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McK: The CEO moment Leadership for a new era

COVID-19 has created a massive humanitarian challenge: millions ill and hundreds of thousands of lives lost; soaring unemployment rates in the world’s most robust economies; food banks stretched beyond capacity; governments straining to deliver critical services. The pandemic is also a challenge for businesses—and their CEOs—unlike any they have ever faced, forcing an abrupt dislocation of how employees work, how customers behave, how supply chains function, and even what ultimately constitutes business performance.

Confronting this unique moment, CEOs have shifted how they lead in expedient and ingenious ways. The changes may have been birthed of necessity, but they have great potential beyond this crisis. In this article, we explore four shifts in how CEOs are leading that are also better ways to lead a company: unlocking bolder (“10x”) aspirations, elevating their “to be” list to the same level as “to do” in their operating models, fully embracing stakeholder capitalism, and harnessing the full power of their CEO peer networks. If they become permanent, these shifts hold the potential to thoroughly recalibrate the organization and how it operates, the company’s performance potential, and its relationship to critical constituents.

Only CEOs can decide whether to continue leading in these new ways, and in so doing seize a once-in-a-generation opportunity to consciously evolve the very nature and impact of their role. Indeed, as we have written elsewhere, part of the role of the CEO is to serve as a chief calibrator—deciding the extent and degree of change needed. As part of this, CEOs must have a thesis of transformation that works in their company context. A good CEO is always scanning for signals and helping the organization deliver fine-tuned responses. A great CEO will see that this moment is a unique opportunity for self-calibration, with profound implications for the organization.

We have spoken with and counseled hundreds of CEOs since the pandemic first hit. It is clear to us that they sense an opportunity to lead in a new, more positive and impactful way. If a critical mass of CEOs embraces and extends what they have learned during the pandemic, this CEO moment could become a CEO movement—one that is profoundly positive for the achievement of corporate, human, and societal potential. As Rajnish Kumar, chairman of the State Bank of India, reflects, “This will be a true inflection point. I think that this pandemic, in terms of implications, will be as big an event as World War II. And whatever we learn through this process, it must not go to waste.”

(…)

Invest further in building relationships with other CEOs

CEOs are communicating more, and expanding their networks, in part because only another CEO confronting the pandemic can fully identify with today’s leadership challenges. As Laxman Narasimhan, CEO of Reckitt Benckiser, puts it: “I find talking to other CEOs about how they are handling the crisis extremely helpful—this shared experience connects us and gives me added perspectives.” Says AmerisourceBergen CEO Steve Collis, “From an external perspective, I’ve been a beneficiary of amazing calls with other CEOs who have been willing to share their knowledge. This has been such a growing experience.”

Hospital CEOs realized we were chasing each other around the supply chains [hunting for PPE]. So we began to coordinate. It became almost a daily call.

— Kate Walsh, CEO, Boston Medical Center

It’s no surprise that CEOs are seeing the benefits of connecting in new ways during this crisis. The urgency of the moment has given focus and urgency to the nature of the dialogue. Kate Walsh, CEO of Boston Medical Center, started talking to her peers early in the pandemic, when Boston was becoming one of the country’s COVID-19 hot spots. “Hospital CEOs realized we were chasing each other around the supply chains,” says Walsh. “We began to coordinate, so at least we could let people know that we’d give everybody a mask when they come to work on Monday morning. It became almost a daily call [with other hospitals] as we tried to figure out how to respond to the volume of cases.” Leaders are less focused on showing up to large group meetings and putting on a corporate face that suggests “We’ve got it under control.” Instead, they are intent on accelerating problem solving together by building on one another’s ideas, iterating novel solutions to use in the workplace, trading notes, and moving forward having learned what works best. They are also encouraging one another to conduct bold experiments, taking advantage of the current environment to do A/B testing on a massive scale and trying new ways of operating virtually and digitally.

In order for CEOs to leverage such interactions in the future and accelerate impact on shared challenges, they will have to continue to approach such opportunities—both formal and informal—with humility, a learning mindset, and an open-minded commitment to ongoing development. The benefits of doing so are more significant than one might imagine: role modeling this has the potential to create more open learning organizations for companies, and to identify the cross-industry analogies that often provide the touchstone for innovation. Without the pressure of a crisis, however, leadership resolve will be required to maintain such an approach—research makes it clear that none of this is easy for people in powerful roles.

In light of the newfound connectivity among CEOs within and across industries happening in this moment, CEOs will benefit from reflecting on the following questions:

  • What peer networks should I continue or create beyond the crisis (in particular, those in analogous but not identical situations)?
  • What makes for a valuable peer interaction, and how can I ensure that these conditions are in place when I interact with other CEOs?
  • Beyond role modeling, how can I encourage my senior team and other leaders to enrich their own networks and the velocity of learnings with their peers across industries?

Leverage networks to tackle a broad set of issues

CEO networks also have a unique potential to enable some of the other things we have talked about thus far in this article. CEOs in noncompetitive industries are well positioned to both challenge and support their peers in aiming higher; in sharing learnings, best practices, and encouragement regarding elevating “to be” to the same level as “to do”; and in working through how to fully embrace stakeholder capitalism.

COVID-19 has brought with it a pressurized operating environment the likes of which few of today’s CEOs have ever experienced—it has “unfrozen” many aspects of the CEO role.

The pharmaceutical industry’s “10x” rush to counter COVID-19 bears witness to this. As Christophe Weber, CEO of Takeda Pharmaceuticals, explains, “We started the development of a plasma-derived medicine for COVID-19 by ourselves. But our head of Plasma-Derived Therapies realized that if we formed an alliance with other plasma companies, we could go much faster and would have the potential to produce a product on a bigger scale. So now we have a pro bono, not-for-profit alliance. And we have a very good alliance with other major plasma companies, smaller ones, and also nonplasma companies, like Microsoft. When everybody saw that it was a true alliance to do good for society, we were able to get the convergence of many companies.”

This interest in shared success can create wins for multiple stakeholders. “Part [of the adjustment to COVID-19] is focusing even more on partnering with and supporting the community,” says CCHMC’s Fisher. “For example, CEOs of major employers, including P&G, Kroger, Fifth Third Bank, Cincinnati Children’s, and others, initiated a task force to focus on a robust and inclusive restart of our economy and region. Being part of those things is more important than ever to me, our institution, and our community.”

Alain Bejjani of MAF frames the potential for CEOs to work together in ways that change the world for the better. Says Bejjani, “Employers enjoy the highest level of trust compared to governments and even NGOs [nongovernmental organizations]. This capital of trust is very important and something CEOs should leverage going forward. We should be at the bridgehead for change. Governments cannot win, cannot deal with the complex issues of our time, without business. Business, in turn, cannot win without government and civil society.” As COVID-19 has made clear, changing the world for the better is good not only for society but also for business.

As CEOs look forward to decide what issues to tackle with their peers, they can build on their pandemic experience by considering the following questions:

  • On what issues has peer connectivity most benefited my business, now and in the future?
  • On what societal issues (such as inequity and racism, climate change, porous social safety nets, weakened healthcare systems) should peer connectivity be directed, and how can I maintain the same level of intensity that I did during the pandemic?
  • What issues will I take personal leadership on and convene others around?

COVID-19 has brought with it a pressurized operating environment the likes of which few of today’s CEOs have ever experienced. It has necessitated a reappraisal of how much is possible and in what time frames. It has forced personal disclosure at levels previously considered uncomfortable and, in doing so, has increased awareness of the importance of how leaders show up personally. It has shined a light on the interconnectivity of stakeholder concerns. It has prompted a level of substance-based, peer-to-peer CEO interaction that has elevated all involved. Ultimately, it has “unfrozen” many aspects of the CEO role, making possible a re-fusing of new and existing elements that could define the CEO role of the future.

When the pressure decreases, will CEOs go back to operating as they did before? Or will the role at the top be thoughtfully reconsidered and reconceived by those who occupy it? Clearly, not every CEO will choose to make permanent the four shifts we’ve discussed. The more that CEOs do, however, the more the moment has the potential to become a movement—one that could create higher-achieving, more purposeful, more humane, and better-connected leaders. Judging by the evolution underway, many companies and societies stand to benefit.

About the authors: Carolyn Dewar is a senior partner in McKinsey’s San Francisco office, Scott Keller is a senior partner in the Southern California office, Kevin Sneader is McKinsey’s global managing partner and is based in the Hong Kong office, and Kurt Strovink is a senior partner in the New York office.

The authors wish to thank Monica Murarka for her contributions to this article.

More: McKinsey.com

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EY Co to jest hiperautomatyzacja?

Hiperautomatyzacja to koncepcja polegająca na zastosowaniu ekosystemu zaawansowanych technologii automatyzacyjnych poprzez wykorzystanie posiadanego potencjału przedsiębiorstwa. Do 2024 r. firmy, dzięki niej, mogą obniżyć swoje koszty operacyjne nawet o 30% [1].

O czym przeczytasz?

  • Czym jest hiperautomatyzacja i dlaczego nie powinna być mylona z automatyzacją?
  • W jaki sposób pozwala na kompleksową transformację firm?
  • Jak wdrożyć hiperautomatyzację: krok po kroku oraz przykłady jej wykorzystania.

Co to jest hiperautomatyzacja?

Hiper automatyzacja to kompleksowe wykorzystanie dostępnych narzędzi z zakresu automatyzacji, sztucznej inteligencji oraz Business Intelligence, które ma na celu przekształcenie oraz stworzenie nowych procesów (transformację cyfrową przedsiębiorstwa), co przy użyciu tradycyjnych metod byłoby niewykonalne.

Termin hiper automatyzacja lub hiperautomatyzacja pojawił się po raz pierwszy w październiku 2019 r., zajmując pierwsze miejsce na liście 10 najlepszych strategicznych trendów technologicznych na rok 2020 [1].

W ramach hiperautomatyzacji wykorzystywana jest wspomniana już sztuczna inteligencja (ang. Artificial Intelligence, AI), a także uczenie maszynowe (ang. Machine Learning, ML) i zrobotyzowana automatyzacja procesów (ang. Robotic Process Automation, RPA). Jej celem jest automatyzacja powtarzalnych i czasochłonnych zadań.

Hiperautomatyzacja dotyczy jednak nie tylko procesów, które można zautomatyzować, ale także poziomu automatyzacji, który często jest określany jako kolejna ważna faza transformacji cyfrowej.

Jak działa hiperautomatyzacja?

Pierwsza fala technologii automatyzacji opierała się w dużej mierze na technologii RPA (ang. Robotic Process Automation, RPA), które polega na wykorzystaniu botów do naśladowania powtarzalnych, ludzkich czynności. Procesy te są oparte na określonych regułach i wykorzystują uporządkowane dane do wykonywania działań. W przeciwieństwie do RPA: sztuczna inteligencja (ang. Artificial Intelligence, AI) stara się symulować ludzki intelekt.

Hiperautomatyzacja łączy technologie: RPA, Low/No code, BI, ML oraz AI, co umożliwia automatyzację praktycznie każdego powtarzalnego zadania, przez co staje się ona idealnym narzędziem do osiągnięcia cyfrowej transformacji organizacji.

 

Jak EY może pomóc

Usługi doradcze w zakresie inteligentnej automatyzacji

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McKinsey – Global Economics Intelligence executive summary, February 2021

Countries are now able to assess the damage to economic growth wrought in 2020 by the restrictions put in place to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus. All GEI-surveyed economies went into reverse gear in the early months of the year; only China was able to control the virus sufficiently to come out of 2020 with positive economic growth (+2.3% year-over-year). The US economy experienced a GDP contraction of –3.5%; the eurozone as a whole contracted –5.4% (flash estimate), with contractions of –5.0% in Germany, –8.3% in France, –8.8% in Italy, and –11.0% in Spain. The Russian economy, propelled by energy exports, experienced a milder contraction of –3.1%; Brazil’s contraction is expected to be –4.7% and India’s –7.7%.

Economic activity mirrored the fluctuations in pandemic restrictions: many countries loosened restrictions after midyear and experienced strong third-quarter growth. As the number of COVID-19 cases surged again, measures were reimposed, curtailing growth in the last quarter of the year. China was, of course, the exception, as it had controlled the virus early in the second quarter; by the last quarter, the economy was humming at 6.5% y-o-y growth. To a certain extent, China’s success has radiated outward, with demand from China helping to support global manufacturing and trade. This dynamic was underscored in January and February by some deceleration in global indicators in consequence of the new-year holiday in China.

In the most recent available data, consumer-sentiment indicators were subdued or pessimistic in most surveyed economies; in China, however, consumer confidence strengthened. Retail-sales growth was very strong in the United States (+5.3% month-over-month), aided by individual stimulus payments; in China, retail sales expanded 4.6%; elsewhere, consumer spending retreated or is making slower progress (Exhibit 1).

As measured by global purchasing managers indexes (PMIs), growth in both manufacturing and services eased in January. Among surveyed economies, manufacturing PMIs remain strong. Services PMIs in the United States and Russia experienced strong growth; in China, the indicator slowed in advance of the new-year holiday; for the eurozone and Brazil, contraction is indicated.

World trade volumes now exceed prepandemic levels: as measured by the CPB World Trade Monitor, global volumes increased 0.6% in December 2020 and 1.6% in November; the indicator showed a trade expansion of 11.5% in the third quarter of 2020 and 4.0% in the fourth quarter (after contractions of –2.6% and –11.7% in the first and second quarters, respectively, figures revised). The Container Throughput Index declined slightly to 119 in December (121.1 in November); a seasonal retreat was measured in Chinese ports.

More: https://www.mckinsey.com/

About the authors:The data and analysis in McKinsey’s Global Economics Intelligence are developed by Alan FitzGerald, a director of client capabilities in McKinsey’s New York office; Krzysztof Kwiatkowski, a capabilities and insights specialist, and Vivien Singer, a capabilities and insights expert, both at the Waltham Client Capability Hub; and Sven Smit, a senior partner in the Amsterdam office.

The authors wish to thank Richard Bucci, Samuel Cudre, Debadrita Dhara, Pragun Harjai, Tomasz Mataczynski, Moira Pierce, Jose Maria Quiros, Erik Rong, Maricruz Vargas, and Yifei Liu for their contributions to this article.

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McK: Why business building is the new priority for growth

Business building is the top priority for organic growth at companies during the COVID-19 pandemic, and incumbents are launching new businesses with ever greater frequency, according to our new global survey. 1 The findings suggest that companies that prioritize business building tend to grow faster than their peers, respond with greater resilience to volatility and economic shocks, and, as they gain experience building businesses, see more success from it. But not all companies succeed: only 24 percent of new businesses launched in the past ten years are viable large-scale enterprises today.

To shed light on the differences between outperformers and also-rans, our survey included more than 800 company executives across a range of industries, sectors, and geographies. So far as we know, this was the first at-scale research to explore corporate business building. The survey revealed that an impressive 52 percent of executives consider business building a top-three (or higher) priority for growth. We also found that a small set of companies enjoy success rates two times higher than those of high-potential start-ups (24 percent versus 8, respectively). 2 The experience of these companies clarifies the winning approach to launching and scaling new businesses. As more companies adopt these successful practices, a new wave of innovation could arise from not just entrepreneurial efforts but also intrapreneurial ones. That would boost organic growth and improve the prospects of companies looking to jump into the top tier of performance.

The new priority for organic growth.

Even before the pandemic, our own experience indicated that business building had become more important for incumbent companies looking to use innovative business models, products, and services to meet the threats and opportunities of a digitizing world. The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated and intensified that trend. In many industries, the pandemic has rewritten rules and upended assumptions, all while diminishing—or threatening to diminish—existing revenue streams. Replacing lost revenues, of course, requires finding new forms of growth. And while M&A remains an essential part of the growth playbook, P/E multiples remain high, and acquisitions can be expensive. Moreover, organic growth often creates greater excess returns to shareholders than dealmaking does, even during more normal times.

We studied four different approaches to organic growth and found that business building was the most effective among them. 3 Some 74 percent of companies that chose business building as their main strategy grew at rates above the average of their industries. Only 58 percent of the companies that prioritized different strategies did. No wonder so many executives ranked business building as a top-three priority for 2020 (Exhibit 1). And these companies are putting their money where their priorities are, allocating, on average, one-third of their organic-growth capital to business building—more than twice as much as the laggards do. The shift to business building isn’t confined to a few sectors or regions. In all those we surveyed, companies give business building pride of place on the corporate agenda (Exhibits 2 and 3).

More: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/

About the authors: Shaun Collins is a consultant in McKinsey’s Boston office, where Upasana Unni is an associate partner; Ralf Dreischmeier is a senior partner in the London office; and Ari Libarikian is a senior partner in the New York office. The authors wish to thank Paige Frank and Anton Kärrman for their contributions to this article.

 

 

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How to become ‘tech forward’

A technology-transformation approach that works

Whether it’s been the shift to online working, the spike in online demand, or the increase in cyber assaults, technology has emerged as a critical business capability. That reality has injected a renewed importance and new urgency into modernizing the technology function. Companies can no longer afford the long timelines and often-disappointing business returns that have hampered many of the large tech-transformation projects of the past.

Instead, some technology leaders have pursued a new approach that is comprehensive enough to account for the myriad interlinkages of modern technology joined at the hip with the business so that change delivers value, and self-funded so that the scope of the change can continue to expand. We think of this comprehensive approach as “tech forward.”

Counteracting the most devastating tech-transformation failure modes

Some companies are starting to see real impact from their tech transformations. In a recent McKinsey study, some 50 percent of surveyed companies reported moderate to significant impact on realizing new revenue streams, almost 70 percent reported impact on increasing existing revenue streams, and 76 percent reported impact on reducing costs. 1

Tech transformations, nonetheless, remain notoriously difficult and complex. Though many companies are transforming their tech organizations, about 50 percent of them report that they’re still in the pilot phase (small tech teams working with advanced technologies but isolated from the rest of the technology function). 2

To understand better what successful tech transformations look like—as well as what the most important pitfalls are—we spoke with nearly 700 CIOs at some of the largest companies across the world. These conversations illuminated a number of consistent factors that most consistently kill off even the most promising tech transformations and revealed antidotes to address them. Following are three of the most common failure modes.

Piecemeal activity and limited scope

There is no shortage of technology-transformation initiatives, all of them with good intentions and promising payoffs. In fact, our latest analysis shows that companies are expanding the range of tech-related transformations (Exhibit 1).

What a ‘tech forward’ transformation looks like

Detailed conversations with CIOs as well as our own experience helping businesses execute complex technology transformations yielded a broad array of insights, best practices, and guidelines. We’ve synthesized them into a “tech forward” model that highlights three interconnected vectors, within which are ten specific “plays,” or domains of activity (Exhibit 2).

Vector #1: A reimagined role for technology that’s focused on the business

Vector #2: A technology delivery model built for flexibility and speed

Vector #3: A future-proof foundation of core tech systems that support innovation, collaboration, and security

To plot a company’s tech-transformation road map, we find the following questions particularly helpful:

  • What is your expectation from technology?
  • Which strategic outcomes are most critical (for example, speed and quality of delivery)?
  • Which are the most urgent pain points and what causes them?

The following questions help executives understand the current state of the technology function and its experience with transformation programs:

  • Which, if any, of the ten plays from the tech-forward approach are in place, and what is their maturity?
  • Is transforming your company’s tech one of the top two priorities in your C-suite? If not, why not?
  • How well does the technology function support your company’s strategic objectives or digital ambitions?
  • What tech-transformation efforts has your company launched to date? What effect have they had? What went well, and what didn’t?
  • What factors might restrict the pace of your tech-transformation efforts? In particular, how much capital and other resources can the company devote to tech transformation?

The current COVID-19 crisis, of course, is having a significant impact on how CIOs and businesses manage tech transformations. Despite the pressures it has added to costs, however, the urgency to get moving and transform has never been higher, according to many CIOs. But while the demands placed on the technology function have grown, so too have the opportunities. Experience suggests that the most effective transformations are not only comprehensive, covering the function’s role, delivery model, and core systems, but also sequenced to ensure that changes that reinforce each other are carried out together. With up-front planning focused on business value and careful delivery, a company can bring its technology function forward and gain the capabilities to thrive in challenging digital markets.

About the author(s)

Anusha Dhasarathy is a partner in McKinsey’s Chicago office, where Isha Gill is an associate partner and Naufal Khan is a senior partner; Sriram Sekar is a senior expert in the New Jersey office, where Steve Van Kuiken is a senior partner.

More: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/how-to-become-tech-forward-a-technology-transformation-approach-that-works