Certainly, in a world full of digital interaction, we crave human connection. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, we noticed how much we miss contact with people. Not just family, but also 'casual' encounters, such as the barista at our favourite coffee shop.
The idea of "consequential strangers" is based on the work of psychologists Melinda Blau and Karen L. Fingerman. They write that these types of 'casual' encounters provide us with an anchor in the world that gives us the sense that we are part of something bigger.
Where does the human fit in a digital world?
The COVID-19 pandemic has given a tremendous boost to digitalisation. I personally noticed this as a former traveling consultant. The time of almost daily customer visits and numerous "on-site" workshops is really over. Organisations are increasingly set up for not only customer contact to be primarily digital, but also for communication between employees to be digital.
Digital transformation is not only about technology, but also about people and culture. The success of a digital transformation is determined by both the technology and the people.
The human in the digital experience
Mulesoft's 2022 Connectivity Benchmark Report shows that almost three quarters of customer interactions with customers are conducted entirely digitally. However, 70% of organisations struggle with fully connected experiences across all channels. The experience is not consistent and not "human" enough, especially if employees do not have enough space to interact optimally with the customer.
Every employee plays a crucial role in the digital culture. Digital transformation requires that employees be able to make decisions, be proactive, continuously learn, and adapt to changing circumstances. Technology should support professionals - not hinder them - in establishing personal contact with employees.
Read the article "The Importance of the Human Touch in Digital Transformation" by Melissa Henley.
How digitally mature are you?
People and Culture is an important dimension in the TIMAF digital maturity model. Take the digital maturity self-test and you will quickly get an idea of the first things you should take on.