In our most recent Exchange, leaders from the business community unpacked what digital dexterity means to them; the drivers, enablers and watch-outs. Here are some of the conversation highlights. The key takeaway? Digital transformation never ends. The world keeps changing.
The term digital dexterity first appeared in a Gartner report in 2018. Until now, there hasn’t been much original thought added to the narrative. This is especially surprising considering how much the world and how we operate have changed significantly since then.
Now, the phrase is resurfacing. Digital dexterity refers to an individual or group’s ability to adapt to new technology — especially tech designed to help people work more efficiently and drive better outcomes. When workforces are digitally dexterous, they’re agile, adept and open to new tools. This in turn drives growth, innovation and productivity.
- “We’re creating a technology-driven culture, which means it’s a journey rather than isolated interventions”. When an organisation is operating across multiple countries, time zones and languages, digitalisation drives authentic connection, says the Global Digital Learning Manager at a worldwide FMCG.
- We’re still missing the water cooler moments. To our surprise, much of the conversation is still centred on hybrid working; with deliberate consideration of the time and space equation.
- “I try to figure out how not to write a 500-word email if I can do a video note instead.” The remote first company Dropbox, focused on rich media feedback tools, splitting the day into clearly differentiated group hours and focus hours; “we had to work harder to build collaboration into our ways of working, but we knew this would be the secret to maintaining our culture.”
“We had an amnesty week where we had to kill the things in our diary that no longer served us a purpose but somehow they still were on our calendar because they were ‘nice to haves’.”
- “22% of people in the UK do not have the digital skills for everyday life, and surprisingly, 6% of adults don’t use/have access to the internet ever”.
- “There isn’t proof that learning in person is more effective than online”. Learning is being used as an opportunity to bring people together, more for connection than the learning itself.
- “In the old days, we called it accessibility, now it’s about inclusivity because it is much more than the final result.” Many of our corporate operations and interactions now take place online, which can make for more inclusive spaces. However, there are still 3.7 billion people globally who are currently digitally excluded. This challenge means there’s still work to be done in providing access to inclusive spaces online for all.
This was a big topic, and it’s been a challenge to cover all the angles that we discussed in the conversation. Many of our attendees shared further reading:
- The Digital Nation Graphic for 2022 from The Good Things Foundation.
- Collaboration and creativity are impacted when you switch to digital: Yang et al 2022 explore the effects of remote work on collaboration among information workers.
- Explore the dystopian aspects of shifting privacy and data agency: The need for cross-sectoral best data practice principles
- Moving from exclusion to inclusion in digital health and care from The Kings Fund.