It is Time for CEOs to Lead by Example in Era of Digital Disruption

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2016 is shaping up to be another big year in Canadian technology. In this series, OpenText CEO Mark Barrenechea highlights his predictions. Today, he looks at the importance of digital for CEOs.

It’s clear that in 2016 digital disruption will impact all markets.

Earlier this year, I predicted that 50% of all market leaders will be obsolete in the coming decade because of digital disruption. Competition will come fast and furious from unforeseen sources. In a 2015 CEO survey, 58% of CEOs surveyed consider the rapid-fire rate of digital disruption a challenge to their business. But where there is risk there is also opportunity: 80% believe that disruptive technologies (mobile, the Cloud, analytics) will bring tremendous value to their business.

That’s a heartening statistic.

To capitalize on opportunity, CEOs will need to understand how disruption impacts all functions of their organization. In 2016, CEOs will become the drivers of digital transformation initiatives, incorporating them in their corporate strategies and all parts of the business. Adaptive and creative leadership will succeed.

Across the C-Suite, transformational leadership will overcome outmoded structures and old management styles to empower Millennials to self-direct, make decisions, experiment, innovate, and take risks; while providing the systems, structure and governance to protect the company, its assets and information from this ‘digital sandbox’ style cultural transformation. CEOs will have to obsess even more about the customer and rethink customer value and experiences. They will extend their ecosystems with a new willingness to partner to discover new consumers and markets.

Over the next five years, CEOs will lead by example, adopting a Digital Mindset. The Digital Mindset is driven by disruption, immediacy, and scale with centricity on journeys, experience, and a real-time-ness.

Just like we have an IQ and EQ, organizations need to develop a DQ, a digital quotient, where strategy, culture, people, and capabilities converge. The CEO will lead this charge.

Read Mark’s take on the Internet of Things in 2016.

Read Mark’s take on Millennials taking over the workplace in 2016.

Read Mark’s take on the future of SaaS companies.

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