The Covid-19 pandemic dramatically accelerated technology adoption across all industries. According to one survey, 77% of CEOs reported that the pandemic sped up their companies’ digital transformation plans, and as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella noted in the early days of the crisis, “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.” A study conducted by Twilio found that Covid-19 accelerated companies’ digital communications strategies by an average of six years.
Historically, success rates for digital transformation efforts are dismally low. Many organizations rush to boost headcount and budget, hiring teams of talented engineers, data scientists, and cybersecurity experts.
But to truly succeed transformation also needs to happen at the very top – with the individuals who set strategy and allocate resources. Take Domino’s, for example. In a mature and competitive industry, the company moved its stock price from $3 in 2008 to a high of $433 in 2020 because an integrated, digitally savvy top management team created a strategy that used data-driven experiments and decisions to redesign delivery routing systems, integrate ordering systems into a myriad of platforms (including text and smart TVs), and modernize every facet of the company.
In our experience, long-held processes and norms for selecting top executives are notoriously slow to change. Financial literacy is a baseline qualification for any top executive; we need to think about technological and digital literacy in the same way. These capabilities that used to be nice-to-haves are now must-haves: Companies can’t afford to have an executive who might confuse discussions about the cloud with small talk about the weather.
Do today’s top teams have the skills to undertake a true digital transformation? To answer this question, we conducted an analysis of more than 100 search specifications for C-suite positions in Fortune 1000 companies across a broad range of industries. READ MORE
by J. Yo-Jud Cheng, Cassandra Frangos, and Boris Groysberg
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