In his book The Effective Executive, Peter Drucker summed up the distinction between leadership and management in this way: management is about doing things right and leadership is about doing the right thing. For him, the defining quality of being an executive has little to do with the number of employees reporting to you. You can be an executive with no employees reporting to you. The defining quality of executives is how they think about their organization. If you go in the office in the morning thinking hard about what should be done in your organization so it can thrive, adapt and be successful and you act on those reflections, then you are an executive.
Most executives care deeply about their organizations. They are preoccupied with doing the right thing and doing things right. How can this be achieved when it comes to digital transformation?
No longer can digital transformation be an agenda item pushed to the sole consideration of CIOs and CTOs because digital transformation has huge ramifications for the sustainability of employment, the thriving of organizations, the effectiveness of governments and the greatness of nations. How can senior executives in the private and public sectors best approach digital transformation?
If you are willing to ask yourself that question, I suggest that you are definitely on the right track. As much as you are willing to consider the material provided and providing feedback when warranted, I think you can be an effective digital transformation executive - and know how to handle one!
Innovators & Investors
Technological change is of particular importance to the individuals who are at the front line of disruption: entrepreneurs and the individuals or institutions that fund their game-changing ideas.
As an innovator or investor you are in the best position to change organizations, societies, and lives, because you work tirelessly to re-imagine how digital solutions can be leveraged in new and novel ways.
The high-growth businesses that you launch serve as real-life examples of the transformation that is possible when talk is backed with traction. On this web site and in my blog posts, I will provide you with information that is right & relevant and with information that will facilitate deliberate discourse to spur progress towards pre-defined, well-thought-out goals, including by giving you a Map to orient yourself in the vast world of Digital Transformation.
Digital Change Agents
We live in exciting times! Artificial intelligence keeps maturing, Blockchain is finding non-cryptocurrency usability sweet spots and augmented reality can make the whole planet look for Pikachu. Amidst these new technologies and new ways of implementing them, there are tons of other information technologies and technology stacks that remain useful. The result? An ever increasing array of information technologies allowing you, the digital transformation advocate, to achieve and realize a variety of digital visions.
I was (and remain) a digital change agent. That is how I started my professional career 25+ years ago. I was fascinated by the "how" - how to get things done, digitally, optimally and cost-effectively.
When it comes to digital transformation, it is challenging to develop the right mix between learning in depth specific topics and learning the breadth of related fields of knowledge. If you have felt that tension before, please take it as a good sign. Digital transformation, as a field of knowledge, does not have the luxury of benefiting from a "Body of Knowledge", for example, such as the Project Management Body of Knowledge ("PMBOK"). So what can you do to know what you need to know to be a great digital change agent?
I have deep respect for policy advisors. In governments and in most organizations, policies are the preferred method for instilling traction in a specific direction. They can be national policies aiming to mobilize a country towards a desired set of outcomes or government policies understood as mobilizing a government towards specific outcomes. An effective policy advisor must therefore be proficient at identifying policy objectives, recommending an optimal direction and the best means to achieve those objectives. This is no small feat when it comes to digital transformation!
Policy advisors, particularly those in government, can greatly influence the direction in which a country will mobilize its resources and human capital through the definition and implementation of national policies. Even simple government policies may influence the work of hundreds if not thousands of public servants and indirectly influence the lives of millions of people. No pressure.
Considering the exciting and shiny nature of technological advances and new discoveries, I believe it is of the utmost importance that policy advisors in the area of digital transformation are equipped with the right Digital Transformation Policy Frameworks. When it comes to digital transformation, two specific frameworks are not only desirable, but necessary - one for national policies and one for government policies. These frameworks help ensuring policy choices are well-informed, transparent and comprehensive both in terms of the options considered and in the scope of action being contemplated. I refine these frameworks on an ongoing basis.
Finally, if you identify with this group, welcome to my site. I know (from chairing a 50+ speakers conference in 2012) that it takes a lot of work to put together a great conference. You want the absolute best program for your delegates and you want them to leave the conference feeling intellectually stimulated and emotionally empowered. To achieve this, you need good speakers!
The first time I was a speaker at an international conference, in 1999, I was so nervous. I was speaking on the NATO Humanitarian Bombings in ex-Yugoslavia - with Lloyd Axworthy on the same speaker roster. No pressure! It all went well thanks to Toastmasters International. 8 full months before the conference, I became a member of Toastmasters and I learned that a good speaker is knowledgeable and passionate about his topic whereas a great speaker is knowledgeable and passionate about his topic and his audience.
Since that time, I never repeat the same conference twice. I adapt to the audience. I try to pick one or two key messages and find how to best impart that knowledge to my audience. I craft my sessions to be interactive, filled with questions and empowering.