Daimler taps its human capital to drive digital transformation. Source: Shutterstock

Daimler taps its human capital to drive digital transformation. Source: Shutterstock

Why Daimler & Boeing count on employees to drive digital transformation

EMPLOYEES understand the company they work for better than anyone else, which is why they’re best equipped to not only run digital transformation projects but also drive it.

Organizations doing an exceptional job with technology also understand that their employees — their human capital — are not only central to their digital transformation agenda but also help accelerate the achievement of milestones.

Daimler (Mercedes) and Boeing are great examples of companies partnering with employees to leverage technology for smarter and more intelligent business outcomes.

According to Daimler’s website, employees form the basis of all their digital transformation efforts.

“We use the opportunities that digitalization offers to make the work of our employees easier and provide them with the tools and the knowledge by means of international roadshows, workshops, open spaces, and DigitalLife Days in order to help shape the digital future.”

The company constantly engages with employees through different mediums and platforms to constantly remind them that they’re now in a digital-first world and that their objectives must be aligned accordingly.

Daimler’s success with digital transformation is quite evident with its work in the connected cars space, building autonomous cars for the future, and pioneering vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications forward in the automotive industry.

Daimler (with its iconic brand Mercedes) never struggled to attract the right talent — be it for its engineering projects or to push forwards its digital agenda.

However, the company’s conscious efforts to help employees across the board understand the need for digital has helped visualize interesting future-states for the industry that are constantly being tested and improved.

When successful, each can provide a distinct competitive edge to the company.

While Boeing’s success with digital transformation isn’t as pronounced (going by projects that are public knowledge), glimpses into the company at events and trade shows showcase how the business is empowering employees to re-imagine the future.

At a recent conference, for example, CIO and Senior VP Ted Colbert spoke about digital transformation at Boeing and pointed out that the business is in the practice of training engineers in different aspects of business operations and management.

He emphasized that the company is careful to ensure that project teams are balanced well, involving all kinds of talent — engineering, design, business, and so on. In the business, leaders create an environment for each of these teams to succeed.

In its own ways, Boeing’s people efforts show that its employees are a critical part of its plans for a more digital future.

It’s consistent with advice from a recent Harvard Business Review article:

Cross-functional teams have the opportunity to unleash great results, but only if we ensure they are set up in the right way and given the support they need in order to work.

In the current business climate, companies need to make these cross-functional teams successful — or risk being left behind.

Organizations that really want to succeed with digital transformation already know the value of collaborating with employees.

After all, when ideas come from employees, they’re more likely to get the support of staff and therefore, more likely to succeed — and deliver better results to its stakeholders.