With so much being written and spoken about the impact of digital technology, this month’s Agility Update begins with some useful thoughts and case studies from the Boston Consulting Group on how best to launch new digital products and services.
We then look at the global phenomenon of eroding trust in systems, politicians, media and business leadership, and some pointers on how business leaders can best respond.
Our final article from McKinsey discusses the disruptive implications of battery storage technology for the power industry.
Advice on launching the Digital Transformation in your business
We have seen the disruptive impact of digital technology in industries like media and retail.
In a recent article the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) points out that process oriented industries such as energy, transportation, industrial goods, and health care are yet to feel the full impacts of digital technology, and says that it is imperative they act now to launch new digital products and services and digitise internal processes.
In How to Jump-Start a Digital Transformation, BCG offers a structured transformation methodology built around three steps: securing quick wins at the outset, scaling up successful initiatives, and leading and sustaining change. The article backs up the advice with five case studies of companies in diverse industries that have capitalised on digital by launching small-scale projects and building their capabilities through real world experience.
For further insights into the future of digital technology, disruption, and the implications for organisations and data read also ZDNet’s What Alibaba can teach us about digital transformation and Howard Yu disrupts disruptive innovation – an interview with the IMD Switzerland professor who explains the leadership mindset required to run a successful portfolio business in this changing environment.
Business leadership even more crucial in an environment of eroding trust
Global PR organisation Edelman’s annual survey ‘Trust Barometer’ reveals what they call a global implosion of trust in recent years. Trust in the system, politicians, the media and business leadership is in decline – globally, including Australia. Analysis of the results in 28 countries as surveyed by Edelman found that 53 percent of respondents believe the current overall system has failed them – it is unfair and offers little hope for the future – while only 15 percent believe it is working, and approximately one-third are uncertain.
“The implications of the global trust crisis are deep and wide-ranging,” says Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman. “It began with the Great Recession of 2008, but like the second and third waves of a tsunami, globalisation and technological change have further weakened people’s trust in global institutions” Current populist movements are fuelled by a lack of trust in the system and economic and societal fears, including corruption (40 percent), immigration (28 percent), globalisation (27 percent), eroding social values (25 percent) and the pace of innovation (22 percent).
Among the findings were that only one in four of the respondents thought CEOs were credible spokespeople, and CEO credibility fell to an all time low of 37 percent. Recognising that this background presents challenges for business leaders, a recent article in Strategy + Business suggests that to rebuild trust in the business environment leaders need to rethink what they do and why they do it. In his article How to lead when global trust is plummeting author Eric J. McNulty argues that with this level of anxiety and distrust the status quo is not sustainable. He points to some potential systemic solutions including:
To read more, see the World Economic Forum’s Compact for Responsive and Responsible Leadership and Strategy+Business’s Common Purpose: Realigning Business, Economies, and Society, which assert that the sustainability of corporations and society are interdependent.
Battery storage: The next disruptive technology in the power sector
If you are a stakeholder in the energy sector or a consumer, this McKinsey article summarises the possible implications and opportunities posed by falling storage prices. The McKinsey research has found that storage is already economical for many commercial customers to reduce their peak consumption levels. For households, the idea of combining solar with storage and a small electrical generator (known as full grid defection) will soon make economic sense in a matter of years in high-cost markets. This trend will prove disruptive for utilities as well as their financiers and suppliers. Read more here.
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