You are sitting on a board of directors. And like so many others in your position, you may want to devote more time to strategy work. Because while digitalisation is driving a gigantic market shift, you are asking if your strategy is future-proof. Good question.
Digitalization and AI are driving what arguably is the greatest change ever in human history, and it is a change that, moreover, has barely begun. Digital technology is constantly opening up more possibilities, and although it is difficult to immediately see how they can be used, digitalization requires adaptation. Now.
As with other major technology and market shifts, we must all adapt to changing conditions in order to maintain competitiveness and relevance, and we must all try to find our position in a new and changed ecosystem.
The responsibility for strategy and competitiveness lies with the board, and your company is already working with digital technology in various forms. But you may sometimes wonder if you are trying hard enough to adapt.
The question is relevant.
Historically, we know that only one in three companies, in a wide range of different industries, evolves in the face of market and technology disruption.
Many of those who did not were giants in their industry. Kodak, Nokia, Blockbuster, Facit—just to name a few well-known examples.
The challenge is significant. It is not enough to see and understand the ongoing technology shift. Kodak first introduced digital cameras in 1975, Nokia had long worked with touch screens, and Blockbuster was invited to collaborate with Netflix, but for various reasons, all three failed to seize the opportunity.
In addition to the insight, it takes courage to change strategy and operations quickly enough, and it requires a determined leadership to implement the change, while the change must be financed and the shareholders must be kept satisfied.
For smaller companies, the change may be less dramatic, but it is still just as important. And even if the company and its services and products do not necessarily have to be completely digital—on the contrary, there may be valuable niches in the analog space—the business model and strategy must still relate to a new ecosystem in a digital world.
No one escapes. Therefore, it is no coincidence that there is a demand among boards and company managements for knowledge about digitalization today. Not so much about digital platforms, tools, and best practices, but about the deep roots of the ongoing digitally driven change, making it possible to build a robust and future related strategy.
And there is knowledge to be found. What is needed is to open your eyes in earnest, and observe a number of megatrends spreading across the world and to see their connection to digital technologies. Instead of looking back and saying “Why didn’t we notice that? It was right in front of us!”
It is also about understanding the difference between change that is remaining, and change that comes and goes.
This is why I have developed a strategy workshop for company boards—Digitalization and AI for the Board’s Strategy Work, building on my background in technology monitoring and future analysis, sharing a series of insights I have gained over the years on the nature of technology driven change.
My ambition is to let you build a deeper understanding and a clearer picture of where we are headed, with the goal to provide the board and the management team with the knowledge and the tools required to develop a successful strategy in a digitalized world.
It is not a small task, but I find it highly inspiring, especially in collaboration with board members seeking the best outcome for their companies, contributing with their domain expertise and wanting to learn about the future.