When the term digital transformation was first bandied about by consultants and business publications, its implications were more about keeping up and catching up than true transformation. Additionally, at first it was only applied to large, traditional organizations struggling, or experimenting, in an increasingly digital economy. But true digital transformation requires so much more. As evidenced by the recent Amazon acquisition of Whole Foods, we’re living in a new world.
Early transformation efforts were focused on initiatives: e-commerce, sensors/internet of things, applications, client and customer experience, and so on. Increasingly, our clients are coming to us as they realize that in order for these disparate initiatives to thrive, they need to undergo an end-to-end transformation, the success of which demands dramatic operational, structural, and cultural shifts. Continue reading →
The entrepreneurial journey is not linear – and it’s certainly not easy. Because of this, it’s easy to go the wrong direction, make the wrong decision, or choose a faulty business strategy.
Whether you’re a social entrepreneur solving community or social problems or an entrepreneur bringing new technology to market, there’s one thing you must remember – sometimes you need to admit your mistakes.
Whether it’s pride, aggressive timelines, or keeping your donors or investors happy, it’s difficult to say “we messed up” or worse – “I messed up.” This pride or fear can keep us ignoring both gut feelings and hard data – and ignorance in the face of truth about a mistake doesn’t get your company or your movement anywhere.
If entrepreneurs don’t know how to correct their own shortcomings – leadership style included – it puts the entire organization at risk of failure. Similar to how you run a startup, pivots are relevant in your leadership style, too. Learn to embrace the pivot to become a better leader – and watch your movement benefit in the process.
As a young social entrepreneur, I’ve had to learn the leadership pivot the hard way: after getting it way wrong. Although it’s never comfortable to go through these pivots, this kind of leadership and acceptance transcends through your team – which gets you closer to your ultimate goal of making an impact. Continue reading →
A new face at the top brings new hopes, and often, new strategic priorities. When Target hired Brian Cornell as CEO in 2014, expectations were high that he would inject fresh energy into one of the largest U.S. retail chains. When that same year Microsoft replaced CEO Steve Ballmer with Satya Nadella, the move signaled the possibility for major change. Indeed, the company eventually announced its strategy to venture massively into cloud computing.
Each year, about 10% of the companies on the S&P 500 Index experience a CEO transition. And this transition is much more than a new nameplate on the corner office. When new CEOs take charge, they sometimes change or even reverse the entire strategic course of the company – a course that, such as in the case of Microsoft, often aligns with entrepreneurial growth opportunities. Continue reading →
The single most important skill of a good leader may not be what you think. Although it is important to be visionary and a strategic thinker, a new study suggests that it’s more rooted in their daily dealings with people.
According to DDI, the leader who’s mastered having successful conversations is most likely to do well steering their team and/or their business. “By the end of each day, leaders likely have had multiple conversations with a range of their constituents,” DDI’s researchers write. “Each of these interactions will collectively determine their ultimate success as a leader.” Continue reading →
Twenty-first century leadership requires you to be a change agent who is not afraid to get uncomfortable and take ownership when it comes to creating the next big thing for your business, people and industry to evolve.
Over the past several years, I’ve witnessed the decline of courageous leadership in American enterprise. Rather than welcome change in order to evolve, leaders are playing it safe. Where are the leaders with the strategic focus and wisdom to take a leap of faith and the tenacity to find new ways of doing things?
Twenty-first century leadership requires you to be a change agent who is not afraid to get uncomfortable and take ownership when it comes to creating the next big thing for your business, people and industry to evolve. But according to research conducted by my organization, 78% of leaders have difficulty understanding and effectively articulating the requirements to thrive in the rapidly changing marketplace – and the consequences of not doing so. Perhaps this explains why only 32% of leaders define themselves as change agents.
Leaders must think differently to act courageously upon the burning platforms that are reinventing industries. Here are my top five leadership predictions for your business to evolve in 2016 and beyond – the burning platforms we can no longer afford to ignore. Top Leadership Predictions Continue reading →