Digital Leaders Blog

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The rationale underlying launch of our 'Leading Digital' programme four years ago was that a new breed of senior executive was urgently required - leaders of change for the digital era; executives who combine high level business knowledge, experience and understanding with the ability to implement digital supported transformation strategies fully aligned with and supportive of agreed business goals and objectives. Executives with the personal skills and confidence to drive organisational change.

New evidence that we are facing a crisis of digital leadership, not just digital skills, has emerged from a recent study by MIT SMR and Cognizant on the Future of Leadership in the Digital Economy

The study, based on a…

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Sixty per cent of businesses in the Middle East do not feel “future-workforce-ready” according to a new report from PwC.

Titled “Middle East Workforce of the Future”, the report explores the workplace gaps and challenges that organisations face in the region, outlining the key actions that need to be taken to prepare for tomorrow's workforce, today.

With technology disrupting the future of work, 70 per cent of Middle Eastern respondents feel less prepared than their global counterparts across all categories outlined in the report.

By their own admission, leaders are not doing enough to develop future-proof capabilities within their organisations.

You can read more …

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One for the April 'Leading Digital' programme in Bahrain.

A recent report from Future Market Insights entitled “MENA Digital Transformation - Market Forecast and Assessment; 2014–2020” concludes that the MENA digital transformation market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15.1% during the forecast period. Valued at US$ 1,028.8 Mn in 2014, the market is projected to grow to US$ 2,398.3 Mn by 2020.

Three main segments of the MENA digital transformation market are included in the report - digital services, digital software and end-user verticals. Digital services include digital consulting services, digital technology implementation services, digital technology integration services, digital operations & management services. The digital software segment includes digital content and applications, digital sales…

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Industry 4.0 holds the promise of a new era of globalisation. Yet a recent study by Deloitte concludes that most senior executives remain unprepared for a world of digital disruption.

Based on a survey of over 2,000 C-Suite Executives, Deloitte concluded that:

Many executives are struggling to develop effective strategies in today’s rapidly changing markets. Faced with an ever-increasing array of new technologies, leaders acknowledged they have too many options from which to choose and, in some cases, they lack the strategic vision to help guide their efforts. Organizational influences also challenge leaders as they seek to navigate Industry 4.0. Many leaders reported their companies don’t follow clearly defined decision-making processes, and organizational silos limit their ability to…

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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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