Egon Zehnder – How Digital Transformation Changes Functional Leadership

Do you think your organization can meet the three challenges below? Thanks to my colleague David Birks for a heads-up on this article.

Disruptive technological change is the new reality. In retail, Amazon will now deliver almost anything in two days – and in some cases, two hours. In hospitality, Airbnb leverages social media to create brand loyalty that extends beyond individual trips. In financial services, a generation of nimble fintech ventures are offering products that are setting new standards in speed, convenience and flexibility. And the list goes on.

Legacy organizations must respond – or risk their survival. While each organization will transform itself in a different way, each transformation is certain to have digital at its core, because digital is driving the changes in consumer expectations, markets and products. But successfully making the transition from analog to digital is much more than a matter of moving services online or developing a social media strategy; true digital transformation requires a new approach not merely within business units, but across the entire organization and its functions (see Figure 1).

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