

JENNY DAVIS-PECCOUD: Everybody knows that digital is impacting companies. What does that mean for the organization? Well, we see companies wrestling with three major issues. The first one is organization design. Digital changes the boundaries of the organization. It starts blurring P&L accountability between channels, for example.

And in fact, it changes the boundaries between what's in and out of the organization. Some things will move out, other things will happen through partnerships. That has a fundamental impact on what the organization should look like and how it should work. The org chart won't exactly end, but it will look very different.

The second challenge is around capabilities. Digital requires a whole new set of capabilities, whether that's data scientists and advanced analytics, right the way through to needing to use different skills and tools as you're doing your day to day work. Where you should invest to build capabilities is a very critical question.

Thirdly is around culture. Digital requires a whole new set of ways of working, whether that's more collaborative, more adaptive, faster paced, more team based. And some employees really struggle with making that shift to a new digital culture and way of working. What we see is that successful companies do three things. Firstly, they tackle the organizational software before realigning the hardware. What do I mean by that? They start by changing accountabilities, getting collaboration forums in place before they start moving around boxes on the org chart.

Secondly, they think creatively about their capabilities. They identify the few capabilities in which they want to spike and really invest in those, letting the rest of them be good enough. And finally, they architect the culture journey very intentionally. They figure out what kind of culture they need in the new organization and how they can help employees make the change. The digital age is here. Organizations need to catch up.