Digital Transformation: Talking the same language

21 Nov 2017

Digital Transformation: Talking the same language

Digital transformation is the ultimate test of a company’s culture. What does it take to create a fruitful strategic dialogue for everyone to speak the language of long-term, fundamental business change?

Fundamental digital transformation can be difficult in financial services, but it needn’t be. Tim Harrison has seen it from the inside, with over 30+ years in the industry. As an experienced CIO, he has valuable insights on the good, the better and the best way to go about leading change.

One step beyond

Tim recognises that, even to the most enlightened concerns, tech changes that go to the very heart of the business can seem, at first, like a step too far. Yet, they are essential.

“The change in mindset is radical. Far from fighting the battles of yesterday or today, we need to focus on the kind of battles we will be fighting in five to ten years’ time. FinTech innovations that will blow away the status quo are looming closer all the time, so you have to make bold choices today to be properly positioned for that future world.

“This visionary approach asks ‘what does tech really mean for my business in a five-year strategy sense? What are our business strengths and weaknesses against that view, and what tech should we be building to give the business a chance to survive in a world of wrenching change?’”

Space to explore

Creating space for that kind of thinking can sometimes mean getting people away from their day-to-day environment. This is one way to free them up to create a vision of the future. Likewise, individuals need permission to think and act very differently.

“People have to raise their heads above the noise of everyday business, so to speak, and pay attention to something that is not on their urgent to-do-list. It’s also important to recognise that their world is not necessarily your world."

“It’s hard, of course. Many people are emotionally invested in the processes and tech of today, happy to add more and more layers of bright and shiny new technology, rather than having a fundamental rethink powered by future tech’s possibilities.

“Day to day, I tend to seek out the leaders with a strong sense of entrepreneurship who can understand the future vision and instinctively know what needs to happen. Call it the ’insurgency’ approach, a band of like-minded, change-makers who can drive things right through the corporate culture, gathering allies along the way.”

Dialogue and debate

Tim Harrison will be talking about the challenges of creating a strategic dialogue between business and tech, and other lessons from the real world of digital transformation, at an Odgers Berndtson Hong Kong event.

‘Digital Transformation: Embracing the Change’ takes place on 4th December at the Bankers’ Club HK.

Tim will be joined by Paul Rush, Partner of the Sydney Office of Odgers Berndtson, where he leads the CIO/CTO/CDO practice for Asia Pacific and Japan.

Paul has a clear view of the new breed of CIO: comfortable with thinking beyond technology, someone who thrives as a leader, not just as a functional head. And his views on how organisations can create the right environments for such individuals to do their job are equally forthright.

Way ahead

The final word must go to Nick Green, Partner at Odgers Berndtson Hong Kong, and host for the event: “According to PwC, Asia is now the global leader in research and development across all industries. In FinTech, the market is second only to the US in attracting investment. In this ultra-competitive arena, a successful digital transformation will separate corporate winners from losers. The journey is not an easy one, but as our event will illustrate, far from impossible.”

If you are interested in attending this event, please contact:

Brenda Leung

+852 2215 8698