Showing posts from July, 2017

Digital Transformation and Leadership Development

I have read several articles recently about projects designed to teach digital systems to think more like humans.   For example one article was about teaching chatbot systems to communicate empathy to humans.   It seems ironic that we are developing digital systems to think more like humans, while at the same time much of my work is focused on teaching humans how to think more like and about digital systems and their capabilities.   Let me explain. Competitive battles in most industries today are increasingly centered on digital technologies and digital strategies, and as a result, it benefits leaders to have a deep understanding of how digital systems work, and how the impact of new digital innovations will change the behaviors of customers, competitors and partners. A few of the areas that I think leaders should really understand are: Simple programming concepts and computer logic Small World, social networks and swarming theories Industry and technology data exchan

Digital Transformation and Competitive Decision-Making

The winning trinity in competitive decision-making includes people, ideas and things according to the renowned military strategist John Boyd. Although competitive decision-making is not yet an Olympic sport, it affects us all.   Leaders (people) must become trained experts at using digital technologies to make fast decisions.   Leaders must use the right strategies and methodologies (ideas) to make wise decisions fast, and they must collect the needed data and analyze it fast enough using the best solutions (things).   If any component of this trinity is weak, it will be hard to compete. In a recent survey of high tech VP level and above executives that I conducted, few companies have a formal training program in place to help develop their leaders to be skilled at digital transformation and competitive decision-making.   Most enterprises are just rolling the dice on the skill levels of their leadership.   Given the emerging challenges that digital transformation introduces t

Brain Change and Digital Strategies

The renowned military strategist John Boyd taught that people and institutions collect favorite philosophies, strategies, theories and ideologies over a period of time, and then try to align the future to fit them.   The problem with this is the future is rarely like the past, and trying to fit new data into old paradigms often forces us to perform irrational mental gymnastics, which leaves us farther from the truth. Our resistance to change and unwillingness to question our beliefs in the face of mounting evidence, leads us to analytical and execution failure. A more productive habit would be to continuously review our mental constructs to find out how to modify our interpretations to align with new evidence.   This action, however, goes against our human nature that seeks stability and resists change.   We see the consequences of these challenges weekly as we read about companies (especially retail) failing as a result of their resistance. In the future, developments in artifici

Combinatorial Nature of Digital Technologies and Legos

I came across the brilliant  blog  site of Futurist Frank Diana this week.  In one of his most recent articles he discusses the concept of  combinatorial nature .  He states, " We are seeing exponential convergence across the areas of science, technology, economics, society, ethics, and politics. The  combinatorial nature  of an overwhelming number of building blocks drives an accelerating intersection across these areas."  As an expert Lego player, I can appreciate the concept of building blocks, and the near infinite number of combinations these blocks can be used to form.  The idea that we have now reached a critical mass of digital building blocks, and that we will now experience exponential growth through the combinatorial nature of them is compelling. The World Economic Forum also describes the future in similar ways,  “We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to o

Digital Transformation Crunch Time

Consumer behaviors are changing at speeds never before seen in many industries, which is impacting how businesses operate and bring products to market. In fact, more than a dozen retailers have closed this year as a result of having business and IT systems, and supply chains that are unable to meet the speed requirements of digital consumers. Most companies report they have 
IT systems in their inventory that are too slow or incapable of supporting real-time digital consumers.  That spells trouble.  Consumer and competitive changes are forcing enterprises to rethink their strategies in order to speed up in just about all areas: R&D, manufacturing, distribution, marketing, and sales. Enterprises that I speak with today seem to understand that the need for digital transformation is being driven by advances in mobile technologies, automation, cloud computing, sensors, big data analytics and artificial intelligence.   They realize they must upgrade their IT syst