Leadership at a Time When Every Company Is a Tech Company
A new interview series will offer lessons from modern leaders on how to manage teams, navigate complexity, and adapt to change.
Leading With Impact
In 2011, Marc Andreessen, cofounder and general partner of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, penned a phrase in The Wall Street Journal that quickly caught fire: Software is eating the world.
This pronouncement ricocheted across business and media and was repeated everywhere from board meetings to developer conferences. In five simple words, Andreesen had distilled the technology revolution that was taking place in Silicon Valley and spreading across the globe.
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By this point, the tectonic shift of digitalization had already been long underway. In 1999, before the dot-com bust or Mark Zuckerberg’s arrival at his Harvard dorm room, Andy Grove, the late chairman of Intel, told an audience in Ireland that in a few years, there would no longer be a need to label businesses as “internet companies,” because they would all be internet companies.
In the years since, Andreessen’s and Grove’s declarations have been proven right. Open source, cloud, and software-as-a-service offerings now allow every company to operate as a tech company in many ways. The rise of the technology sector has seen the concentration of market value in a handful of huge, powerful companies. There has also been a much more recent retreat from disruptive mottos like “Move fast and break things” in favor of more accountability for a broad set of stakeholders.
If there were any remaining doubt that every company is now a tech company, you would only have to look at the modern C-suite, which now includes leaders who are experts in things like software development, security, and user experience. But today more than ever, there is a recognition that leading with technology requires a critical focus on people and processes, not just the technology itself.
In a new interview series, Leading With Impact, author and organizational coach Chris Clearfield will be talking with leaders who manage technology-driven teams at innovative organizations across the world. Clearfield is also cofounder of Systems Logic and coauthor of the book Meltdown (Penguin Press, 2018), which examines the complexity that causes failure in all kinds of modern systems.
In this series, we will look at big-picture challenges that are universal to businesses of all types — such as managing complexity and risk. Conversations will also home in on the details of what leaders have learned along their career paths to help spark ideas that might enable you to accelerate innovation in your organization.
The first interview in the series, with Tassilo Festetics, who leads innovation teams at Anheuser-Busch InBev, is now available.