Digital Transformation - Focus on your core values

Digital Transformation - Focus on your core values

Roy Varghese, Director, CIO, NOAA Fisheries

When I joined NOAA Fisheries, the organization operated under a “Failure is not an option” motto that, although unwritten, was etched firmly in everyone. The core IT services provided to the 4,200 staff, including scientists, policy managers, and enforcement officers located across the country at our regional offices, science centers, labs, and national headquarters, were of high quality, consistent, and reliable. However, empowering and enabling the staff to digitize and transform leveraging new advances in technology required a different mindset.

Mark Fields, the former CEO of Ford once said, “You can have the best plan in the world, and if the culture isn’t going to let it happen, it’s going to die on the vine.” Leading a digital transformation effort has to start with changing the culture of the organization. Our digital transformation journey started with a firm commitment to the core values that our organization aspired to live daily. We defined our core values to be mutual respect, accountability, transparency and continuous improvement. These values have continued to serve as the guiding light for our people and resulted in dramatically changing the culture of the organization.

Mutual Respect: We strive to demonstrate respect for ourselves, our partners and teammates by trying to live the golden rule: treat others the way you would like to be treated. Making this value come to life in your organization requires the leaders to recognize and publicly affirm that everyone in the organization, no matter the level or rank, has something valuable to offer and that those contributions are important to the overall success of the organization. The pursuit of digital transformation requires cognitive diversity and open dialogue to imagine a ..

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