Business is on the cusp of a new digital future. A perfect storm of technologies — cloud computing, artificial intelligence (AI), automation, big data and analytics, and the Internet of things (IoT) – is transforming industry after industry.
However, some businesses are moving much faster and better and others. How are the leaders of the most digitally savvy companies different?
We’ve looked at the CEOs of three of the most dominant companies in this digital age: Apple, Amazon, and Netflix. We found that they share five traits:
1. The imagination to see what others didn’t
Abundant imagination is essential. Twenty years ago, Netflix’s Reed Hastings saw what others didn’t – that the proliferation of high-bandwidth Internet networks would dramatically change the movie distribution market. Consider Amazon. Jeff Bezos has tapped into big technological trends. One of his pilot projects has been experimenting with putting machine learning to use in Amazon’s delivery drones.
2. A voracious appetite for compelling and competing ideas
Senior leadership has to not only be imaginative, it also must inspire imagination in others. Steve Jobs and Apple’s executive team believed that great ideas, and internal debates about them, were paramount — no matter where those ideas came from.
3. A relentless customer advocacy
Competition, product, business-model, and technology can make or break a company. But a laser-like attention to customer needs, increasing customer value, consistently improving customer experience, and building customer loyalty are equally potent.
4. Exuding calmness in the storm
Competition and market chaos affect all. But futuristic leaders are not distracted by the noise around them. When Netflix began distributing movie DVDs through the mail, it was competing against much larger companies. Unfazed, Netflix calmly marched on.
5. Loyalty to great people, but not to their current jobs
In today’s digital first economy, there is immense confusion around deployment of AI and job losses. A hallmark of these successful leaders is their ability to identify valuable people and retain them – even if their current jobs must change.
Read Krishnan’s article Executive Traits for Recognizing the Bountiful Opportunities Ahead and learn more about these five traits.