As technology evolves at a faster pace than ever, knowing how to anticipate change – and how to combine technology and humans – has never been more urgent. Optimal application of the latest innovations requires capable and knowledgeable leaders.
With deep experience in technology, business and academia, Soumitra Dutta, dean of Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, offers practical frameworks that help leaders optimize the extensive value of technology when it’s applied in business contexts.
“The biggest opportunity I see in business today is for C-Suite leaders to innovatively leverage the emerging tech space,” says Dutta, co-founder of the World Economic Forum’s Network Readiness Index and one of the most highly sought-after experts on digital transformation and organizational leadership in the world. “There’s enormous complexity in emerging technology, so it’s vital to simplify an understanding of the terminology, the conceptual anchors and the ways to leverage the innovative potential of technology.”
“Many companies don’t know how to handle big digital disruptions,” explains Dutta. “The whole space is so large that it’s important to have simple frameworks for analyzing an organization’s digital capabilities and map out the next steps. Leaders must understand what it means to be a digital company, to have a digital business model and most importantly, the different dimensions of the transition to get there.”
Shaping an Organization’s DNA Through Nuanced Leadership
In addition to his current role as dean of Oxford’s business school, Dutta was founding dean of Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business, and is co-founder and president of the Washington, DC based think tank, Portulans Institute.
His international leadership experience spans the academic, business, non-profit and government sectors giving him a global, multidisciplinary perspective on leadership development, the talent pipeline and the important decisions leaders face every day.
“One of the nuanced decisions a leader has to make is how do you allocate resources across different emerging technologies? Those tough decisions must both build the current business and at the same time create innovative new future business models,” explains Dutta, who helped establish Cornell University’s Cornell Tech Campus in New York City.
“I help leaders consider leadership more philosophically and urge them to think about their vision of their company and how they look at the interplay of intelligent technology and innovative people. These decisions shape an organization’s DNA and become about much more than traditional profit motives. It’s about impact and doing good for the environment as well as society.”
AI Policies to Benefit Business and Empower Employees
As the innovative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) continues to develop at an exponential pace, it becomes essential to integrate these technologies within an organization’s products and processes.
While it’s important to understand how technologies like large language models (LLMs) and neural networks function, it’s even more vital for leaders to understand how they impact an organization’s core business.
“The successful leader will be one who is able to have a simplistic yet accurate understanding of how technology is evolving, how it impacts the business and how you combine it with people,” explains Dutta, whose Ph.D. specialized in AI and who recently authored a report, “AI Policies for Business,” for the 2023 New Delhi G20 Summit for the B20 group.
“The biggest challenge for CEOs right now is putting in place policies to effectively integrate machines and people in a way that both furthers innovation in the business and empowers and upholds the dignity of workers.”
Understand Innovation Trends to Successfully Transition to a Digital Business Model
With the strategic implementation of technology being a critical issue for leaders, Dutta provides practical frameworks for executing digital transitions and leveraging exponential trends. An authority on tracking technological innovations around the world, he founded the Global Innovation Index, which has been published by the United Nations since 2010 and is used by more than 120 countries as a guide to formulate policies for enhancing innovation performance.
“While many organizations have become very good at handling incremental process innovations, they struggle with the challenge of managing disruptive digital innovations”, explains Dutta. “The obstacles are less linked to technical elements and more influenced by the ability of leaders to ask the right questions and to courageously lead an organization through a process of rapid change.”
The future of AI requires building your organization’s digital DNA to leverage coming disruptions. Stern Strategy Group connects you with renowned thought leaders whose insights, strategies and management frameworks help organizations fuel growth and disruptive innovation to better compete in a constantly changing world. Let us arrange for these esteemed experts to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting sessions, workshops and keynotes.