Leading Digital Revisited: An Interview with Didier Bonnet

Didier Bonnet Affiliate Professor of Strategy and Digital Transformation at IMD Business School discusses what has changed with Digital Transformation since the publication of his seminal book Leading Digital published by Harvard Business Review Press in 2014, where we are now and the challenges that lie ahead.


5 years ago a few companies were progressing well with digital transformation whilst others even questioned the need for it. Today everyone has launched some form of digital transformation.
1:00 the difficulty of digital transformation has increased.
 New technologies AI, IOT mean more possibilities and complexity
1:54 there is a polarisation between those companies who have mastered digital transformation and continue experiment and adopt this technology very effectively whilst others still struggle with the basics – people, competence and organisation.
2:29 progress has been made in customer experience (data, engagement and experience design)
2:55 much less progress made in operations mainly due to complexity fo example with IOT and predictive maintenance applications.
3:34 business models and disruption – very few companies are able to balance the needs of business as usual with scaling new business models.
4:16 the impact of start ups on disruptions, incumbents response, ecosystems of collaboration
5:05 the WHY of digital transformation has become much more obvious – even more compelling particularly in the face of changing consumer expectation and habits.
6:13 the WHAT – mastering technology to manage the customer experience and to create new value through the consensual exchange of data
7:29 when to regulate
7:40 the emergence of design as a key factor in world class customer experience
8:10 prediction of a lot more activity in operations around automation, AI and particularly machine learning
8:36 changes in operating models – technology will have a huge impact on operation and the role of the human in the workforce.
9:05 implications for the future of work and the skill sets required to work in a completely automated environment
9:31 business models – shift to platforms and ecosystems – complex to do and companies are struggling
10:28 the HOW – vision and engagement still crucially important and some way to go – important to manage people issues and train effectively
11:34 the relationship between the technology side of the business and the business side – agile and collaboration working well for ideation to MVP but the scaling is still a huge issue.
12:37 competencies and people – all companies are struggling with the lack of very specific skills (e.g.data scientists, digital marketing, cloud etc)
13:34 – too few companies putting in programmes to address reskilling issues – either for general digital IQ, specific technical skills or working with new processes in new environments.
14:14 massive changes in jobs, nature of work will change radically
14:50 scarcity of skills will mean that companies have to figure out new ways of accessing them – eg managed services
15:33 HR will need to become more connected and involved in the business if these challenges are to be addressed
16:06 – MIT research – relationship with customer is becoming much more collaborative both physically and from an agreement about the exchange of data.
17:00 for the operations side it’s all about the automation – unclear how this will be achieved exactly
17:20 business models – leadership is important to enable people to manage the business today as well as build the model for the future .

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