This blog is about the digital business era. The blog posts are brief, foods for thought. They comment on articles, events etc. with a personal touch.
Digital Disruptions in Consumer Products
I worked for the LEGO company for some years when connected products were at an early adopter / embryonic stage. All the experiments accelerated and focused on the main market, when the smartphone became every man's possession after the introduction of the iPhone.
This decade will become as exciting for consumer products people, as the pre-cambric explosion was for antropologists.
I wrote a small piece about this in the linkedin blog:
Let my People go Surfing?
Half a year ago, one of my blog readers suggested me to read a book by Yvon Chouinard: Let my people go surfing. I bought the book right away, but it ended up in queue as most other books I buy, until this holiday.
Yvon Chouinard was a climber and surfer before it became fashionable. He started producing climbing equipment simply to fund his next trip. He believes that the word adventure should describe a journey from which there was a real risk that you would not come back alive. In the text there is a strong sense of authenticity in everything he speaks about.
Let my people go surfing is the one-liner describing the flexible hours policy of Patagonia, the company founded and owned by the Chouinards. The company was (and probably still is) very progressive in its way of conducting business. They essentially want to bring the best quality product forward to the consumer doing least harm. They want to be profitable to do well for nature through environmental causes. They want to become a company which everybody is passionate about and works passionately for.
I worked for 7 years for the LEGO Company, a privately held, Danish company which provides a toy system for infinite play and child development. I sense that the two companies, while working with completely different customers and products, share a common DNA in striving to make the best possible product for their customer. Also, they are both privately held, and their CEOs are not measured by an
Netflux? The demise of VOD 1.0
I was on the beach one early morning, watching a young girl jogging along the sand shore, with half-closed eyes, smiling, enjoying the warmth of the early sunrays. The jogging girl reminded me of Sense8, a recent show from Netflix, with an Islandic girl on some strange designer drug watching the sun rise over a London park. The jogger had the same blissful smile on her face and the same blond, half-long hair. But this time it’s not London, it’s Lanzarote.
Connected to Civilization
I’m on a holiday in the sun around 3000 miles from home, yet still connected to civilization with 4G/ WIFI and with all my regular gadgets. I somehow expected everything to work perfectly, but it doesn’t. Most of the time my smart phone is connecting through H+ or Edge, both technologies belonging to an ancient past with dead-slow mobile internet. The hotel WIFI has bandwidth which is miniscule or non-existent.
Having finally gotten through, I check my social media, news media and e-mail while my ultimate reward is getting visibly closer in the horizon; video on demand! I once read that the brain consumes fewer calories while watching TV shows than while sleeping, and intuitively I know why this is right: While sleeping, at least my brain is trying to sort out my life, organizing, removing and reinforcing knowledge. Some people call this dreaming, but recent neuro research suggests a more practical explanation closer to what AI researchers do to their neural network systems
Digital Disruptions in Retail
I have discussed the future of retail with 2 prominent CIOs from leading danish retailers, and interestingly enough, they came from 2 extreme opposites. It inspired me to make up my mind about the future of retail, and how disruptions could possibly shake things up a bit.
It resulted in this post on Linkedin:
Digital disruptions in transport and logistics
Transport & Logistics is a traditional "white-knuckle fight" market, but heading for a massive changes caused by the digital transformation of retail.
The post was published on LinkedIn:
I wrote this post after reading in Børsen - a leading danish financial news media - that DSV had intents to acquire additional companies in South America. DSV will probably in the near future will be successful in its endeavour - being fairly big, fairly cash-capable and effective in its post-acquisition integration strategy (called FIFO).
But it made me think about the end game in transport and logistics and what will happen as retail transforms to e-tail. I believe the future lies with the ones that own the last mile in distribution and the ones operating fine logistics for the e-tailers, and I expect a booming market for that within a few years.
Digital Disruptions in Retail Banking
New technology will continually change retail banking, but even more turmoil will be caused by the proliferation of (digital) consumer superbrands and their technology.
This text was posted on Linkedin:
I have read several interviews during the summer with retail bank CEOs that states to the market that a) they are concerned about disruptions and b) they will act on it.
Of course nobody will tell openly what they are doing about it, but among the reasons lie one big one: they might not know how to deal with the digital superbrands. The cashflows of retail banking are mainly based on miniscule transaction fees, and the ones that own the consumer contact, controls the cashflow.
It's a new world to adapt to, and I haven't seen any retail bank strategy (yet) that hits bulls eye.
CIO - Death or Resurrection?
Is the CIO Dead or has she Resurrected? Are the various digital roles uniting and transcending into two different positions, the CITO role and the CDO role?
Does CIO stand for Career Is Over?
In some businesses, it does. There are businesses that lack imagination, investment willingness and understanding for the digital transformations currently ongoing. In those companies, the CIO is often a custodian that keeps the lights on.
In other companies, the challenge is accepted, and they are racing towards a two-star universe of the CITO and the CDO. The article here is a brief summary of my view in this matter.
It was published on Linkedin:
The Digital Pentathlete
The business executives that successfully lead their companies into the digital business era will become the rock stars of the Digital Business Era. It is once again time to “Wake up and smell the Coffee.” There is a second chance to exploit the web, when industries go digital.
This linkedin blog started as a quest for the core disciplines that build future digital leaders. During this summer's "walkabout", I wrapped up my ideas about the future digital leader, the Digital Pentathlete.
A first major step in the digital transformation of an enterprise is to onboard enough digital leaders. It will give the enterprise access to the capabilities, leadership, work horsepower and fierce drive it will take to become successful. But what should these digital executives be good at? How can they make the company’s digital entry and growth successful?
Digital executives must master a distinct set of capabilities related to digital business. The list includes innovation, digital strategy, portfolio management, change management, digital architecture, project and program management, personal and team development, stakeholder management, planning, monitoring and control of the digital value chain activities, etc. When mastering these capabilities, they will be able to plant, grow, guide, monitor and support the digital teams within the enterprise successfully.
The ”One-trick pony”
A key challenge in many enterprises is the one-trick pony challenge. Man
Choosing Digital Consultants
To be the master of all the required digital business skills is unlikely, and therefore you need to select business partners, that can make your company's digital team stronger.
Digital business development is about “connecting the dots”, about seeing what other companies don't and exploiting this timely and decisively. Digital business development takes place in fast growing segments, and an element of surprise can be highly valuable as an alternative to always facing competition head-on. Think of the dolphin, and how smart, fast and elegant it maneuvers around the slow, big turtles.
A company heading for the digital transformation needs to set the strongest possible digital business team. This blog is a quest for the core disciplines that shapes the digital executive. The digital executive will plant, grow and guide this team, leading from the front whenever needed.To create a “make-do” team with the people readily will most likely fail. At this stage, there are simply not enough qualified people available in the "average-joe enterprise" heading for a digital transformation.
There are 3 generic approaches to how to create the strongest possible team: Train, recruit or source. Training is only viable as a long-term approach. Depending on the talent pool in reach, training might be a good choice if things are not at all urgent. Hiring new people will be a preference for many companies, but there is a significant lead time for search, selection, and on-boardin
Companies will face seismic shifts in business, caused by the proliferation of new tech, social mass media and disruptive digital ideas. To predict and participate in digital industry transformations, companies must watch out for new, possibly disruptive technology.
New technology has repeatedly caused disruption; Metals, gun powder, steam and combustion engines, electricity, electronics, computers.... and cell-phones! Looking back just 2 decades it's evident that the classic cell-phone and its smart phone decendants fundamentally changed the way people communicate, collaborate and work. But what is the next wave of disruptive technology? And is there a way to spot this early enough to gain competitive advantage and reap the possible benefits?
In 1998 the first wave of web-commerce boomed in what has later been known as “the internet bubble”. The expectations were highly inflated and when the shake-down hit the web-commerce space in 2000, expectations plummeted, leaving a vacuum in the professional investors’ space. Internet illiteracy and lack of experience sent share prices sky-high and subsequently into the "trough". Looking back at the past 20 years of web-commerce explosion, the sum of developments is far more extreme than most people imagined in those times.
As always with future predictions, the short term effects were exaggerated and the long-term effects were under-estimated.
It is happening again: With the exponential acceleration an
A key goal is to give you inspiration on how to deal with the digital business era. Another goal is to get feedback on ideas and thoughts. Have a great digital business era!
Confucius – you cannot open a book without learning something - /jan