Do Not Delegate What You Do Not Understand: Why Problems Are Proliferating

October 1, 2020

I read a marketing story called “US Tech Entrepreneur Urges Industry Leaders to Drive Not Delegate the Digital Transformation.” One possible synopsis might be “the buck stops here.” The idea is that a “leader” (whatever that means) must put his or her hands on the controls. The “leader” must be a decider. The “leader” powers the enterprise so that a digital transformation mostly happens. The assumption is that the transformation will work really well and produce swell results. I circled this passage:

Mr Siebel, CEO of C3.ai, author of Digital Transformation: Survive and Thrive in an Era of Mass Extinction, said that in businesses where digitalization is already succeeding, the “CEOs are taking personal responsibility for the initiative, driving the digital transformation with trackable projects which result in measurable and significant economic benefit.”

Looking at the financial performance of companies in the US, a small number of firms are generating “economic benefit.” The others, presumably investing in digitalization and following their “leaders” seem to be facing headwinds. MBAs, lawyers, and accountants may be ill suited to be Siebel-type leaders.

Stephen E Arnold, October 1, 2020

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