I work primarily with innovative startup founders as well as global leaders in the use of technology. According to a study on Digital Transformation by IDC published by Forbes, by 2021 one-third of CEOs and COOs of Fortune 2000 companies will have spent at least 5 years of their career in a technology leadership role. The key to their success will not be their technical expertise. This'll help, but it will be in their ability to unite technology, operations, marketing and ideas across a distributed organisation that will determine whether they make it in an increasingly fractured and fickle technology market. Business leaders of the future will have to find ways to unite a workforce that no longer ascribes to a traditional model of hierarchy and reward.
Engineers like to solve problems. Show me an excited engineer and I’ll show you a man with a problem. Noodling with algorithms and figuring out how to connect one thing to another excites a problem solver like nothing else. In technology companies, it’s always an advantage to have people who love the challenge of diving into complexity and emerging with simple, elegant solutions. These can then be sold to customers - provided the solution is actually something the customer wants.
New concept businesses can’t sell like others with more familiar products. Selling a pair of jeans in a department store requires a particular type of selling, emphasising the value of something already understood to be useful and desirable to the customer. Selling a platform or product that does something that's never been done before requires two extra steps...
Sometimes selling a solution or product feels like you’re sitting on a goldmine, yet no-one around you seems to understand. Often the value remains hidden, no matter how many ways you tell your story.
Today’s visionaries have an obligation to lead and they feel it. They’re finding new paths for those in the world who believe in positive change. As a friend of mine recently said, “follow the Hansel & Gretel method, but instead of breadcrumbs, leave a trail of happiness wherever you go”.
Leadership is a group effort that is marked by the risk of taking the first steps forward. To be an effective leader in any industry, especially in technology - you need both a knowledge of the domain (e.g. business and technology) and a connection to your customers and partners. It is a curious mixture of academic prowess, diligent application of methodology and passion.
If you're still sending out generic offers to your customers in 2017, something's wrong. However, according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal about personalization using data, "banks, including Chase, know they are sitting on a large deposit of gold—and they intend to mine it." The same is true across every industry, particularly larger institutions with both legacy data from historical transactions. They're trying to find ways to combine that data with real-time, behavioral data (from their website, for example) so they can use it to personalize interactions with their customers. This will improve customer experience and has been proven to increase loyalty, retention, and revenue.