10 tips for executives who don’t want to deal with the digital transformation

Germany’s Zukunft Institute published an amazing hit parade (in German) of the stupidest reactions to the digital transformation. Doest that sound familiar? Are you stuck with a boss that act like that? If yes it might be time to teach your organization how innovators really think

How to ignore digital — CEO style

  • Be cautious and restrict your staff’s access to digital resources. Most data has nothing to do with your people, and they should be working instead of playing with computers anyway.
  • Glorify the good old days, when people still spoke to one another and weren’t constantly looking at their smartphones. Just the other day, you read a study that showed that vinyl records are cool again. That’s another reassuring sign.
  • Be clueless about IT, and be proud of it. After all, you’re not a Digital Native and you can cope perfectly well without electronic flimflam in your personal and professional lives.
  • Delegate the issue to the CIO. Under no circumstances should you view digital transformation as a fundamental issue that cuts horizontally across the entire enterprise, upsetting the existing order. Why else would you have a vertical department to deal with that sort of thing?
  • Speaking of which, make sure you treat your CIO as head of IT support, and set your expectations so that you hear from him as little as possible. After all, IT is either an enormous cost sink or the source of constant conflict when something goes down, yet again.
  • Marginalize the social media craze, and entrust it to a few young interns instead of giving them real work, making sure that they have as little as possible to do with other departments.
  • Smile smugly as digital enterprises make attempts to enter your industry. It took decades for your business to get where it is today, and a couple of kids from Silicon Valley aren’t going to catch up with you overnight.
  • Don’t get worked up when Big Data Analyses are presented to you. Your personal experience counts for more and won’t let you down in future, so it doesn’t matter if the data points to a completely different direction.
  • Dismiss robots, AI systems, and machine learning as works of Utopian fiction. After all, people have been predicting that automation would replace people for decades already. And let’s be honest, it’s not like that ever came true.
  • Stay calm, and don’t let yourself get worked up. Digital transformation is just another case of hype that’s been blown out of proportion by the media and so-called gurus. Next year, there’ll be a new game in town. Your business has nothing to fear.