The captain recounted his life in shipping and mem-ories of different ports. The posts captured internal attention, and Granholm-Brun presented all of-ficers and cadets the same opportunity to blog and become Maersk’s social media ambassadors. As she describes it, “What we end up doing is telling the story of what Maersk does and how we do it and the values that we live by through the very trustworthy and honest voices of the people who work for us.”7Can Technology Change the Culture?Whether culture drives technology adoption or whether technology changes the culture is still an open question. Beth Israel Deaconess’ Halamka stands on the culture side of the question. “I have never seen a technology drive change on its own,” he says. “Culture leads the adoption of technology. Our ability to inno-vate depends on the impatience of our culture.”A former telecom industry CMO sits on the other side of the debate. He observes that the digital culture of his organization traces its roots to early social media experiments. “Social helped get the momentum going,” he says. “As more people jumped on board, social played a major part in changing the culture. 60%80%100%40%20%0%12345678910Organization’s digital maturity levelEarlyDevelopingMaturingPercentage of respondentsCollaborative comparedto our competitorsMy manager encouragesme to innovate withdigital technologiesInnovative comparedto our competitorsHow respondents characterize the culture of their organization (Respondents who answered “Strongly agree” or “Agree”)FIGURE 7: Digitally maturing companies behave in ways that are different than other companies.
12 MIT SLOAN MANAGEMENT REVIEW• DELOITTE UNIVERSITY PRESSR E S E A R C H R E P O R T S T R AT E G Y, N O T T E C H N O L O G Y, D R I V E S D I G I TA L T R A N S F O R M AT I O NI’d like to say it was thought through in advance and part of a formal culture change program. But it wasn’t. The change started with a technology experiment.”The strategy executive from the manufacturing sec-tor quoted earlier is somewhere in the middle. To her, culture and technology are inextricably linked. As an example, she cites replacing desktop computers with laptops, which allows people to move around the office. But if the culture and physical space of a company don’t support employees working to-gether, people will likely stay put. “Organizations often think about technology in a very narrow sense,” she says. “They don’t ask questions about what be-haviors a new technology might foster and what behaviors it might actually inhibit. The answers must line up with the overall culture and direction that leaders want to take the company.”More than half of respondents from digitally matur-ing organizations say that the digital agenda at their companies is led by a single person or group. Nearly two-thirds of those respondents indicate that the person or group includes someone at the C-suite or vice president level. In early-stage companies, only
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