Adapting to change in the age of digital transformation is key to modern business survival

The Industrial Age Is Long Dead, the Digital Age Is Frustratingly Adolescent. since the dawn of the 21st century SMEs have been on the rise but despite this, statistics prove the average lifespan of a company and its CEO has halved and fewer than 1 in 5 employees are fully engaged in the workplace.

Committed to solving critical issues through open discussion, CIOMajlis explored the role of Agile transformation in a post-industrial age at its January roundtable.

With the industrial age evolving into its next avatar, the present economic reality is highly volatile and demands businesses to adapt to change if they want to survive. Coined in the late 1980s – Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity (VUCA) – refers to the current economic reality, a reality that has become the norm and one  that demands managerial attention. Ed Capaldi, ex-CIO and now Strategic Advisor and Agile Business Coach said, “Navigating through the post-industrial VUCA chaos in an effort to grow their companies in the digital age is what is keeping CEOs and boards awake at night”.

To thrive in the new industrial age, Capaldi advises combining Scrum (software development) methodologies within the  Agile mindset. He claims that post-industrial transformation starts with a vision and needs to prioritize delighting the customer above all else. A formula he prescribes is collaboration between CIOs and CEOs. “Agile is a mindset, you don’t do Agile, you have to be Agile. The center isn’t the firm, it’s the customer. This is rapidly changing due to the compound impact of digitization. Agile drives continuous improvement. The job of the CEO is to win in the market and the CIO’s job is to make sure they do”, Capaldi concludes.

In a parting note, Capaldi advised the room to anticipate its customers’ needs and produce solutions they actually want and are willing to buy, there is nothing worst that producing with great efficiency something that should not be made at all. He urged the audience to get out of the office and engage directly with their customers. Capaldi championed the use of simple, practical tools such as the Value Proposition Canvas and Business Model Canvas by Alex Osterwalder and apply them through Steve Blank and Eric Ries’ Lean Start Up customer journey process. Furthermore, in this VUCA reality Capaldi urged the audience to adopt A 90-day planning cycle, held together by rapid fire laser-focused daily and weekly inter-department collaborations as vital for a modern business’ leap into the future. “The progress and results need to be visual and open to the whole team,” Capaldi.

On March 13th Capaldi will be hosting Steve Snowdon, Head of Lean and Agile at Mashreq Bank and discussing the good, bad and ugly of Mashreq’s Agile Transformation at this year’s annual agileMiddleEast conference. Our members will be given 15% discount to the event using the PROMOCODE CIOMajlis