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Beyond Digital - a conversation with the authors - Video Transcript

Paul [00:00:11] Hey, Matt, how are you?  Good to see you

Matt [00:00:13] Hey Paul, fantastic, great to see you, too. And great to be here together with you to talk about our new book, Beyond Digital: How Great Leaders Transform Their Organizations and Shape the Future.

Paul [00:00:24] Awesome. We have a set of questions from some of our colleagues, and the first is "Why did we write this book?"

Matt [00:00:32] Well, look, we wrote this book because we were getting so many questions from executives who were confronted with digital transformation and they were worried about, Oh my gosh, what should my digital strategy be? How am I going to compete with these platform companies? Does that mean that I need to actually get rid of my old business model and become a platform business myself? But despite all the investments that executives were making in these technologies, they were finding it wasn't actually moving them fundamentally ahead. They weren't necessarily creating outsized value or massive distance from their competitors. So that's why we wanted to study: Well, what does it actually take to succeed with digital transformation? And that's why we looked at established companies that had actually had to go through a fundamental transformation and succeeded on the other end - and ended up creating a whole new future for themselves out of the process. So Paul, "What did you learn and why does it matter?"

Paul [00:01:25] So the most important thing we learned is that digital transformation is really not about digital. What is important is developing your own unique place in the world, the problem you're going to solve for your customers and the capabilities required to deliver that promise. And we identified seven imperatives that break down into three broad areas. The first is: How do you face the world? What unique problem are you going to solve? What ecosystem are you in today? Do you need to be in tomorrow to help solve that challenge? And developing a system of unique insights with your customers so you're always ahead of what's next? The second broad area is how you organize and how you lead. How you motivate your people, how you engage with your people, how your leadership team sets an agenda, and really a new model for structuring the organization. And the final area, is super important, is how the leader actually transforms themselves. OK, Matt, the next question we have here is "Why do we want people to read this book?"

Matt [00:02:28] So, why I want people to read this book is because I think it provides leaders a pragmatic roadmap for really how they can help their companies succeed in the long term and create value in the long term, regardless of whatever disruption is coming at them. And in reading this book, what they're going to get is pragmatic hands-on advice. It's not just the what to do, but more importantly, the how do you do it? And it's based on real stories. It's not just theory, right? It's real stories from real leaders, including all the mistakes that they made, which in many cases I think is even more important to learn from. It's not just all good news if you can also understand the traps to avoid. Paul, "Given everything that you've learned, what's your one piece of advice for a leader today?"

Paul [00:03:17] Yeah. Don't wait for change to happen. Shape your own future. Get in front of this. Go tackle the issues that your customers need, and assemble the most amazing company to go do it. Matt?

Matt [00:03:29] For me, that would be to be an outcome zealot. Don't worry about what technology to use or you know what the latest fad is. Just be lazer-ly focused on what's that differentiated outcome you are committed to creating for your customer and your customers customer that's going to help you get through and then figure out whatever the right technology is and engineer the right system that will help your company succeed now and long into the future.

Paul [00:03:55] We often hear the stories and the statistics about how transformations fail. It is difficult, but it's absolutely possible. And the 12 companies in this book give us confidence that the road ahead can be a good one. You can solve a meaningful challenge for your customers and society at large, and you can build competitive advantage for yourself. It's time to go beyond digital.

... I don't know why I added that in, that is so funny.

Matt [00:04:20] That's brilliant.