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The Digital Mind-set

Authors: Káganer, Evgeny; Zamora, Javier; Sieber, Sandra

Date: Third Quarter 2013

Tags: digital, Chief Digital Officer, ICT, digital density, big data

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The growing density of our digital connections is fast redrawing the boundaries of competition and reshaping the sources of customer value. This demands that we take blended approaches, not just to our business strategies, but to our organizational structures and practices. And this requires new leadership roles and digitally minded leaders. Digital leadership is more than a job title; it's an entirely new mind-set. Based on conversations with participants of executive programs and reviews of a number of cases on digital transformation, the authors have started to synthesize the qualities, practices and approaches of the digitally minded leader. In this article, they suggest at least five important dimensions that make up the digital mind-set. These may seem paradoxical or contradictory, but they are more important than ever to deal with the digital transformation upon us.

Tools and Frameworks:
> "Something Old, Something New" highlights the ways that some companies have blended their traditional business models with the new digital layer.
> "Digitally Minded Leadership" lists five qualities, practices and approaches that may seem paradoxical or contradictory, but need to be reconciled if managers are to be successful at digital transformation.

Examples Cited:
Groupon Now, Waze, Amazon, Kindle, Procter & Gamble's Connect+Develop, eBay, Best Buy, Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Lowe's, Barnes & Noble, My Taxi, Facebook, Google Docs, Cisco Systems, Rief Media, oDesk, LiveOps, a global supplier of health-care software solutions

Research Basis:
Based on conversations and interactions with participants of executive programs, and reviews of a number of cases on digital transformation.

About the Authors:
Evgeny Káganer is an associate professor in the Department of Information Systems at IESE.

Javier Zamora is a lecturer in the Department of Information Systems at IESE.

Sandra Sieber is a professor and chair of the Department of Information Systems at IESE.


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