Making the Transition to Agile

What concerns keep executives awake at night? Uncertainty. Technological change. New employee roles and skills. Transformed culture. The anxieties that CEOs cite today are vastly different from those of previous generations. Internet-based commerce, global markets, rapid product cycles, innovative business models; every business is affected, and every industry is at risk of disruption.

A recent PWC Global survey of CEOs shows that 70% cite the speed of technological change as a key source of unease, up from 58% just two years ago. And 90% believe that technology will change competition in their industry, with 27% believing it will completely reshape their competitive landscape. As interesting as the numbers are, some of the remarks captured from this group of worldwide business leaders were even more telling. Two specific examples illustrate this point: Alexey Marey, CEO of Alfa Bank, Russia, told PWC that, “There is a need to adapt businesses to continue operating even under conditions of the highest uncertainty.” And Peter Harrison of Shroders PLC UK said, “[Technology] will change the type of people you employ. It will change the culture of delivery within the organization.”

Traditional industrial-age management practices must evolve, and every business decision-maker must determine how her enterprise will face these threats. In this uncertain business environment, technology can be a blessing and a curse. A blessing, because the introduction ...

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