Digital Leaders Blog

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We have been quite critical in the past regarding the failure of our Business Schools to respond to the growing shortage of digital leaders. At last, it appears that this is about to change. 

A recent article published on the Business Because MBA web site shows that a number of leading schools are now offering programmes to support executives in dealing with turbulent digital change and digital disruption.

Schools mentioned as being digital innovators include Harvard, ESSEC, Mannheim, Salford, Said, Cambridge Judge, IMD and Tuck as well as our own Digital Leaders MBA elective class at Strathclyde Business School.  I would also add the University of Edinburgh Business School to this list.

While it is great to see progress being made, Ted Malloch, fellow in…

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Digital Disruption Top Reads (No. 2)

Please find below our top ten reads on Digital Disruption and Digital Transformation published over the last month or so; together with some news type articles.

Top Ten Reads

Digital Disruption to Displace 4 in 10 Industry Incumbents by 2020

A short introduction to the recent IMD/Cisco Report. Digital disruption could overturn incumbents and reshape markets faster than any force in history. Based on a survey of 941 business leaders in 12 industries and 13 countries, the report concluded that digital disruption will displace approximately 40 percent of industry incumbents within the next five years.

The Digital…

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According to a recent article on the b-school network 'Business Because' by Seb Murray, Business Schools are reporting growing demand from companies for talent to lead digital growth. The growing demand for digital talent is being reported across a broad range of industries including fashion, banking and finance, healthcare, IT, consultancy, media, marketing, the digital sector itself and many others. Unfortunately, there is also a growing shortage of high quality graduates to lead companies into the digital era.

With digital having emerged as a key driver of growth, the skills shortage has transformed from a nagging worry for CEOs into something more challenging accordign to Jon Andrews, leader of PwC’s global people and organization practice. 'Despite rising business confidence and…

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A very interesting article has recently appeared in the McKinsey Quarterly by Marc de Jong and Menno van Dijk entitled ‘Disrupting beliefs: A new approach to business-model innovation’. The article provides advice on how industry incumbents can reframe their underlying business models in an era of digital disruption.

Established business models, according to the authors, are under attack - being subject to rapid displacement, disruption, and, in extreme cases, outright destruction because of the digital and social media revolutions. A simple but very useful Infographic is presented showing how business models can be reframed when threatened by digital disruption.

The five main stages are:

1. Outline the dominant business model in your industry.

2. Dissect…

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Business Schools and Digital Leaders

We have been arguing for some time now that more Digital Leaders are urgently required.

It is nice see, therefore, that innovative Business Schools are at last moving in this direction.

Please see the two articles below for a quick overview of some recent developments in this area.

Also nice to see a brief mention in both articles of our own Digital Leaders class at SBS.

MBA Careers: Business Seeks Tech-Savvy Leaders For Digital Transformation

Business Schools Help Executives Keep Pace With Digital…

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An interesting Infographic has just been published by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte based on their 2015 report entitled Strategy, Not Technology, Drives Digital Transformation.

The Infographic illustrates how rethinking strategy, culture and leadership can help organizations transform digitally.  Please click here to enlarge the image.

The full report, with detailed Executive Summary, can be downloaded…

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The Digital Vortex

I have just completed a second reading of the recent report entitled 'Digital Vortex: How Digital Disruption is Redefining Industries' mentioned in our last post.

This should be considered required reading for anyone wishing to develop a deeper insight into the coming digital tsunami.

The Executive Summary from the report is reprinted below.  You can access the full report here. No registration is required.

  • Digital disruption has the potential to overturn incumbents and reshape markets faster than perhaps any force in history.
  • The Global Center for Digital Business Transformation (DBT Center), an IMD and Cisco initiative, is dedicated to…
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Digital disruption could overturn incumbents and reshape markets faster than any force in history, according to a new report by the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation (DBT Center), an initiative between Cisco and the International Institute of Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Based on a survey of 941 business leaders in 12 industries and 13 countries (including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States), the report concluded that digital disruption will displace approximately 40 percent of industry incumbents within the next five years. Despite this, 45 percent of companies do not believe digital disruption merits board-level attention.

Most of the…

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The Internet of Living Things

A recent article on the O'Reilly Radar site, by Hagen Finley, examined the new opportunities being created for wellness management by The Internet of Living Things

Using two illustrative examples of aero-engines and tyres, the article begins by presenting a concise summary of the Internet of Things and its potential impact on core business models. According to the author, real-time reporting from embedded sensors not only changes the way machines function, it changes the way they are sold and operated.

For example, aero-engine manufactures such as GE and Rolls Royce are now renting rather than…

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Digital Disruption News No.1


The first in a regular series of posts keeping you up-to-date with what’s happening in the world of digital disruption.

Please right click links to open in a new tab.

The Swedish house designed by 2m people. This is what is called 'cool'. Big data in design - http://buff.ly/1GJqta9  

Soon, the idea of receiving medical treatment exclusively at a doctor’s office or hospital will seem quaint - http://buff.ly/1dhyoRc  

What it takes to build your Digital Quotient | interesting…

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In a recent interview with Upstart Business Journal, Ray Wang argues that since 2000, 52 percent of the names on the Fortune 500 list are gone, either as a result of mergers, acquisitions or bankruptcies. The changes are the result of digital business models creating disruption in the marketplace. While about 5 percent of organizations are leaders in proactively transforming their business models to adapt to the latest technologies (Microsoft, Oracle, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Uber among them), 30 percent remain laggards who don’t want to change.

Wang states that Digital Darwinism is unkind to those who wait. Anybody, even the smallest startup can overtake a large Fortune 500 company because it’s the non-traditional competitors that are creating new customers and new customer…

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One of the most frequently asked questions we receive during workshops is what impact will the digital revolution have on employment? Will we see large scale employment loses, across a wide spectrum of industries, due to digital disruption?

Author Martin Ford thinks so.

In his book with the above title, the author argues that, from an employment perspective, the current digital revolution will be quite different from the previous industrial revolution. In the latter, some jobs were eliminated, but these were more than compensated for by the employment creating effects of new technologies. The digital revolution will be quite different.

The review of the book on Amazon contains the following two hard hitting paragraphs.

'As technology continues to accelerate and…

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Big Data and Predictive Analytics at Airbnb

A fascinating article on the way in which Airbnb uses Big Data and machine learning to guide 'hosts' on pricing and how to increase bookings. What they don’t teach you on Hospitality Masterclasses :-)

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ellenhuet/2015/06/05/how-airbnb-uses-big-data-and-machine-learning-to-guide-hosts-to-the-perfect-price/

As usual, all comments and feedback are very welcome.

Take care.

Jim…

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According to new research by Harvard Business Review (HBR) Analytic Services, there is a strong positive relationship between digital leadership and business performance. Successful companies have a CIO taking a leadership stance in digital transformation.

The top seven strategies of CIOs within companies that HBR considers “Digital Leaders” - organizations strong in both digital leadership and management - are shown in the infographic below.

A key finding is the importance of digital learning. Digital Leaders place considerable emphasis on raising the digital skills bar having CIOs who are educating and empowering line of business leaders in digital knowledge.

To download the full report,…

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This Open Letter on the Digital Economy, from MIT, absolutely nails it in my view.

Although based on a US perspective, the call for a three-pronged effort covering changes in public policy, new organisational models and more research into the economic and social implications of the digital revolution is of equal relevance to many other countries.

Please take the time to read the Open Letter, following the links as appropriate.

As usual, all comments and feedback are very welcome.

MIT Open Letter on the Digital Economy

Jim…

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AMBA Refresher Day

We are delighted to be speaking at the AMBA Refresher Day in Edinburgh next Wednesday 10th June.

Participants at the event will be mainly Alumni members and non members of the Association of MBAs with the aim of the day being to 'go back to school' - bringing delegates up-to-speed with new topics being covered by MBA programmes in today's fast moving business environment. Not surprisingly the topic for our session is 'Digital Darwinism and Digital Dinosaurs'.  It will be interesting to see how many of the audience, having graduated three or more years ago, see themselves as being 'Future Digital Leaders'.

More details of the event can be found…

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Technologies like 3-D printing, robotics, advanced motion controls, and new methods for continuous manufacturing hold great potential for improving how companies design and build products to better serve customers. But if the past is any indicator, many established firms will be slow to adjust because of a formidable obstacle: legacy assets and capabilities that they are reluctant to abandon.

The question of why older incumbent firms are slow to adopt new technologies even when the economic or strategic benefits are clear is discussed in this interesting article on the Harvard Business School blog - …

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According to a new market research report by MarketsandMarkets, the Global Digital Transformation Market is expected to grow from $150.70 Billion in 2015 to $369.22 Billion by 2020, a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19.6%. Key technologies include mobility, analytics, social media, and cloud computing.

Major vendors in the Digital Transformation Market include Apple, IBM Corporation, Oracle Corporation, EMC Corporation, SAP AG, Adobe Systems, CA Technologies, Hewlett Packard (HP), Google, Microsoft Corporation and others.

A good summary can be found at …

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