Leading digital business transformation is something that has to be learned by many executives. We hear a lot about the need for companies to transform themselves digitally to remain relevant and competitive, but we hear much less about the personal transformation that leaders need to undergo, before they can lead their employees on a digital business transformation journey.
Ego, reluctance to sound silly, digital denial and fear of failure are some of the reasons why CEOs fail to address the challenge of digital business transformation head-on. This can lead to CEO's washing their hands of anything that is remotely technical-related and delegating it to the CIO. While digital solutions might be technical, the digital business transformation which those solutions enable couldn't be further from the technical world we have seen in the last two decades. Even the term “digital transformation” has morphed into a more suitable “digital business transformation” so that it better articulates the meaning.
Most executives sit in their positions because they have worked their way up the corporate ladder in one or more companies. But leading in the digital age requires knowledge that most executives have not been able to acquire during their career, because digital business transformation hasn't been a requirement. But many people still make the mistake of thinking that IT projects are the same as digital business transformation – which couldn't be further from the truth.
Leading operational excellence is what many executives have excelled at but that is very different to leading digital business transformation. Which means that executives, whether that is the CEO, CFO, CIO, etc. need to open themselves up to learning about the relatively new topic of digital business transformation.
Learning to Lead Digital Business Transformation
Below are three opportunities for executives to educate themselves about digital business transformation in privacy and confidence.
1. Download the top digital business transformation intelligence from 2015
2. Enrol in an online course in leading digital business transformation
3. Subscribe to a weekly curated summary of the world's best transformation intelligence
While consulting firms, system integrators and the like are ready and eager to steer executives towards lucrative initiatives, it is vital that executives educate themselves in fundamental digital business transformation principles first. There is a right time and a wrong time to engage third parties, and it's important not to engage them naively and set yourself up to being steered.
In the video below, Mphasis CEO Ganesh Ayyar and Wharton professor of management Michael Useem, speak with Wharton's Steve Sherretta about the digital business transformation challenges faced by today's C-level executives.