A continuous stream of well-established companies is in decline and going out of business because despite their past successes, they’ve not been able to either defend themselves or orchestrate disruptive transformation in a way that allows them to thrive in the new digital economy. In this episode, Charlene Li – author of five books and Founder and Senior Fellow at Altimeter – shares her belief that more companies need to stop talking about disruption and start doing it. And she’ll share some ways to get started with that.
In this episode
For the past two decades, Charlene Li has been helping people see the future. She is the author of five books, including The New York Times bestseller “Open Leadership” and is the co-author of the critically acclaimed book “Groundswell”. She’s the founder and senior fellow at Altimeter, an analyst firm that was acquired in 2015 by Profit. Named by Fast Company as one of the most creative people in business, Charlene is an expert on digital transformation. But Charlene isn’t here today to talk about digital transformation. She is here today to talk about disruption. She believes we all need to stop talking about disruption and start doing it. She’s even gonna give us some ways to make disruption a part of our agenda every single day.
Charlene Li on disruption:
Well, it’s something that throws you off your kilter and it changes the way that your standing is in the world and your relationship to your organisation, to the people around it, even to your customers. And when it comes to innovation and digital transformation, what you’re really trying to do is to disrupt the status quo. And it is especially important in digital transformation because you’re trying to transform your organisation from what it is today to what it could be to harness all those opportunities.
And the biggest challenge I find with people going through a digital transformation is they want it to be not disruptive. And then the reality is, and my research is that, when you’re going through a transformation, it is by its nature going to be hard. And when I look at why some organisations succeed and don’t succeed at digital transformation, the ones who do are the ones who really embrace the idea that this is going to be a disruptive process.
“The hardest part if you’re a successful company, is that you have beautiful, profitable customers looking you in the face, saying, “come on, let’s do business together” And to be disruptive, you then have to say to them, “love you, and I’ll serve you really well, but my future lies elsewhere” and you’re going to turn part of your attention to that future as well.” ~ Charlene Li
Listen here and read the full transcript below:
About Leading Digital Transformation
Leading Digital Transformation is a weekly podcast series produced by Rob Llewellyn and The Digital Transformation People. Rob interviews experienced practitioners, authors and thought leaders whose stories and experiences provide valuable insights for digital transformation success.