Building Digital Culture – Book Review

Building Digital Culture – Book ReviewBuilding Digital Culture by Daniel Rowles, Thomas Brown
Published by Kogan Page on January 28th 2017
Pages: 240
Source: NetGalley
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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.


Is your organization building digital culture? Should it be? Then you need to read the latest from Daniel Rowles and Thomas Brown.

The world has changed and we’re seeing a flow of companies close because they haven’t evolved. Amazon (and others) disrupted retail, Warby Parker disrupted optical hardware, Uber disrupted taxis. In Building Digital Culture, the authors explains why you need a digital transformation and how to make it happen. Culture change isn’t easy, and Daniel and Thomas don’t pretend it is. It’s something I love about the book.

Another favorite section is discussing the CEO. It links to the section on which organizations fail at building a digital culture – it’s because leadership doesn’t want it. The key word is culture, and that’s all encompassing. Wait, I’m getting on my soap box and Daniel and Thomas explain it better than me venting. So back to them. They interviewed more than 100 industry leaders for tips and advice on digital transformation, and have scattered quotes throughout.

It’s hands-on too. Extra resources are available online, and a digital culture audit is part of the book. I love that it asks lots of questions, but doesn’t dictate the answers. I don’t recall it being stated, but no two organizations have the same digital culture.

At one stage the book became a little jumpy. I was reading a review copy gifted by Kogan Page, so this section may have been removed from the final release. The section send into minute detail on using Google Analytics. I’m definitely a fan of measurement and SMART goals, but this felt out of place when everything else was a much higher level.

Who should read Building Digital Culture?

I definitely recommend this for anyone who denies their organization needs a digital culture. And for those CEO’s who know they need a change, but are hesitating. For me, much of this book was ho-hum. But I expect a digital culture, so this book is not for me.

There were a couple of snarky notes I left while reading but later realized I misunderstood the sections. Little comments hinting at H2H, and suggesting that mobile is an older concept were probably preparing out of touch leaders for the real world (my snark, not the authors’), and not pandering like how I originally read it.

For most of you reading this, send a copy of Building Digital Culture to that leader who frustrates you the most. For the few others here for whom this book is written: buy, read, action. Do it now!

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