Digital Leadership is not an optional part of being a CEO

Josh Bersin| Harvard Business Review | December 01, 2016

Being a CEO is a tough job. You have many stakeholders, continuous challenges, and a wide range of things to think about. And the idea of the CEO as “boss” no longer applies. Instead, the most effective CEOs will need to start thinking of themselves as digital leaders. It’s your job to push the organization to stay focused, to experiment, to innovate, and to scale through standard platforms. These principles are fundamental to success in the disruptive years ahead.

I agree!

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How a cultural overhaul helped drive Air NZ’s digital transformation

David Braue | IT news | November 11 2016

The introduction of a chief data officer served as an important catalyst for a six-month digital transformation effort that helped Air New Zealand engage its staff in a massive overhaul of internal systems.

As one of the first companies in New Zealand to appoint a CDO –Air NZ found itself “learning the opportunities for a CDO”.  Those opportunities had become increasingly evident during 18 months of fact-finding by the airline’s executive, which expanded the CIO role into a CDO position to foster broader engagement within an airline that was champing at the bit of modernisation while still relying on an ageing IT environment.

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Transforming operations management for a digital world

Albert Bollard, Alex Singla, Rohit Sood, and Jasper van Ouwerkerk | McKinsey | October 2016

Organizations investing in human and digital capabilities can start by asking themselves several critical questions:

  • Do we really understand how customers interact with us now, and how they want to in the future?
  • How can we give customers the experience they want, no matter which digital and human channels they use?
  • How can we speed our metabolism so we can uncover new opportunities for better performance?
  • Can our culture become flexible enough for us to collaborate effectively with our customers through constant change?

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Why the ‘Big Four’ are not right for Digital Transformation

Sarah Forsterling | B&T | September 19, 2016

Digital has to have a seat in the boardroom.

To be successful, business leaders need to understand how people and technology collide. As true transformation sits at the intersection between digital strategy and culture. You need a digital first culture that is agile, responsive and encourages experimentation. The “big four” are not specialists in creating a culture that sees failing regularly as a key to success, they specialise in delivering reports, strategies and solutions to pre-determined problems. Before you invest thousands in getting on the journey, consider whether the chosen partner understands how to connect with your customer in the digital first world, and also how to nurture the culture to get there. This is one instance where bigger is not necessarily better. Australian businesses need a partner that will go with them on the journey, not a consultant who delivers a piece of work and walks out the door.

Couldn’t have said it better myself!

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Now, new, next: How growth champions create new value

By Jonathan Gordon, Nils Liedtke and Bjorn Timelin | McKinsey | September 2016

Three types of growth:

  1. The Investor has a clear understanding of where growth is with existing products and services and doubles down on the winners.
  2. The Creator builds value through new products or services. Creators work at the frontiers of change to identify the white spaces—in emerging customer needs, unserved segments, or adjacent markets. They harness advanced analytics and digital to disrupt markets, not just improve existing models.
  3. The Performer constantly optimises core commercial capabilities in sales, marketing, pricing, and customer experience.

There are three horizons of action – NOW, NEW and NEXT! Consider these questions:

  1. How balanced is our portfolio? If we take our portfolio of growth and innovation initiatives and plot them against NOW NEW NEXT, how balanced does the distribution look? Do we have a perspective on which of the six “growth plays” would be successful in our business?
  2. Who is thinking about disruption? Are we as systematic in NEXT as we are in NOW? Is anyone tasked with disrupting our core business—or are we leaving it up to competitors? What are we doing to explore additive business models?
  3. Are we limiting our horizons? In exploring NEW opportunities, do we impose limiting mind-sets on how we define consumers, our category, or the addressable channels?
  4. Do we use advantaged insights? Do we rely on the same data and insights as our competitors—or do we have a source of distinctiveness?
  5. Are we agile enough? Have we been able to accelerate our time-to-consumer and time-to-market? Or are we still stuck with cumbersome and slow innovation processes?

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The Boardroom as a catalyst for digital transformation

Stefan Guertzgen | Digitalist Magazine | 1 September, 2016

Given the fast pace of digital transformation in every industry, board members need to become more familiar with technology and its transformative properties if they hope to keep company executives thinking strategically.

  • Stay abreast of technical shifts
  • Focus on digital fundamentals and businesses models
  • Revisit strategy frequently
  • Consider bringing in a consultant or perhaps create a specific ‘digital’ advisory role

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Executing Strategies Like a Digital Leader

Luca Martini, CEO Magazine, August 2016

According to research from Accenture Strategy, while 98 per cent of business leaders in Australia expect their organisations to be digital within the next three years, only 42 per cent feel they are adequately equipped to make the necessary changes to leadership and management practices to adapt to the digital ecosystem.

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The CEO guide to customer experience

Executive Briefing | McKinsey| August 2016

A must read article which reinforces the difference between customer touch points and customer journeys and why we must understand the end-to-end customer journey.

Customer journeys are significantly more strongly correlated with business outcomes than are touchpoints. Armed with advanced analytics, customer-experience leaders gain rapid insights to build customer loyalty, make employees happier, achieve revenue gains of 5 to 10 percent, and reduce costs by 15 to 25 percent within two or three years.

Key points:

  • Observe and understand the interaction through the customer’s eyes.
  • Identify and understand the customer’s journey.
  • Quantify what matters to your customers.
  • Define a clear customer-experience aspiration and common purpose.
  • Redesign the business from the customer back
  • Align the organisation to deliver against tangible outcomes

Start with a differentiating purpose and focus on improving the most important customer journey first—whether it be opening a bank account, returning a pair of shoes, installing cable television, or even updating address and account information. Then they improve the steps that make up that journey. To manage expectations, design supporting processes with customer psychology in mind. Transform their digital profile to remove pain points in interactions and to set in motion the culture of continuous innovation needed to make more fundamental organisational transformations.

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Five questions boards should ask about IT in a digital world

Aditya Pande and Christoph Schrey | McKinsey | July 2016

Boards need to master a second language—one focused on digital themes, such as speed to market, agile product development, platform-based delivery models, and the benefits and challenges of analyzing various forms of corporate data. With a higher degree of digital fluency, boards can help C-suite leaders make better decisions about how to expand a company’s most successful technology initiatives and when to pull the plug on lagging ones.

  1. How well does technology enable the core business?
  2. What value is the business getting from its most important IT projects?
  3. How long does it take the IT organization to develop and deploy new features and functionality?
  4. How efficient is IT at rolling out technologies and achieving desired outcomes?
  5. How strong is our supply of next-generation IT talent?

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Your Company needs a more-radical Board of Directors

Tom Monahan | Harvard Business Review | June 20, 2016

 The best company’s Boards do things differently by using data and benchmarks not to aspire to the median, but to ensure radical deviations that are consistent with core strategies…

The research found companies with effective long-term planning processes are three times more likely to perform in the top 20% of their industry.

Great to read an article challenging the status quo of boards and encouraging them to spend more time on strategy and long-term planning.

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