Digitally-driven change is messy and unpredictable and unsettles everyone. Embracing the mess, and fundamentally changing organizational culture is critical for successful digital transformation. In the words of Cutter Consortium a change management expert Sheila Cox, “Digital transformation is not for the faint of heart. It means disrupting your company before your competitors do. It means experimenting, without any guarantee of success. It means creating something new and unproven, while sabotaging what’s already working. Digital transformation means taking big risks.” According to Cox, traditional, 3-phased approaches to change management don’t work with digital transformation. Why? Those approaches, such as Kurt Lewin’s “unfreeze, change refreeze” methodology, and Conner’s “present state, transition state, desired state” model, treat change Read more
Posts Tagged 'Leadership'
Nokia let the smartphone get away; Blockbuster never saw Netflix coming to steal its lunch. These are just two of the most frequently cited cases of incumbent businesses that didn’t pay enough attention to the disruptive potential of innovation by a new entrant or competitor. Your company needs to be aware of the imminent reality of being disrupted if it doesn’t stay ahead of the disruption curve. How do you stay ahead? By starting innovation as early as possible. You’ve heard it many times: fail early, fail often. Or, as Lekshmy Sasidharan wrote in a recent Cutter Consortium Executive Report: Begin adopting the disruptive and emerging technologies most relevant to your current and future business Read more
Some leaders mistakenly believe that they can opt out of Digital Transformation. They view Digital Transformation as adopting new technologies, and implementing organizational changes to enable the new technologies to provide the promised business benefits. Unfortunately, this is based on the erroneous assumption that organizations can choose whether they are impacted by new Digital Era technologies. The fact is, new Digital Era technologies are driving new ways of conducting business across industries and geographies. No one is untouched. The overall environment is continually changing and everyone is affected. Digital Era technologies are changing the relationships between employers and employees, between vendors and customers, and between service providers and service consumers. As these relationships change, expectations Read more
For well over a decade, leaders around the world have been encouraging software teams to embrace Agile development practices. The success of many of these teams has moved some leaders to extend their Agile approach to other parts of their organizations, allowing them to achieve true Organizational Agility. That’s the good news. The bad news is that in numerous industry surveys, issues related to Leadership have been identified as some of the top reasons that many Agile transformations have struggled. In the more successful transformations, Leadership has often been credited for being a major part of the success. So what can be done to help more leaders engage in successful transformations? An upcoming issue of Read more
“Musicians play their instruments. I play the orchestra.” Steve Jobs attributed this quote to a famous conductor in the film Steve Jobs. It’s hard to come up with a more vivid illustration of leadership. It acknowledges that conductors may be less adept at playing instruments than any of the players in front of them — and other instruments not at all — yet they elicit brilliant performances. I have been told by a San Francisco Symphony musician that guest conductors can in a few rehearsals have the orchestra sounding like the orchestras where they are based. Leadership, per Webster, means “the quality of a leader; capacity to lead”. In recent years, the word has become Read more
The 21st Century was introduced by the tumultuous climax of the dot-com boom on March 20, 2000 when the NASDAQ peaked at 5,132. Since then modern corporations marched on to become the majority of the 100 largest organizations in the world (in terms of revenue/budgets and employed people) surpassing the size of many sovereign national governmental organizations. And this phenomenon happened fast. In 1954, the Boeing Corporations became just the 23rd corporation to exceed $1 billion dollars in annual revenue. By the end of the 20th century, hundreds of corporations exceeded multi-billion dollars in annual revenue. I rejoined the University of Washington faculty in 2003 to research one of the hotbeds of corporate foundings and Read more
This coming year, government leaders will be looking for the most cost-effective means of operational stability for their level of government. Public sector executive leaders will take specific steps to assess their organization (both operations and information technology) to determine the most cost-effective means for business operations. For the IT organizations, this means taking a detailed look at the utilization of operational disciplines, governance and business alignment methods. In addition, decisions will have to be made regarding human capital replacement, training and/or selectively sourcing required technology operations and functions. At the same time, executive leaders will be faced with making decisions on modernization of systems and productivity applications. Progressive executive leaders will utilize an unbiased and Read more