Successful digital transformations are underpinned by a strong digital culture, which is a huge enabler of change. But, for most organisations, cultural change is still the largest barrier faced for successful transformation and the most difficult to overcome.

Forrester’s digital maturity model identifies three levels of maturity, each with common practices and each building on the last, to help digital business leaders accelerate digital maturity. Forrester has developed a trilogy of reports on cultural transformation aligning to these levels of maturity – beginner, intermediate and advance – detailing different cultural practices within each.

Digital culture characteristics at different stages of maturity


  • Fix Your Culture Gaps To Speed Up Digital Transformation shows digital business leaders how to seed the cultural changes that start to move their organization toward a digital culture. It describes how culture is the foundational glue that binds strategy, technology, processes, and organization, with actionable advice to help you kick start cultural change.
  • Accelerate Your Culture Practices For Digital Transformation picks up the next stage in cultural transformation. Once the foundations are in place, digital leaders must accelerate change and embed values and attitudes – to entrench digital skills, enterprise-wide collaboration, and a strong focus on customer outcomes across the organization.
  • Apply Cultural Patterns From Leading Digital Innovators examines how leading firms place their digital culture in perpetual beta, driving continuous innovation and rejuvenation. It observes how digital business leaders use the same incremental, insights-based approach on their culture as they use on their software, to do what all great leaders do – inspire others to strive for a better future.

At the intermediate level, an organization has established the baseline for culture change, with pockets of experimentation and technology adoption across the business. Now this experimentation must develop into a systemic, long-term change program across the organization.

Key takeaways for cultural transformation at the second level, intermediate, include:

  • Embed Clear Vision And Values Across Organization. Digital leaders must ensure that every individual employee understands their role in and contribution to the digital business vision. C-level executives must actively promote, not just verbally support, cultural change.
  • Actively Reward Behaviors To Support Culture Change Like Collaboration. Cultural change requires a shift in working styles as well as communication within an organization. Digital leaders must work to align goals across teams to promote and reward collaborative working practices.
  • Innovation Becomes A Tool For Continuous Improvement. Innovation must evolve from a tool to spark change to one that supports continuous improvement. Digital leaders must embrace failure as part of development and open up the organization to external partnership opportunities.