Posted on: 7/28/2023

Culture Ready: Digital Transformation in the Sporting Goods, Fashion, Mobility & Consumer Goods Industry


As digital and AI transformation grow ever more inevitable, at SRI we are seeing a steady growth in demand for positions in the digital field, from Chief Digital Officers, Chief Technology Officers, and Chief Information Officers to E-Commerce Directors, and on down through the value chain. 

Digital Transformation: According to a McKinsey report, 90% of companies are going through digital transformation. And at its core, every digital transformation is a people transformation. 

What are the benefits? 

It’s opening doors to innovation, creativity, and progress on a global scale, with the potential for an in-surge of new talent. It also has the potential to democratise the way companies use their data and spur innovation and crossover on technologies they already possess.  

What are the potential pitfalls?  

At this stage, executives might not have enough clarity on how to knit systems, people, and processes together in the most productive way. Additionally, for companies feeling stuck, digital transformation might seem like a tempting fix-all – but it’s hardly a ‘magic wand’ solution. To make the best use of the shift, a long-term, future-facing approach is needed, which treats digital and AI transformation with the same degree of rigor that you would measure any cost or revenue transformation. 

What does this mean for leadership? 

It’s important to understand that digital transformation isn’t something that’s going to reach an end point: it’s an ongoing journey. Leadership needs to embody the change they want to see, embarking on necessary training, encouraging employees to embrace new technologies, and providing them with the necessary resources to do so. It’s not just about investing in the latest tools but creating an environment where employees feel empowered and confident to leverage these tools to their full potential. Therefore, it is essential to communicate the vision clearly, involve employees in the process, and address any concerns or resistance that may arise.  

Additionally, digital changes need to be a CEO agenda item – not the what but the how; what the incentives are, who’s in charge, and how people spend their time.  

 How to tackle the culture change? 

Changing culture can be the biggest challenge for organizations seeking to become more adaptive and innovative. However, companies with innovative cultures are also recognized for having more fun and dynamic working environments, and it is something that both leaders and employees value in their organizations.  

Taking the team on the journey and embracing and making the most of digital change requires a shift in mindset. It necessitates a willingness to adapt, learn, and unlearn in the face of rapidly evolving technologies. Organizations must foster a culture that values curiosity, experimentation, and continuous learning. And hire the necessary talent needed.


Heike Pirochta

Senior Consultant (SRI Germany (GmbH)