Today we’re talking to Gerald Kane, Professor at Boston College, and the Co-Author of “The Transformation Myth.” And we discuss how digital transformation is a never-ending journey, not a destination. How handling extreme disruption has changed the workplace, and what the future of hybrid workplaces could look like.
All of this, right here, right now, on the Modern CTO Podcast!
Check out the new book, “The Transformation Myth”! https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/transformation-myth
About Gerald Kane:
Gerald C. (Jerry) Kane is the author of “The Technology Fallacy: How People Are the Real Key to Digital Transformation,” and “The Transformation Myth: Leading Your Organization Through Uncertain Times,” published by MIT Press. He is also the Faculty Director of the Edmund H. Shea Jr. Center for Entrepreneurship and a Professor of Information Systems at the Carroll School of Management at Boston College. He is a senior editor at MIS Quarterly, the most prestigious academic journal on information systems.
Prof. Kane is the author of “The Technology Fallacy: How People are the Real Key to Digital Transformation,” published by MIT Press in April 2019. For this book, he surveyed over 20,000 executives worldwide and interviewed over 100 executive and thought leaders to determine the key factors associated with digitally mature companies. He concludes that an organization’s response to digital disruption should focus on people and processes and not necessarily on technology.
He has worked with companies such as Walmart, Metlife, Caterpillar, Deloitte, Partners Healthcare, and many other companies to put these insights into practice. He speaks nationally and internationally to executive audiences on the characteristics of digitally mature companies, the steps necessary to become more mature, and how leaders need to adapt their own skills and careers to lead effectively in a digital world.
Kane is the faculty lead of the Tech Trek program at Boston College, preparing and leading students on visits to technology companies of all sizes – from startup to blue chip – in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Boston, and New York. Insights gained from these visits provides valuable insight into the present and future of the impact of digital technologies on businesses in various industries.
About The Transformation Myth:
How companies can adapt in an era of continuous disruption: a guide to responding to such acute crises as COVID-19.
When COVID-19 hit, businesses had to respond almost instantaneously—shifting employees to remote work, repairing broken supply chains, keeping pace with dramatically fluctuating customer demand. They were forced to adapt to a confluence of multiple disruptions inextricably linked to a longer- term, ongoing digital disruption. This book shows that companies that use disruption as an opportunity for innovation emerge from it stronger. Companies that merely attempt to “weather the storm” until things go back to normal (or the next normal), on the other hand, miss an opportunity to thrive.
The authors, all experts on business and technology strategy, show that transformation is not a one-and-done event, but a continuous process of adapting to a volatile and uncertain environment. Drawing on five years of research into digital disruption—including a series of interviews with business leaders conducted during the COVID-19 crisis—they offer a framework for understanding disruption and tools for navigating it. They outline the leadership traits, business principles, technological infrastructure, and organizational building blocks essential for adapting to disruption, with examples from real-world organizations. Technology, they remind readers, is not an end in itself, but enables the capabilities essential for surviving an uncertain future: nimbleness, scalability, stability, and optionality.