CEO and Digital transformation
Changes in tide overnight
We have seen too many examples of Innovation and breakthroughs changing the tide overnight. We see that when digital cameras ended Kodak’s film dominance. We see Nokia’s function phone being affected by the strong sales of smartphones. We see the uprising of online shopping portals such as Amazon changing our shopping behaviours. Companies that do not transform in time risk becoming obsolete.
John Chambers, retiring Cisco CEO predicts that 40% of today’s businesses will fail in the next 10 years. 70% will make efforts at Digital Transformation but only 30% will succeed. Source: “Retiring Cisco CEO delivers dire prediction: 40 percent of companies will be dead in 10 years” – Julie Bort, Business Insider, June 2015
In the laps of the CEO
Digital Transformation has drastically impact on the business model and bottom line. It has become so huge a concern that it can no longer be contained in the care of the CIO.
Shareholders and boards are looking for CEOs that can drive Digital Transformation. To find the next pot of gold from Digital Transformation or simply just to stay relevant in the changing market.
Culture. The one place to start with
Whether you are heading a small startup or a MNC, for the chosen, building the innovative culture is the first stop. It may even be the one that will keep the innovative engine running.
We believe Culture is the key driver to Digital Transformation within the company. Just like how children follows the footsteps of the parents and seek to earn their affirmations; The way you embrace new ideas and technology and how you reward those who does so will be a key driving force.
Be curious about the latest in technology and methodology. Read it up. Example Big Data, Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence etc. Not only the technologies but also the methodologies of startups. (Our Series on Digital Transformation in Singapore is a good place to start. With bite size and succinct information to keep readers informed.)
Set an example to understand and dig deep within them to see how these can be applied to your company. Discuss these with your people. Let them know that the CEO is interested.
Set up a team
If resources permits, a team or department can be set aside to explore innovation. This may entail disrupting staff from their existing job functions, pulling them into this team for a short period of time e.g. 6- 12 months. A proper HR process flow has to be in place to support this.
Funds should also be set aside for these ventures as it will entail research, surveys and building of minimum viable products to test hypothesis.
Reward the process, not the outcome
Reward the process not the outcome. Reward people based on the effort to explore even if their venture did not result in success. The lessons learnt is success itself. We can reference to the fail fast methodology.
The culture of leaning and sharing between the staff and departments
Encourage sharing and setting up platforms for that to take place. The innovations from one department can likely be improvise and adapted to another. The tools or vendors discovered by one may benefit the other. Reward the department that share as well as reward the department that is willing to learn implement the ideas.