Nine Things Digital Leaders Do

 
 
By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 07-03-2014 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The age of experimentation with digital is over, according to two recent reports from McKinsey & Company. Organizations must move beyond any existing baby steps or trial mindsets and transform themselves into digital companies. The CIO, of course, stands at the forefront of this transformation. Which means today's tech leader must embrace rapid change instead of fearing (or, worse, ignoring) it, and understand how to recruit and shape multi-faceted digital teams. To further elaborate, we've compiled the following best practices for CIOs and other senior executives as adapted from the two reports, which are titled "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Digital Enterprises" and "Strategic Principles for Competing in the Digital Age." Many organizations "are stumbling as they try to turn their digital agendas into new business and operating models," according to the Seven Habits report. "The reason, we believe, is that digital transformation is uniquely challenging, touching every function and business unit while also demanding the rapid development of new skills and investments that are very different from business as usual. To succeed, management teams need to move beyond vague statements of intent and focus on 'hard wiring' digital into their organization's structures, processes, systems and incentives." For the Seven Habits report, click here. For the Strategic Principles report, click here.

 
 
 
  • They Set Unreasonably Aspirational Targets

    Aim high in setting goals for cost reduction, market share growth, etc. If your targets don't make the troops a bit nervous, you probably aren't aiming high enough.
    They Set Unreasonably Aspirational Targets
  • They Acquire Talent Resourcefully

    They're not afraid to go outside their industry to land top performers, for example, realizing that skills matter over experience.
    They Acquire Talent Resourcefully
  • They Challenge Everything

    Don't accept historical norms. Question the status quo. Constantly ask "Why?" on both the customer-facing front and back-office systems and processes.
    They Challenge Everything
  • They Thrive on Great Data

    In doing so, they integrate data sources into a single system accessed organization-wide to improve the clock speed of innovation.
    They Thrive on Great Data
  • They Obsess About Customer Experience

    They push constantly to establish frictionless customer interactions from channel to channel, knowing that 86% of customers will pay more for a great experience.
    They Obsess About Customer Experience
  • They Constantly Monitor for Opportunities—and Threats

    Disruptive technologies create opportunities which emerge from new and unexpected places. But they also enable smaller, nimbler competitors who will grab them before you do.
    They Constantly Monitor for Opportunities—and Threats
  • They Find Fresh Alternatives to Traditional R&D

    They understand how to maximize effectiveness of peer-to-peer product innovation, crowdsourcing and more to improve products and services without major costs.
    They Find Fresh Alternatives to Traditional R&D
  • They Create Unified Structures Throughout Global Operations

    Standardization and integration across borders breaks down solos and increases operational visibility and performance.
    They Create Unified Structures Throughout Global Operations
  • They Relentlessly Re-Examine Existing Business Models

    Digital leaders recognize that digitization isn't a one-stop journey and that agile adaption to change is an ongoing process.
    They Relentlessly Re-Examine Existing Business Models
 
 
 
 
 
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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