How the 21st Century CEO Wins More

The newly released April 2017 Gartner CEO and Senior Business Executive survey indicates that “CEO’s lack a major new theory…on how to optimize productivity gains from investing in emerging technologies”.

Gartner analyst Mark Raskino continued that “there is no big idea or major trend in contemporary productivity thinking”. Further, revenue metrics fail “to focus management attention squarely on how many units of value are produced per amount of input”.

The new management theory for prioritizing strategic emerging technology initiatives is the measuring of execution capability, by initiative.

The new model is not about measuring should you, it’s about measuring can you.

While Internet of Things (IoT) and other technologies represent the opportunity to accelerate growth and transformation, the ability to execute those new operating models is the consistently overlooked metric that turns opportunity gained into opportunity lost.

Much of the decision making around moving forward with new technologies and leapfrog strategies is done through ‘seat of the pants’ guessing, because management has not had the data necessary to calculate if and when to invest in new technologies.

The new model is not about measuring should you, it’s about measuring can you.

By measuring how much of a transformation shift is necessary from the current operating model to the next generation operating model, executives can clearly see which initiatives and strategic directions can be realized, at what cost and timeframe. Hope is no longer an acceptable risk strategy for implementing what Gartner calls general purpose technologies (GPT’s).

Without calculating execution capability and the continuous practice of applying biases to decision making on transformational technologies, executives are trapped in industrial age decision making principles. Those that extricate themselves from these methods will have the advantage of prioritizing initiatives on capability and true scale to execution. That means they will fail less, get a better return on their incremental strategic investments, and be rewarded by market value recognition.

As noted by Raskino of Gartner, ‘the big management ideas of the past like business process management (BPM), total quality management (TQM) and lean [management] are less helpful in the ephemeral product and services world where social networks, business model innovation, design thinking, brand values and customer experiences are at the center of value creation”.

They will fail less, get a better return on their strategic investments, and be rewarded by market value recognition.

Management that can clearly understand their execution capability of next generation initiatives (such as IoT) against current operations will avoid the lost time and effort of initiatives that although may have been great ideas, never stood a chance of ever succeeding.

Removing decision bias to optimize management decision making for what are the best initiatives to invest in now is the new management theory for those that will thrive in the 21st century economy.

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