Large technology companies that were created towards the end of the 20th Century and the beginning of the 21st Century - such as Amazon (1994), Google (1998), or Facebook (2004) - have stood out not only for their ability to anticipate and respond easily to challenges that consumers haven't thought of yet; but also for introducing new forms of leadership and management that completely changed the management standards of large multinationals and listed companies in the second half of the last century.
In the new digital context where we continue to take giant steps, companies whose management style is not refreshed similar to that style created by the new digital companies, will find themselves no longer competitive in a very short time. For this reason, it's urgent for the former to learn and apply the management models and techniques from digital companies.
At Gartner’s annual IT Conference in Barcelona in 2016, the Vice President of the prestigious consulting company, Mark Raskino, grouped these learnings into three categories: business, risk management and the provision of resources. We summarize all three in this post.
This post is also available in Spanish.
What can traditional companies learn from digital ones?
1. A company's mission should not be a grandiose phrase that is lacking in content, but one with a precise, credible and exciting direction showing where the company is headed. This is the only way for all of its members to know and share it.
2. It is essential to have an unorthodox view of business models, which predisposes companies to experiment and use the trial / error approach. Such a view helps to generalize the perception that these models are starting points and not an end in themselves.
3. Traditional companies should place the user experience at the center of their decision making to ensure that it is perfect.In the digital environment, the user experience is just as important or more than the quality of the product or services themselves.
Risk Management4. Traditional companies often base their strategic decisions on hunches or unanalyzed experiences. The digital ones, on the other hand, resort to analysis tools - above all focusing on all the available data. Any decision will be based on data, so the probability of making the right decision increases to almost 100%.
Processed information is knowledge.
Processed knowledge is Wisdom.”
5. Traditional companies decide on their investments taking into account the certainty of the success of their results. Therefore, they do not make any high risk decisions nor investments where conditions are uncertain. Meanwhile digital companies accept that a high percentage of their projects are doomed, yet they carry them out anyway knowing that a few successes can challenge entire markets, while comfortably absorbing the cost of their failed experiments.
Provision of resources6. When it's time to expand, and before hiring more people, digital companies prefer to develop machines or software that expand their abilities or reach. The workforce size is no longer a performance indicator or a synonym for success.
“An overstaffed industry indicates
an underskilled leadership.”
7. Digital companies value and give greater prominence to the IT Departments and their members, which were viewed in traditional companies as a purely technical service. All companies should include these professionals in their strategic conversations and listen carefully to their contributions
8. Lastly, digital companies show a great predisposition to collaborate with small companies, convinced that they can bring different elements than a collaboration with large or highly consolidated companies could ever provide.
This post is also available in Spanish.
- Working from home: how to overcome the challenge of managing decentralized teams.
- How is mobility changing business management?
- Session on technological solutions for managing SMEs.