• Organizational

Digital Transformation and Innovation

Meeting the strategic, organizational and innovation challenges of leadership in the digital era


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Before Dick Fosbury won his 1968 Olympic gold, elite high jumpers used the straddle technique, Western Roll, or even the scissors jump to clear the bar. The Fosbury Flop was revolutionary. Everyone had to realign their thinking.

Digital technologies are causing nearly every business in every sector to rethink. Fosbury’s innovation, a big shock for the scissors jumpers, led to much higher jumping. Similarly, digital transformation will lead to improved business performance and huge opportunities for business, but in the short term the accelerated pace of disruption caused by new technologies has come to many as a shock, creating immense ambiguity, unease and uncertainty.

With the ‘Internet of Things’ and more disruption to come, companies need to manage this uncertainty and realign their thinking so they are ready to take advantage of the opportunities that will arise in virtually every industry. They need to undertake a ‘digital transformation’ based on an understanding of recent and likely future developments in digital technology and their impact on business models, so they have the capability to do business in a digital climate, to innovate, and to develop strategies for the future.

To assist with this process INSEAD have created a comprehensive suite of tools for leaders to understand and lead their organizations through a digital transformation. The INSEAD Leading Digital Transformation and Innovation program draws on research that uncovers the fundamentals of digital strategy, leadership and innovation.

It is instructive to see how INSEAD have built this program around three distinct views of the digital challenges that leaders face — the strategic view, the organizational view and the innovation view. This is how they describe these views:

Strategic View: The strategic view of digital provides insights into the fundamental drivers behind digital transformation and explores:

  • How disruption happens, the new elements of digital strategy, and how to profit from the core elements of digital strategy
  • Platforms, ecosystems and digital business models
  • How to develop a personalised strategic view of how disruption could transform your industry and how to respond 

Organizational View: The organizational view is about how to transform into an agile organization and explores what it means for companies to become digital-ready, including such aspects as roles and structures, culture, teamwork and even personal social networks. It looks at:

  • Ideas for organizational roles and structures in companies that are coping with digital readiness
  • Methods for more effective teamwork in the context of disruptive, ‘wild ideas’ innovation
  • What it means for organizational cultures to be digital-ready
  • The implications for human social networks in a digital-ready organization

Innovation View: The innovation view uncovers how to foster insights and innovation at a personal and team level to respond to a digital world. Drawing on INSEAD research involving 400 businesses and 16,000 executives and innovators. Program participants are encouraged to:

  • Examine the people, process and philosophy that established companies can apply to navigate the uncertainty of a digital age
  • Incorporate tools from lean start-up, design thinking, agile methodologies and business model innovation to understand how to nurture the innovations that will create future growth
  • Develop a personal and team action plan of how to generate new ideas and transform them into new businesses or internal solutions

As one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools, INSEAD brings together people, cultures and ideas from around the world to change lives and to transform organisations.

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