Developing-Leaders-issue-31-2019

Developing Leaders Issue 31: 2019 | 89 Exec Ed Update but they counter with a clear exposition of how organizations and their people can prosper in a world greatly enhanced by technology, based on their many years’ experience leading digital transformation in global companies. Digital humans are demanding “a sea change in how people are prepared to work.” The upside to this, suggest the authors, is that organizations can stop relying on the same external consultants who have advised them for the past 30 years, and engage with their digital- savvy millennial employees to build capability internally, creating agile technology-powered teams to embrace transformational change. The authors’ central message is that “digital transformation requires a significant shift in mindsets of leadership.” Following a brief survey of the current and changing state of digital at both a personal and organizational level, the book focuses on what the “digitally activated” organization can achieve that pre-digital organizations couldn’t and on practical steps that leaders must take to fully realise this potential, offering twelve principles for change. These twelve principles, elaborated in the core of the book, are split across three areas: decision making and executing; engaging and motivating; and learning and getting to the next level. Using concepts like “app-ability”, “ theatres of work”, “the power of small things” and “targets and mirrors”, this is a check-list of advice that links how organizations operated and were led in the past with what they need to do to thrive in the future. Although this is a practical book which highlights what actually needs to get done to “make the most of all digital has to offer,” it is also an enjoyable read, rich in references to current new thinking and historical precedent, from Cathy O’Neil’s warning about algorithms, ‘Weapons of Math Destruction’, to how Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Florentine ‘Gates of Paradise’ kick-started the Italian renaissance. n

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