Digital Transformation: Who Should Lead?

In a recent article from the Harvard Business Review, two management professors argued against putting digital experts in charge of digital transformation. A hotshot fresh off a stint at Amazon or Google might seem the ideal choice, they wrote, but a business insider may be better suited to oversee the significant organizational change required in the typical enterprise setting.

There is no one right answer to the question of who should lead a digital initiative. “It’s important to highlight that digital transformation can take multiple forms with varying degrees of transparency to the customer or end user,” said Brian Caplan, director with management consultancy Pace Harmon.

The organization may be extending existing capabilities to mobile platforms. It may be pursuing game-changing capabilities such as Internet-of-things-based process innovation. The company may want to build new digital products and services—or entirely new business models. The project could simply involve changes to underlying applications or infrastructure in pursuit of a cloud strategy.

The very term “digital transformation” means different things to different people—to the point of making some leaders cringe. It’s important to define your own meaning and vision and communicate that clearly and repeatedly.

How To Examine a Leader Is Fit for Your Digital Transformation

The leadership question doesn’t just come up at the start of digital transformation work. For example, a stall in your team’s digital transformation efforts, or a new expansion project, may prompt pressure to reevaluate who’s leading.

Read the full story here.


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