What is the biggest mistake leaders make when attempting to keep up with digital transformation?

1.1k views2 Upvotes8 Comments

Director of IT in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
What I've experienced from an application's perspective is that people don't think about what they want to do with all of the data that they're collecting. And there are unintended consequences, both good and bad, with that lack of foresight. There are lots of tools, but it's what you do with the tools and the information the tools give you.
Board Member, Former CIO in Software, 10,001+ employees
Just because you have information doesn't mean the facts have changed, it's just now you got this information. We've used a tool to give people access to information about things that were already going on, but we haven't prepared ourselves for how to use it. And that's the problem. If we don’t know how we want to use it, I would say, turn the damn technology off. 

And this is coming from the guy who worked at Facebook for almost seven years. I think Facebook is a classic example of this. We have become divided as a country because we can't agree on our politics, but that's not because it's new—it's not like all of a sudden socialists and conservatives and libertarians and all that just popped into the equation. It's that we've used technology to highlight the connection between people of like-mind and really mute the interaction of people with different mindsets, and we broke discord in the process of doing that. And my solution to that problem is the same: turn the damn thing off.
2 Replies
CEO in Software, 11 - 50 employees

We need to figure out a way to disarm the audience before we put them together because that's our biggest problem. We come in with armor up and the minute something even attempts to challenge a position we have, we immediately just block out all relationship to fact or real-world evidence in order to protect our position. And all of us, regardless of whether it's politics or whether to buy a server, or whether to go into public cloud, need to be open to that risk in our jobs.

Director of IT in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees

And we're in a place where people are reading into everything in a very negative way as well. So they're looking for a reason to react, a reason to come out with an alternative point of view.

CEO in Software, 11 - 50 employees
Technology independent of really understanding how and why you're going to use it and buy-in from the community that will use it is useless. One of the problems we have is in London. You can't walk around the corner without being on three cameras. And they've actually hassled people for attempting to cover their face pre-pandemic. They can't do that now. But pre-pandemic, they would hassle people for attempting to cover their identity because not only were they on camera, but they were doing facial recognition. And so that's the hard part with technology in general, we pick and choose what we like. We don't like AI if it's going to be used to make automated robots that kill people, but we do like AI if it's going to get us better ice cream.
1 Reply
Director of IT in Software, 1,001 - 5,000 employees

I lived in England for four years back in the early 2000s. They had cameras in garbage cans to make sure that you were putting your recycling in the right can.

CIO in Education, 201 - 500 employees
Frantically trying to reenact a book you’ve read with no real thought or understanding of your actual business. Learn your environment first. So much nuance.
CIO / Managing Partner in Manufacturing, 2 - 10 employees
All too often leaders connect digital transformation to technology and expect the CIO to run it. This totally misses the true reason which is around business change and needs to be driven by the CEO.

The second issue, very connected to the above, is the lack of cohesive strategy for your digital transformation.

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