- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (October 14, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1625272472
- ISBN-13: 978-1625272478
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 62 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,279 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Leading Digital: Turning Technology into Business Transformation Hardcover – October 14, 2014
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ADVANCE PRAISE for Leading Digital:
Pete Blackshaw, Global Head of Digital and Social Media, Nestlé
Successful transformation of your organization to digital doesn’t just happenyou need to lead it. Leading Digital shows the key elements and processes that have made Digital Masters out of companies around the globe, in many different industries, not just high-tech. A must-read.”
Michael Tushman, professor, Harvard Business School; coauthor, Winning Through Innovation
The days when senior executives could delegate technology issues to their technology people are over. Digital leadership capability is essential to thriving in a world of fast-changing technologies. Westerman, Bonnet, and McAfee provide a clear and readable guidebook to help any leader or manager play an effective role in turning technology challenges into transformation opportunities, both now and in the future.”
Joe Tucci, Chairman and CEO, EMC Corp.
To stay relevant in this new, always-connected digital universe, businesses in virtually every industry are reinventing their business models for unprecedented customer access, interaction, speed, and scale. Leading Digital shows how transformative companies are navigating this disruptive era successfullyand why others are falling behind.”
Pierre Pringuet, Vice Chairman of the Board and CEO, Pernod Ricard
Leading Digital provides comprehensive, fact-based insights into how multinational companies can leverage digital technology to transform their businesses’ performance. In this book, the authors provide not only the inspiration, but also the practical guidance required for CEOs to successfully navigate this complex transformation.”
Erik Brynjolfsson, professor, MIT Sloan School; Director, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy; and coauthor, The Second Machine Age
Technologieswhether based on stone, steel, or softwareare tools. They deliver results only when wielded effectively. Westerman, Bonnet, and McAfee’s careful and insightful research reveals the patterns common to the most effective leaders of the digital revolution and shows how they are using digital technologies to deliver impressive results.”
Charlene Li, founder and CEO, Altimeter Group; author, Open Leadership; and coauthor, Groundswell
Digital is no longer the responsibility of a few tech-savvy executivesin the age of digital customers, it needs to be the responsibility of every leader in the organization. Leading Digital provides a blueprint for digital transformation.”
About the Author
Didier Bonnet is a Senior Vice President at Capgemini Consulting, where he serves as Global Practice Leader and heads Capgemini Consulting’s Digital Transformation program. He has more than twenty-five years’ experience in strategy, internet economics, globalization, and business transformation for large corporations.
Andrew McAfee is Co-Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. He has also held appointments at Harvard Business School and Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. In 2008, McAfee was named number 38 on the Ziff Davis list of the 100 Most Influential People in IT.” He was also named one of the fifty most influential people in business IT, by Baseline Magazine. He is coauthor of The Second Machine Age (2014) and Race Against the Machine (2011), and the author of Enterprise 2.0 (2009).
Top customer reviews
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Characterizing an entire company as either a Beginner, Conservative, Fashionista or Digital Master provides an executive short hand that appears highly effective on the surface, but quickly leads one to ask, ok but what do I do? The advices provided in the book borders not the self evident, i.e.: beginners are slow to adapt and have the basic digital capabilities while fashionistas are buying every new digital bauble.
That is one of the points holding this book back from a five star review, is that it presumes a monolytic attitude toward digital in order to simplify its messages. This treatment is appropriate for a book intended to drive client conversations for a consulting company.
The books chapters encompass the range of organizational and leadership topics related to digital transformation. The section titles reflect this:
Part 1 - building digital capabilities covers the customer experience, their link to core operations (aka legacy) and the business model.
Part 2 -- focuses internally on the vision, organizational engagement, governance and technology leadership.
Part 3 -- concentrates on digital transformation from strategic framing through mobilization and sustaining a change program.
Taken at this level, the book is rather complete in its topical treatment but the book treats each of these topics somewhat superficially. The case studies read like a who's who of digital transformation but they are mostly stories of success, descriptions of what worked and not a deeper examination of challenges with strategies to over come them. Reading the case studies, of which there are many and a good thing, provides little meat for the reader to chew on.
The case studies, clear and simple framework and clearly written prose are among the strengths of this book. Among its challenges are the observation that many organizations have already moved beyond an organizational characterization into transformative action so the advice is a little dated in places. It was revolutionary when these materials first came out almost two years ago. The clarity of the frameworks also tends toward clear but overly simply advice and actions. Take the 12 steps to being a digital master:
Define Your Starting Point
Create a Shared Vision
Translate Your Vision into Action
Build your Governance
Fund the Transformation
Signal your Ambitions
Earn the Right to Engage
Set New Behaviors and Evolve Culture
Build Foundation Skills
Align Incentives and Rewards
Measure, Monitor and Iterate
These 12 points apply to any transformation not just digital. You could say the same for implementing ERP, post merger integration or any other significant change. This undercuts an understanding of digital's potential and its disruptive impact. These technologies are fundamentally different than the IT technologies that came before, but its hard to tell that from this book or from the approaches it suggests.
Readers who have digital scars will benefit from the reminders that this book provides. People new to digital can easily be lulled into a false sense of security or alarm as it seems so much like what has come before or that we all must become digital masters tomorrow. Knowing that difference and the nuance it contains is the reason for the length of this review. By focusing on the organization, Westerman, Bonnet and McAfee have created something very accessible, but they have also accepted some limitations on explaining the reality of digital transformation.
I would welcome digital/online companion versions of the assessment and checklists too for the book owners - that would be very much in line with the authors recommendations!