How do you implement a strategy when interns know more than CEOs?

    Research output: Other contributionNet publication - Internet publicationCommunication


    Strategy work is always hard, but particularly so when senior executives know less about emerging trends than the 19-year-old intern that just brought them coffee. Blockchain-based bank accounts, Artificial Intelligence lawyers, smart cities, collaborative robots, autonomous cars and online dating – wherever you look, pervasive digitalisation is turning businesses upside down. “I have been doing this for 50 years” is no longer an asset, but a liability for a CEO.

    So what do you do as the founder of a consultancy with a few hundred employees: do you wait for an algorithm to put you out of business? As the manager of a large pension company, do you hope that tomorrow’s pensioners will use the same technology as yesterday’s? As the CEO of a big production company, do you wait for your entire supply chain to embrace digital production techniques? The answer to these questions is obviously a resounding “no”. No, but what next?

    We have interviewed and observed these and other senior executives, for a total of 40 companies with leading positions in the production, engineering, consulting and financial services sectors in Denmark. On the backdrop of this uncertainty regarding their capabilities and of the shifting market demands created by new technologies, we asked them all a simple question: “How do you implement a strategy?”.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date3 Oct 2018
    PublisherWorld Economic Forum
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2018

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