English language Visionary Marketing Podcasts
Leadership: a “digital” transformation should be called transformation
A “digital” transformation should just be called a transformation and it’s a question of leadership. Full stop. Such is the conclusion of my interview with my friend Minter Dial who talked to me from London about his new book, “You Lead, How Being Yourself Makes You a Better Leader”. In this new opus, he draws a parallel between what he saw during 9/11 and the current COVID-19 pandemic. According to him, nothing will be like ever before and there is a need for a radically new leadership. This applies to digital as well, and Minter had a few harsh words for CDOs and digital transformations which should be, well… transformations. Here is what he told me.
Leadership: a transformation needs to be called transformation, not digital transformation
Onto something new in the way we operate in business
I wanted to make a point at the very beginning that in my view, we are onto something new in the way that we need to operate in business.
Sometimes we might not realise the need to change before we are faced with something unexpected
My observation has been that in order for us to get on the programme and really figure out what was important in the way we ought to lead and run business, we needed to have some kind of life-changing experience. Mine was 9/11, and I draw a parallel between 9/11 and the COVID-19 pandemic because both of them are linked by one very important topic, which is death, albeit at a different level and in different ways.
But they do bring life into the question because by its nature, we’re looking at death, and more broadly and in philosophical terms, I have seen from my little vantage point a lot of other massively interesting similarities, which aren’t necessarily positive.
The first is that these two events came out of the blue for most of us, we weren’t prepared and secondly, it was an invisible enemy, whether it was the ideology or the virus.
The third point was that your neighbour could become your enemy, so anyone on the street is potentially the end of your road.
Obviously, this is pulling big generalisations, but it does have that sort of nature seeping into our daily lives, whereby you look at somebody differently as you walk down the street. Certainly, that’s what happened back in 2001, and for many of us who’ve lived through terrorist attacks have now got this feeling of everybody carrying the virus, everyone’s going out to get me.
I fundamentally believe that this is going to last, because it is part of a bigger movement
The next thing is that we have a media narrative that is kind of monolithic and you’re not allowed to talk differently than the main narrative. This happened with regards to 9/11, terrorism and so on. It’s either you’re a friend or an enemy, a la Bush.
In this situation now, it’s like you have to kowtow and obey the laws, you have to listen to what the government says, whatever country you’re in. The media have played into that, and as a result, based on fear, are issues of security, whether it’s a terrorist attack or health security.
Our privacy and freedom have been changed for the sake of protecting us. I think ultimately, we have come across the challenge which is we’re no longer allowed to accept or want to accept any death, though it’s such an obvious reality.
We are so conscious about our lives that we can’t accept death; any topic of death is enough to feel a sense of fear and drives us to listen to a unilateral type of narrative from the media. I am not talking about some big conspiracy, I just think it’s sort of the way society interplaying with media and government is leadin...