Digital Leaders Blog

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A 'must read’ for participants on our ‘Leadership for the Digital Era’ programmes, from Steve Denning author of ‘The Age of Agile’.

The Dominant Model Of 20th Century Organizations: Bureaucracy

If we look at 20th Century organisations, we can see that a bureaucratic mindset was dominant. The organizational world was seen as vertical. Its natural habitat was the tall buildings in places like New York. Strategy gets set at the top, as Gary Hamel often explains. Power trickles down. Big leaders appoint little leaders. Individuals compete for promotion. Compensation correlates with rank. Tasks are assigned. Managers assess performance. Rules…

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How Different is Digital Leadership?

We have been arguing for four years now that a new breed of senior executive is required, Digital Business Leaders - executives who can combine high level business knowledge, experience and understanding with the ability to develop Digital Transformation Strategies fully aligned with and supportive of agreed business goals and objectives. Executives with the personal skills and confidence to drive organisational change.

But how different is this new breed of leader? Does the leadership handbook need to be completely rewritten for the digital age? Or do the essentials of leadership stay the same even in an era of rapid digital disruption?

A joint research project between MITSloan Management Review and Deloitte sheds…

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Having board members with experience in digital business is the new financial performance differentiator according to research published in the Spring Edition of the  MITSloan Management Review.

Based on a comprehensive machine learning analysis of the digital know-how of all the boards of US listed businesses, the study found that companies whose boards of directors have 'digital savvy' outperform others.

'Digital savvy' was defined as an "understanding, developed through experience and education, of the impact that emerging technologies will have on business success over the next decade". 

Interesting variations emerged across industries, with boards of directors in some sectors being significantly more 'digital savvy' than others. …

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As we tie ourselves in knots over Brexit, our international competitors continue on their digital transformation journey.

In Singapore, already considered by most observers to be a world leading digital national, a further S$300 million ($222 million) is being allocated to spur research in digital innovation as the government transforms the economy through technology.

The amount, almost double the current budget, is part of the next phase of the National Research Foundation’s five-year plan, ending 2020, to support industries "innovate and stay competitive as technology rapidly evolves".

A range of measures have been launched aimed at attracting more businesses and investors through technological advances, supporting small businesses go digital and developing a high-technology skilled workforce.

Following…

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As we move from the WHY to the HOW of digital transformation, a balanced approach is required to overcome the numerous obstacles standing in the way of effective change management. Technology on its own is not enough.

Two of the main obstacles to successful digital transformation, identified in most recent research studies, are people and culture.

This 2018 paper from BCG argues that transformation requires a tectonic change in the activities performed by employees, their individual behaviours and the ways they interact with others inside and outside the organisation. Traditional ways of working are incompatible with digital transformation.

As well as acknowledging digital transformation as the fundamental, strategic paradigm shift it is, leaders must instill a culture that supports change.

Embedding a…

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"They call us millennials and Gen Z. We are over 140 million strong, represent 25% of the workforce, nearly $2 trilllion of buying power, even though over 60% of us still live at home.

We are politically liberal leaning and the most diverse generation by far. We don’t read the newspaper, listen to the radio, watch network TV, or use a home phone number. We spend a lot of time online, building our digital network and consuming information from it.

Unfortunately, due to fewer opportunities and record levels of student debt, we probably won’t have our own car or house for a long time (and maybe never).

If you run a company and want us to love your brand or even work for you someday, here are some more things you should know about us."

Read the full article…

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How Blockchain is Set to Change the World

An interesting Infographic from consumer research company The Opinion Economy highlighting how Blockchain could 'Rebuild the World'.

The Infographic was developed in an effort to help bring clarity to the promise and potential of Blockchain; especially beyond its association with Cryptocurrency.

It highlights how Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS), Artifical Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IOT), Edge Services, Cryptography, and Data-in-Motion Security can be combined in inventive and creative ways delivering "previously unimaginable solutions to complex issues that empower people and contribute to a better world".

Please click on the image below to view the full Infographic. 

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If you work in field services or as a tech strategist/consultant in mobile and remote work, I think you may find this conversation interesting. Everything about the future of work is being reimagined. 

An interesting podcast discussion, with transcript, between futurist Brian Solis, ZDNet and…

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The main findings from our Public Sector Digital Leaders Forum held on 1st November last year are now available.

Using an Interactive Audience Polling Tool, the results provide a very useful snapshot of the state of public sector digital transformation in Scotland year end 2018.

While there is growing acceptance of the need for Scotland’s public sector to transform digitally, only limited progress has been made in leveraging the full potential of emerging technologies for enhancing the citizen experience; building efficient, agile digital workplaces; and reimagining service delivery.

Most public sector organisations in Scotland remain fixed at an early experimental…

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While enormous resources are being spent on digital transformation programmes by the private sector, the results are underwhelming. According to estimates, this year over $1.2 trillion will be spent by companies worldwide on their digital transformation efforts and yet analysis suggests that only 1% of these efforts will actually achieve or exceed their expectations.

The Digital Enterprise: Moving from experimentation to transformation is a practical guide on how to envision, structure, and sequence successful digital transformation…

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Capgemini's recent report Understanding Digital Mastery Today is required reading for anyone invloved in leading digital transformation programmes.

You are not alone in the barriers and obstacles you face!

Based on an extenisve survey of 1,300 executives in over 750 global organisations, the research concludes that many are finding their digital transformation journeys a real struggle. Only a minority of the organisations surveyed have the digital (39%) and managerial (35%) capacities needed to make their digital transformation successful.

Worringly, there has been a significant decline in organisations' general readiness for digital transformation compared to an identical survey carried out six years…

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Leadership in a Digital Era

The changes brought about by the Internet over the last twenty years are nothing compared to what is coming over the next few years. A convergence of disruptive technologies, combined with the rapid emergence of a new generation of constantly connected, empowered customers and employees (Gen C), is threatening to reshape markets faster than at any time in history.

No industry, no organisation is immune from the threat of being disrupted; just ask your local taxi driver (Uber) or Guest House owner (Airbnb). With labour markets being transformed by artificial intelligence and automation, no individual is immune. 375 million people worldwide may have to switch occupation category by 2030 according to one study (…

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One for discussion at our next 'Leading Digital' Masterclass, Digital Landscape Analysis session. 

Gartner has recently presented their top 10 strategic technology trends for 2019.

The emerging technologies likely to have the most disruptive impact over the next five years include:

1. Autonomous things

By the year 2021,10% of new vehicles will have autonomous driving capabilities, up from 1% in 2017. Major automobile manufacturers will reach level four autonomous driving by 2021, which bascially means the car will drive itself.

2. Augmented analytics

The number of citizen data scientists will grow five times faster than the number of expert…

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Since May of this year, we have delivered eight of our highly regarded ‘Leading Digital’ Executive Masterclasses, including two five-day programmes, four three-day programmes and twice through online delivery over a five-week period.

Senior managers representing 200 organisations, from 20+ countries, have participated. A live Interactive Polling Tool was used to provide high level insight into the State of Digital Transformation 2018 covering the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Key highlight findings are summarised below:

1.  To what extent is your industry, your organisation, under threat of being disrupted?

Eighty-six per cent of executives agreed that their industry/their organisation was under threat of being disrupted. Twenty-five per cent stated that ‘big bang’ disruption…

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An interesting series of short videos from McKinsey profiling the digital transformation of DBS Bank based on an interview with CIO David Gledhill.

Highly relevant to our 'Leading Digital' workshops- The Three Key Elements; Digital to the Core; Our Rallying Call: Becoming the "D" in GANDALF; Our Outcomes; A Scorecard for our Mission; Advice for Others on this Journey.

"The digital transformation of any enterprise is a herculean task requiring a willingness to embrace cultural change, the ability to immerse the entire organization in the customer journey, and a total commitment to digitize to the core. DBS Bank Chief Information Officer David Gledhill shares his insights on DBS’s digital transformation with McKinsey’s Vinayak HV, a partner in the Singapore office".

 The Three Key…

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Football fans (soccer to our North American friends) should find the two videos below to be of interest.

How Bayern Munchen uses digital technology to enhance the fan experience at the Allianz Arena.

A big thank you to 'Gunner' fan Mohammed AlGhazali from the Strathclyde Business School MBA programme (Bahrain) for showing me these during the recent Digital Leaders workshop in Abu Dhabi.

Having experienced every senior football ground in Scotland, annually for the last 50 plus years, the only thing i can add is 'if only'.

Take care.

Jim H…

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According to a recent report by Capgemini Consulting, organisations are now convinced of the benefits AI can bring. The key question now is where and how they should invest.

The research, freely available here Turning AI into concrete value: the successful implementers’ toolkit, offers a pragmatic guide helping organisations in their AI investment decisions.

Based on an analysis of over 50 AI use cases, together with a survey of over 1,000 senior executives, the report presents interesting case examples of AI delivering tangible business benefits across a range of different industries. Highly practical advice is provided in terms of devleoping an AI strategy and roadmap for your own…

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The concept of Digital Operating Advantage is one of the key issues discussed during our ‘Leading Digital’ Masterclasses.

It refers to the way in which organisations can leverage the full potential of emerging technologies to streamline internal processes and systems, improve efficiency, reduce costs, building a more collaborative, cost efficient, agile, responsive, data driven organisation, ‘fit-for-purpose’ in a digital age.

The successful deployment of an Enterprise Social Media (ESM) platform is critical in this respect as highlighted in the video below.

 

The key term above…

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Following our recent post Charting the Digital Transformation Genome, a HBR paper examines the reasons why some high profile digital transformation programmes fail based on the experiences of compaies such as GE, Lego, Nike, Procter & Gamble, Burberry, Ford and others. All case examples of heavy commitments to digital capability development which failed to meeet basic financial performance objectives.

The authors present four main reasons for failure:

First, there are a very wide range of factors that impact on a company's performance as much or even more than digital. Managers, therefore, should not view digital as a panacea.

Second, digital is not just about technology. Successful digital…

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According to Anthony Abbatiello, principal, Deloitte Consulting and global leader of Deloitte Leadership, $400 billion is wasted every year in failed digital transformations. Even though many companies profess to have digital strategies, they don’t fully understand what it’s actually going to take or haven’t pinpointed what they want the business to look like.

There’s also an element of “executive tourism” as senior managers see things they like in Silicon Valley and seek to cut-and-paste them into their own organizations.

So, they embark on “random acts of digital” rather than create a cohesive strategy. They invest in digital technology and are disappointed when the expected massive change (and returns) don’t appear.

Despite such failure rates, digital transformation can be successful. But, it’s going to take a mind-set…

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