Leading a successful digital transformation isn’t about technological skills — it’s about being willing to experiment and take risks.
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Digital technologies are making work increasingly thought-driven, not muscle-powered. In this environment, planning and execution are merely table stakes for leadership. Real leaders must inspire and reward employee ingenuity, and must be bold enough to move creativity from the organization’s periphery to its center. To do that, leaders need to adopt five personal behavior changes, including resisting the temptation to tell people what to do and embracing distributed leadership.
The authors’ research suggests that, rather than leaving the development of innovation to serendipity, executives should create collaborative contexts where innovation is likely to emerge from unpredictable pockets of creativity within an organization. By understanding and tapping the power of employee networks, executives can stimulate the creation of these kinds of collaborative environments.
Digital transformation has two key implications for managers: First, it’s fundamentally about how your business responds to digital trends that are occurring regardless of your input. Second, how an organization implements technology is only a small part of digital transformation; strategy, talent management, organizational structure, and leadership are just as important as technology.
In a rapidly changing world, full of mixed messages and various uncertainties, it’s reasonable for leaders and managers to look for some language — a narrative — that helps people grapple with it all. “Journey” fits this particular bill in many respects. It’s a familiar and perhaps comforting framework for describing the pursuit of some end — but using it could affect your ability to envision a wider range of possibilities.
Every great strategy stands on the shoulders of a novel concept, a “big idea.” History is littered with once-extraordinary companies that became mediocre when their strategies drifted away from the big ideas that made them great, or when their once-big ideas lost their commercial punch.
How can executives develop their skills as strategists? One way is to learn from the masters. The book Strategy Rules: Five Timeless Lessons From Bill Gates, Andy Grove, and Steve Jobs (HarperCollins, 2015) explores insights drawn from the careers of these former CEOs of Microsoft, Intel, and Apple. In a Q&A, the book’s authors, David B. Yoffie of Harvard Business School and Michael A. Cusumano of MIT Sloan, explain how strategic thinking is a capability that leaders — even the superstars — develop over time.
Businesses need a new approach to the practice of leadership — and to leadership development. “Leadership is really not about leaders themselves,” argues Joseph A. Raelin. “It’s about a collective practice among people who work together — accomplishing the choices we make together in our mutual work.” Nelson Mandela was particularly adept at this new model of leadership, Raelin says. “One of the most important leadership lessons we might distill from Mandela was not his acquisition of leadership but the way he shared it.”
Among the findings of the MIT SMR and Deloitte 2014 report: as companies begin to reach maturity in social business processes, many of them are finding that traditional management practices are being replaced by a new kind of leadership. In a social business environment, communication practices between customers, employees, and managers are greatly altered — and the way management responds must change, too.
An audio briefing by Gerald C. (Jerry) Kane, co-author of the 2014 social business research report by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte. The report indicates that that measurement sophistication is finally taking hold in social business. More than 90% of “socially maturing” companies actively measure their social business efforts. The authors explain why C-suite leadership is crucial to reaping value from social business.
Companies use emerging technologies to achieve powerful enhancements to their operations. Research finds nine change areas: understanding customer wants and needs, increasing top-line revenues, opening new touch points for customers, automation of operations, knowledge sharing, performance management, digitizing parts of the business, creating new business models and globalization. The key is for executives to have vision, focus and follow-through.
The Mayo Clinic has been able to leverage and enhance its reputation as a trusted source of health information through a robust online presence and expansive social media program. Through its YouTube channel, Twitter feed, and Facebook page, it brings health information to hundreds of thousands of consumers. The Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media coordinates and focuses the Clinic’s various social media initiatives and programs.
The growing number of chief marketing executives reflects the increasing importance companies attach to marketing. Yet the average tenure of a chief marketing officer (CMO) is three and a half years, well below that of the typical CEO. Both the prevalence of the CMO position and its precariousness give rise to the question,“Has marketing realized the vision to which its adherents have long aspired?” This article asks if that question is an important one — and where marketing goes from here.
Nilofer Merchant’s The New How: Building Business Solutions Through Collaborative Strategy outlines how strategy with input from all employees is better than strategy from a few people at the top. It also outlines how to make it happen. “The bottom line is we don’t have the time in this economy to have a smallish group of people setting strategy or innovating or leading,” she says.
When Interface’s Ray Anderson founded his commercial carpet company, he’d never heard of ‘sustainability.’ Now his company has turned it into a competitive advantage. Here, a timeline for how one CEO’s ‘mental model’ changed.
A CEO’s new vision often blurs into an indistinct image once the initial blitz is over. To ensure that the vision is more than just a daydream, companies should follow a five-phase model that some organizations have used successfully to avoid disaster or complacency.
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