New Study: Leading Your Company through the Digital Transformation

In boardrooms around the world, executives are asking themselves how to use social media, mobile tools, and big data to improve all aspects of their organizations. But these mega trends are just manifestations of a shift that is utterly transforming the very nature of our businesses. This profound shift is being driven by the growing density of our digital connections, which is fast redrawing the boundaries of competition and reshaping the sources of customer value.

This reshaping has long-reaching implications for business. On the one hand, it reframes perceived sources of customer value, thus changing the competitive landscape and forcing a rethink of many existing business models. On the other hand, it challenges some of the foundational principles on which traditional organizations are based, such as centralization of decision-making and departmentalization. To respond to these challenges, many companies embark on a journey seeking to evolve their business models and/or adjust organizational structures and processes. We refer to this journey as the ‘digital transformation.’

Success of the digital transformation will depend to a large extent on the organization’s leadership. But to this day, there is little information available about the qualities and skills that these leaders need to possess or develop to propel their companies forward. The purpose of this project will therefore be to understand the critical leadership competencies and management capabilities required of the men and women effectively leading firms around the world through the digital transformation.

Who can participate in the study?

We are looking for Executives who are dealing with various aspects of the digital transformation in their company, be it affecting their business model or the internal structure of the company. These leaders must have some valuable experience into how the digital transformation of their corporations has changed the way they work and interact with clients, employees, and employers. Ideally, the managers who participate in this study will have actively taken part in shaping the digital transformation of their organization.

How will the data be collected? How much time will it take to participate?

If you feel that your experience and story are valuable to this project, please contact us via email ( We will get in touch with you to schedule a 1-hour conversation via WebEx within the next two months.

Who are the researchers?

IESE Professors Sandra Sieber, Evgeny Kaganer, and Javier Zamora.

Will the data be kept confidential?

We are always very mindful of participants’ confidentiality concerns. We will work with members of your legal team to ensure that the study findings can be shared publicly. No information will be ever disclosed without an official sign-off.

What are the benefits of participating?

Each person or organization participating in the study will receive a detailed report of study findings and recommendations. As one of the first comprehensive examinations of the impact of digitalization on leadership, the report will benefit anyone who is currently working in a managerial position in any organization going through any phase of the digital transformation.

In addition, an online workshop covering key learning points related to the findings will be conducted at the completion of the study. All participants will be welcome to attend this workshop. More details about this workshop will be provided at a later time.

Key highlights of the study will be published in relevant journals and magazines, increasing visibility of the organizations and their forward thinking executives. If you wish (and authorize us to do so) your company’s name may be included in these publications.

What is the timeframe for the project?

Our goal is to complete data collection by March 2014 and report the findings of the study by August 2014.

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