As the world is digging deep into what we know as the Digital Era, enterprises are crashing into an unknown world, where there might not be room for testing the waters before taking a deep dive into transformation. Thriving in the new digital world might not seem like an overarching task, as information nowadays is easily accessible and it is easy to stay cognizant with the constantly changing digital trends; however, the challenge is to decide what is relevant and how should an enterprise transform. In order to take your enterprise to market leadership, it is crucial to embed a mindset that entails people as the core of transformation; as technologies emerge and the world is becoming exponentially more dynamic, the role of a CEO similarly transforms into an agile, proactive, and a radically transformative role.
The struggles of to today’s CEO can vary as industries are showered with Tsunamis of digital pressures and buzzwords like “innovation” and “disruption”, where the key subject is not to innovate or disrupt, but cancel out all the noise and innovate and disrupt relevantly. Big data, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence are considered the most disruptive tools of the current economy, but only with the right technology leadership. In addition, the challenges usually comprise managing different moving parts and changing aspects as the need to pay attention to the workspace as much as customers is becoming the standard, and the target value offering that CEO’s are looking for is constantly changing. CEO struggles can be narrowed down and solved while answering one single question “How to grow in this Digital Era?”, and the only way forward is keeping in mind that transformation is your core business, and effectively managing transformation is the new role of an CEO.
When considering the role of a CEO as the new engine of change within an enterprise, there are three different aspects to consider:
Do CEO’s also need to be Agile?
As previously mentioned, the target value that enterprises bring to end consumers across industries is constantly changing, and to be able to tackle market volatility a decision maker with an agile mindset is key. Agile, more than a checklist of specific practices, it’s a set of cultural values and principles, that are not hard to adopt but they have significant effect in transformation. Being agile helps organizations constantly re-align priorities and objectives based on market demand, and enables CEOs’ informed decision making as ideas are quickly tested and faster consumer feedback is captured.
CEO’s and Proactivity
Being proactive in many ways is considered part of Agility. However, the role of CEO in the Digital Era requires proactivity to be a main practice, as a proactive approach to technology is required to achieve faster time to market, and the onboarding of the right technology is needed for growth.
The most challenging side of digital transformation is that it requires ground breaking decision making that often challenges bureaucracy and legacies. It is required from CEO’s not only to embrace transformation radicalness, but to inspire innovation mind setting and help employees and other stake holders embrace the risk-taking culture; many leaders may need to re-learn, re-shape, and re-acquire habits and once made them successful. In addition, being a CEO in a transformative environment not only requires the right change management initiatives, but also re-structuring an enterprise; transformation is complex and all individuals need to be involved. Digital competence needs to take place, and those who refuse to adapt to change, will most likely be replaced.
As a CEO in the Digital Era, is common sense to realize that commitment is required. However, commitment is not towards a transformation plan, but towards transformation itself; as the only way to grow in this digital era is to change and adapt to the dynamically shifting environment and to manage Transformation as one of your core Business Functions.