To quote Heraclitus, “Change is the only constant”. In business, this has been true ever since the invention of commerce; however, it has arguably never been as true as it is in today’s digital world.
Wilton & Bain recently hosted a CIO breakfast at our London office. Several CIOs, CTOs and CDOs attended from a diverse range of sectors including healthcare, energy, marketing, consumer and financial services. What struck me was that despite the specific challenges that each sector is facing, each individual sitting at the table was also tackling a change agenda of great scale in order to remain relevant.
The mantra that ‘change must come from the top’ was keenly embraced by all the participants, sparking an interesting conversation around cross-sector pollination at C-Suite level. Executives who make this leap can influence rather than demand change. This senior leadership if we are to start to see a more successful adoption of new technologies and initiatives.
Acquiring the talent to innovate and execute is a challenge that Wilton & Bain has seen businesses tackling with ever increased frequency. Importing innovation and facilitating high impact change can be achievable through the use of experienced interims, something which is an increasing possibility with the rise of the Gig Economy.
Another approach is the introduction of senior leadership with the appropriate vision from other sectors. Whilst often considered a bold move, this can re-orientate and regenerate a business if done correctly. It’s also something that requires careful consideration, a thorough understanding of sector specialisms and a strong appreciation for the cultural nuances of a company. However it is something that Wilton & Bain has been advising on for several years as we have grown up watching digitalization spread from sector to sector.