Cultivating Digital Leadership Skills
We recently had the pleasure of engaging in a thought-provoking conversation with Geoff Blaisdell. He is an experienced digital leader, executive advisor, investor, and change agent. Our discussion revolved around the importance of cultivating digital leadership skills. Fostering innovation, and the role of technology in the modern business landscape.
The Role of Technology in Business
Geoff delved into the necessity for leaders to comprehend that technology is not just a shiny new toy. It is a tool designed to solve business problems and deliver value. We agreed that successful technologists are hybrids, possessing a deep understanding of both technology. The business context in which it is applied.
Digital Transformation: A Misunderstood Concept
We also touched on the concept of digital transformation. This is a term often misunderstood as a threat to human roles. Contrary to this misconception, we concurred that digital transformation is about connecting disparate systems, improving processes, and enabling organizations to access and utilize data more effectively.
Geoff shared his perspective on the term “digital,” stating that it represents a level of technology that accelerates the delivery of value. He believes that we have reached a point where technology and innovation are essential for progress, and digital transformation is a natural progression on this exponential path.
Aligning Digital Initiatives with Business Goals
Our conversation emphasized the importance of aligning digital initiatives with business goals and involving stakeholders in the journey. We highlighted the need for a shared understanding of digital transformation and its potential benefits.
The Impact of AI on Jobs
We also discussed the impact of AI on jobs. Geoff acknowledged that while AI may eliminate some jobs. It can also be augmentative and improve job performance. He gave the example of AI assisting investment managers, where a competent investment manager armed with AI can outperform just a competent manager. He compared this to the combination of a grand master and AI in the chess world.
Maintaining Customer Centricity in the Digital Age
We agreed on the importance of maintaining customer centricity and human interaction in the digital age. Geoff mentioned a startup he is working with that uses AI to improve sales outcomes by gathering data during meetings and reducing subjectivity. We concurred that customer centricity is critical and that companies should strive to provide a human touch in their interactions.
The Future of Technology
When discussing the future of technology, Geoff believes that while there are incremental improvements, there are also truly transformative advancements. He mentioned autonomous driving as an example, which he believes will have a monumental impact on people’s lives by recapturing time. He also raised ethical considerations, such as the potential use of AI in the legal system to eliminate bias.
Bots, Transparency, and Ethics
We touched on the topic of bots and transparency, agreeing that companies should be upfront about their use of bots and not try to deceive customers. We also discussed the ethical questions surrounding AI and human relationships, referencing the movie “Her” where a protagonist falls in love with a chatbot.
John is the Amazon-bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.