Batten Briefing: Driving Digital Transformation

By Jay Hodgkins

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation has published its latest Batten Briefing report — a look at the “tsunami of change” businesses are facing due to digital technology and the way digital transformation is impacting cultures, skills and behaviors. It also highlights best practices and challenges that senior executives from some of the most innovative companies shared at the latest Global Innovators’ Roundtable, facilitated by Professor Ed Hess last spring in the Washington, D.C., area.

Read the introduction to the report below and view the full Batten Briefing here.

CHANGE IS COMING. And if Jack Ma is right, the change will bring decades of pain.

Speaking at a conference in Zhengzhou, the tech billionaire and chairman of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba warned about the seismic advancements in digital technologies and their impact on industries and societies. He stressed the need to reinvent the education system as artificial intelligence, robotics, and automation continue to disrupt the labor market.

We can’t halt progress. Inevitably, many jobs will be automated. Innovative, agile startups will push out the incumbents. However, we can choose to view the digital revolution as an opportunity rather than a threat. And, we can follow certain steps to prepare.

Darden Professor Edward D. Hess believes that in order to thrive in the digital age, both organizations and individuals need to transform. To explore what that transformation entails, Hess recently led a discussion at the spring 2017 gathering of the Global Innovators’ Roundtable. The roundtable, hosted by Darden’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Arlington, Virginia, brought together senior leaders from Capital One, Celgene, Corning, EnPro Industries, IBM, Marriott International, and Siemens.

This Batten Briefing presents the insights gleaned from the discussion. First, it looks at the threats and opportunities that the explosion of digital technologies has created for companies across all sectors. Then, it examines the new leadership capabilities, mindsets, behaviors, and corporate cultures required to support a successful digital transformation.

Continue reading the latest Batten Briefing, “Driving Digital Transformation: New Mindsets, Cultures, Skills and Behaviors.”

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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University of Virginia