We Need Better Managers, Not More Technocrats

by Didier Bonnet and George Westerman

Digital technology is the biggest agitator of the business world today. Mobile technology, social media, cloud computing, embedded devices, big data, and analytics have radically changed the nature of work and competition.  And digital innovations will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Technology has tremendous potential to be the engine of increasing human, organizational, and economic prosperity.

However, digital technology is not the true story. Digital transformation is. Fulfilling technology’s potential will require leaders to recreate the way their institutions operate in a world of digital ubiquity. Leaders need to engage their people in a process of redefining how they work and what their companies do. Digital transformation is therefore the key managerial imperative for today’s business leaders.

So, are large corporations – or, more specifically, the leaders of those firms – ready to face the challenge? Or as Richard Straub of the Peter Drucker Society of Europe puts the question, “are managers equipped – in terms of skills, competencies and courage – to lead us toward the Great Transformation?”

[Read the rest of the fine piece on the HBR website]

“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

                                                                                                           – Steve Jobs

“Misfortune weighs most heavily on those who expect nothing but good fortune.”

— Seneca