A Primer for Digital Growth Strategies
Are you in a state of flux, awaiting a return to ‘normal’ status? What if your historical view of a normal life is permanently disrupted, are you ready to change and adapt to the new realities?
I’ve considered these questions over the past few months. I’ve thought about creating a new playbook of business strategies. I’ve re-imagined prior notions of commercial platforms and partner ecosystems. Plus, I’ve been inspired by people who have an optimistic outlook.
In the spirit of sharing, here’s my review of a book I’ve read that has helped me to move-on. Beyond Great: “Nine Strategies for Thriving in an Era of Social Tension, Economic Nationalism, and Technological Revolution.”
Perpetual Transformation: The Growth Mindset
It’s true, large incumbent multinational companies can change and evolve. That said, it’s a difficult journey (the pursuit of greatness) to a destination that’s often a moving target in the twenty-first century. Being a CEO in the current economy is challenging on many fronts.
I’ve read this book from the perspective of someone that’s worked in several large technology sector companies and led business strategy development projects. I’ve also consulted with numerous other organizations that embarked on company-wide change management initiatives.
Based upon my own work experience, I can relate to many of the book’s business case study examples, authored by these three Boston Consulting Group (BCG) senior partners. In this review, I’ll share my perspective about a key chapter and the closing summary section.
Chapter 9: “Embrace Always-On Transformation” includes actionable guidance that senior executives can consider and apply in their own organization. The authors describe the “Head, Heart and Hands” model of transformation. Moreover, they outline four distinct activation levers — Purpose, Culture, Empathy, and Leadership. It’s an insightful example of a ‘change process’.
“Beyond Great Leadership” is a summary of nine strategies outlined in the book. Building a new business-operating model is a huge undertaking for leaders; particularly those executives at large public companies. They have to create growth and deliver quarterly financial results that please the market, while also developing and executing their agile strategic planning agenda.
Clearly, there is no simple framework for bold and brave change management practices that encapsulates everything that a CEO might need to know to ensure their ongoing success. However, the author’s research has gleaned practical revelations from the many executive interviews they conducted. I believe that these lessons-learned are worthy of repeating.
Leaders must lead with conviction to positively impact society. Leaders must pivot from a command-and-control mindset to a more collaborative approach. Leaders must guide their organization to become far more open-minded towards their peers. Leaders must elevate and embed a continuous learning mindset. They must embrace a transformational leadership style. And, leaders must develop a new ability to navigate through ambiguity, tension, and paradox.
To go ’beyond great’ leaders must achieve all of these goals to satisfy their key stakeholders. Addressing the executive reader of this book, the authors offer the following conclusion: “The journey ‘beyond great’ is wonderfully fulfilling and enriching for everyone involved. And it all starts with you.”
How to Harness Digital Growth Talent
As a leader, if you believe that a ‘growth mindset’ is an essential ingredient of talent development, then you’ve likely sought the potential solutions to a digital business ‘skills gap’ that’s been researched and documented worldwide. Global companies often report that they don’t have the right people with the required skills and experience to achieve digital growth goals.
Likewise, the competition for highly-skilled and digital-savvy talent is increasingly fierce. The authors of ‘beyond great’ acknowledge that leaders must advance past traditional talent management, and fundamentally shift how they find, inspire, and develop teams for an adaptive workforce.
I believe that leaders at large multinational companies often have an untapped resource — an exploration of the full depth and breadth of thought leaders and digital practitioners already within their organization. I’ve researched this topic, and the viable solutions, for nearly two decades. Once again, in the spirit of sharing, I’ll point you to my GeoNetworker project for your discovery and consideration of this important issue.