Technology, Culture and Leadership: the Keys of the Digital Transformation
“Few issues are more relevant to our future than the technological change.” With these words the Chairman of BBVA summarized the importance of the technological revolution for the business world. Since the advent of Internet and the spread of the IT, we don’t do business the same way. Many things have changed: tools, processes and, most importantly, the culture of the people involved in these processes.
Big Data, female leadership and the culture of the new company. These were the main ideas coming from the launch of Reinventing the Company in the Digital Age. Francisco González, Chairman of BBVA, along with the book’s participants Celia de Anca and Salvador Aragón (IE Business School), Alison Maitland (London Cass Business School) and Philip Evans (Boston Consulting Group) presented some of the arguments about the digital transformation collected in the latest book of the OpenMind collection.
Francisco González was responsible for opening the event, using the case of BBVA as a paradigm of change and transformation. “The adaptation of industries and businesses depends on us being able to reap the benefits of the technological revolution in the form of increased productivity and, therefore, greater wealth and prosperity for all.” He stressed the importance of new competitors in the banking sector and gave some figures on the digitization of business. “Since December 2011 we have doubled our active digital customers, at the end of March 2015 we had 12.5 million, of which 50% used mobile technologies.”
However, not only figures demonstrate the transformation experienced by the company. People are the key to this change. Celia de Anca and Salvador Aragón explained in their talk what new tribes are and why it may be good for business to apply these “structures”, in fields such as innovation. The emerging tribalism in the new collaborative economy is a sign of modernity and companies must “capture the collective energy of the new tribes to stimulate new ways of generating innovation within the organizations.”
Alison Maitland also spoke about people. In particular, women and the evolution of traditional gender roles. In business, the feminization of the leadership styles, the decline of hierarchy and the rise of the soft power, are some of the evidence of this evolution. Women, according to Maitland “account for half of the population, more than half of university degrees and dominate consumption.” Moreover, as she argues in her article, it is already been proved that companies with more women on their boards and management teams have better economic results.
One tool that is reshaping the way of understanding business is Big Data. Philip Evans spoke about the disruptive effect of these new technologies, and how the transformation is happening so fast that sometimes, the managers of the companies do not understand the process. He demonstrated that effect in numbers, “90% of data stored in the world was generated in the last two years.” How will companies deal with this new data dominated age? The transformation of the internal organization and the architecture of companies will be vital in this respect.