Is your culture AI-ready?

Jerome Parisse-Brassens

At Walking the Talk, we believe that to be successful in an AI-powered world, businesses will need to have certain cultural attributes, which are not commonly present in large, complex organisations today.


Cultural lessons from Digital Transformation applied to the AI journey

During the first months of 2020 we conducted research on Digital/AI culture with dozens of leaders of local and global organisations. We were stunned to discover that the cultural attributes needed for the AI future already exist but are rarely present together in today’s organisations. Our prediction is that the advent of AI will make them more visible and more needed than ever.

Organisations need to create a culture that supports the introduction and successful implementation of AI, or face failure. Building culture takes time and those businesses that pay early attention to encouraging the mindsets and patterns of behaviour that support AI adoption will have improved chances of success.

What is AI?

AI is intelligence displayed by machines. The term is applied when a machine mimics cognitive functions that humans associate with other human minds, such as learning and problem-solving. AI transcends digitalisation of processes and digital transformation to create ever-increasing value for customers.

What are the key cultural attributes required for successful Digital- and AI-powered businesses?

Our research has identified the six cultural attributes that need to be present and healthy simultaneously in an business for the digital transformation or AI implementation to be highly successful.

Task & activity Purpose
Hiding information Transparency
Staying safe Courage
Tried and tested; certainty Learning
Results, output Problem solving
Transactional Caring
Start with oneself, individualism Collective thinking
Control Empowerment


  • Translated into words, this means that an organisation that is Digital/AI ready is an organisation that:
    Is able to articulate a clear purpose, expressed in terms of what value it adds to its customers and the role that employees all play in delivering that value.
  • Ensures its employees are trained, have the skills, the resources and the time they need to deliver on their work in alignment with the purpose. Leaders agree outcomes with their people and then get out of the way to let them deliver.
  • Listens to both its customers and employees; is able to put itself in their shoes to experience what they see and feel; flexes to optimise that experience in a respectful, trusting way.
  • Focusses on connections within the business; shares information transparently; recognises and rewards team and cross-functional results before individual results.
  • Encourages people to take calculated risks, to fail fast, and to learn together.
  • Makes personal responsibility a requirement for all; discourages blaming; and focusses on creating solutions, not fixing problems.

To download our report click below.

Download Digital Transformation & ai report

For further insights view our selection of case studiesebooksreports and white papers or contact us to learn how we can transform your culture.


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