Weekend Leadership Reading: 11/22/19

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Weekends are time when things slow down a little. Your weekend shouldn’t be two more regular workdays. That’s a sure road to burnout. Take time to refresh yourself. Take time for something different. Take time for some of that reading you can’t find time for during the week.

Here are choice articles on hot leadership topics culled from the business schools, the business press and major consulting firms. This week there are articles about business transformation.

From Irving Wladawsky-Berger: How to Transform a “Big, Old” Company into an Agile Digital Business

“A quarter century into the digital age, – as a recent McKinsey study found, – the digital maturity of traditional incumbent firms is still relatively low, – under 25% of their overall potential. Big, established companies, in particular, have been slow to embrace digital organizational practices, – only 26% of worldwide sales are made through digital channels, 30% of internal operations have been digitally automated, and 25% of supply chains interactions have been digitized.”

From McKinsey & Company: Why transformations fail: A conversation with Seth Goldstrom

“Transformations can fail for a variety of reasons, but most unsuccessful efforts share some of these ten weaknesses.”

From Jeff Cunningham: The Trouble With Business Transformation

“Transformations go wrong because of the timing, the team, and in some cases, the strategy. We have very little understanding of why smart people make the same mistakes other than cognitive bias associated with elite groups who make decisions without the benefit of wise second-guessing. The following are the three biggest reasons transformations flop.”

From Nate Anderson, Dunigan O’Keeffe and Ouriel Lancry: Learning from the Digital Leaders

“Executing a digital transformation is a top priority for many companies, yet success remains elusive for most. Only 12% of corporate transformations achieve their targets, and digital transformations are even more challenging.”

From Maura Cass and Owen Sanderson: To Transform Your Industry, Look at Someone Else’s

“At first glance, surgery and airline travel don’t appear to be very similar. But if you dig deeper, you’ll find overlapping themes in the work experiences of surgeons and airline employees—stress, a high-pressure environment, a lot of team coordination. Actually, these industries have a lot to learn from each other. We at IDEO call this analogous research.”

From Scott D. Anthony, Alasdair Trotter, and Evan I. Schwartz: The Top 20 Business Transformations of the Last Decade

“In 2012, Denmark’s biggest energy company, Danish Oil and Natural Gas, slid into financial crisis as the price of gas was plunging by 90% and S&P downgraded its credit rating to negative. The board hired a former executive at LEGO, Henrik Poulsen, as the new CEO. Whereas some leaders might have gone into crisis-management mode, laying off workers until prices recovered, Poulsen recognized the moment as an opportunity for fundamental change.”

Thanks to Art Petty for pointing me to this story.

Book Suggestions

Designed for Digital: How to Architect Your Business for Sustained Success by Jeanne W. Ross, Cynthia M. Beath, et al.

Dual Transformation: How to Reposition Today’s Business While Creating the Future by Scott D. Anthony, Clark G. Gilbert, et al.

Leading Digital: Turning Technology into Business Transformation by George Westerman , Didier Bonnet , et al.

Digital Transformation: Survive and Thrive in an Era of Mass Extinction by Thomas M. Siebel

The Digital Transformation Playbook: Rethink Your Business for the Digital Age by David Rogers

Why Digital Transformations Fail: The Surprising Disciplines of How to Take Off and Stay Ahead by Tony Saldanha and Robert A. McDonald

Note: All book links are affiliate links. If you follow the link and buy the book, I will receive a small commission.

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