The pandemic has accelerated changes across industries that had already been in motion for years. We may think of them as only happening since the coronavirus appeared last year. But, in fact, as I explain in my article in the new edition of TCS Perspectives, they have been around for a while:
- The digital erasing of industry boundaries into cross-industry digital ecosystems. As JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has said, the biggest threats to his bank are not rival banks but rather digital payment firms like PayPal, Venmo and Alipay – upstarts that don’t operate a single branch.
- Remote work, enabled by powerful digital devices and broadband networks. We’ve had largely virtual companies for more than a decade, some sizable (for example, Automattic Inc., the firm behind the immensely popular content management system WordPress).
- New C-suite roles to help companies become more digital. We’ve seen chief digital officers, chief customer experience officers, chief data officers and other digital roles go back a decade or more.
Nonetheless, the leadership teams of many global companies now need to deeply consider these and other fundamental digital changes in the ways their organizations operate. Competition is fiercer, products and services are more digital, and the way we create demand and supply for them must be more digital, too.
In my article (Leadership in the Digital Era: New Mandates, Mindsets and Mind-Melds), I explain why all this forces many company leaders to rethink their beliefs about how business must be conducted. As I explain, these mindsets are often rooted in the pre-digital era.
I also explain why simply thinking differently will not be enough. What also must change is the way a leadership team thinks as a group. Things like constructive disagreements become essential for leadership teams that are dealing with a future that is far less clear. Ultimately, I argue that the way the leadership team works together will define how resilient their company is.