A reading club with a view to the future

076 George Westerman: Leading Digital

Successful digital transformation requires a combination of technological, organizational, and leadership capabilities.

George Westerman: Leading Digital


Leading Digital is a guide for organizations looking to successfully transform themselves into digital leaders. The authors offer a comprehensive framework for digital transformation that includes building digital capabilities, creating a digital vision, developing new business models, and fostering digital leadership. The book provides practical advice and real-world examples of organizations that have successfully navigated the digital landscape and emerged as leaders in their respective fields.


Title: Leading Digital

Author: George Westerman, Didier Bonnet, and Andrew McAfee

Publishing Year: 2017

Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press

Length in Hours: 8 hours and 54 minutes

5 main ideas

  1. Digital transformation is more than just technology - it requires organizational change and leadership.
  2. Digital leaders focus on creating value for their customers through innovative products and services.
  3. Digital transformation requires a new set of business models that leverage technology to create new opportunities.
  4. Developing digital capabilities is essential to building a successful digital organization.
  5. Digital leadership is key to driving successful digital transformation and requires a unique set of skills and competencies.
George Westerman: Leading Digital

5 funny quotes

  1. "The old way of doing things isn't the only way. We've come a long way since the quill pen, but we've still got a long way to go."
  2. "The digital world moves at lightning speed, but that doesn't mean we can't stop and enjoy the view once in a while."
  3. "Digital transformation is a journey, not a destination. So, enjoy the ride and make sure to pack your sense of humor."
  4. "In the world of digital transformation, change is the only constant. So, buckle up and enjoy the bumpy ride."
  5. "In the digital age, we're all learning as we go. So, don't be afraid to ask questions, make mistakes, and have a little fun along the way."

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "Digital is not about being faster or more efficient. It's about being better at changing the way things are done."
  2. "Organizations that adopt digital technologies most effectively use them to drive fundamental changes to business processes, customer engagement, and business models."
  3. "Digital transformation is a mindset and a way of working, not just a set of technologies."
  4. "Leadership is the key enabler of digital transformation. Leaders need to drive the culture, mindset, and vision for digital innovation and adoption."
  5. "The future belongs to organizations that can balance the digital with the human, leveraging the best of both worlds to drive success."

5 dilemmas

  1. How can organizations balance the benefits of digital transformation with the risks of disruption to existing business models and processes?
  2. How can leaders create a culture of innovation and experimentation while also maintaining the stability and reliability of core business operations?
  3. How can organizations ensure that digital technologies are used to enhance the human experience rather than replace it?
  4. How can leaders balance the need for data-driven decision making with the need for intuition and creativity in strategic planning?
  5. How can organizations attract and retain the talent necessary to drive digital transformation while also upskilling existing employees to adapt to new technologies and ways of working?

5 examples

  1. Procter & Gamble: the consumer goods giant transformed its marketing approach by using digital tools to better understand consumer preferences and to deliver targeted content.
  2. GE: the industrial conglomerate embraced digital transformation by creating a new business unit, GE Digital, to focus on developing and deploying digital technologies across the company's operations.
  3. BBVA: the Spanish bank has made digital transformation a key strategic priority, with a focus on enhancing the customer experience and streamlining internal processes through the use of digital technologies.
  4. Amazon: the e-commerce giant has built its business on digital technologies, from its recommendation algorithms to its cloud computing services.
  5. Airbnb: the home-sharing platform has disrupted the hospitality industry by leveraging digital technologies to connect travelers with local hosts and to provide a more personalized travel experience.

Referenced books

  1. "The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail" by Clayton M. Christensen
  2. "The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses" by Eric Ries
  3. "The Network Always Wins: How to Influence Customers, Stay Relevant, and Transform Your Organization to Move Faster than the Market" by Peter Hinssen
  4. "The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion" by John Hagel III, John Seely Brown, and Lang Davison
  5. "The Digital Transformation Playbook: Rethink Your Business for the Digital Age" by David L. Rogers

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"Digital transformation is a journey, not a destination. So, enjoy the ride and make sure to pack your sense of humor."

George Westerman: Leading Digital
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