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Leading Digital: Turning Technology into Business Transformation

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  505 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Become a Digital Master—No Matter What Business You’re In

If you think the phrase “going digital” is only relevant for industries like tech, media, and entertainment—think again. In fact, mobile, analytics, social media, sensors, and cloud computing have already fundamentally changed the entire business landscape as we know it—including your industry. The problem is that mo
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 14th 2014 by Harvard Business Review Press (first published September 23rd 2014)
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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Jul 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, non-fiction

I chanced upon this one while book browsing in my library. The title, the praises from Harvard professors and CEOs as well as the credentials of the authors made me borrow this book. I have a great interest in the use of digital technologies in marketing esp. in the use of social media for gleaning consumer insights and fostering a strong bond with customers.

The book talks about Digital Masters – companies that have made fantastic use of digital technologies (analytics, cloud, social
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: business
A dense, repetitive, unfocused, kitchen-sink-type book in serious need of an editor. Veers between trying to do it all and buzzword bingo (Digital Mastery, anyone?). Highlights include the various case studies (Hailo, Zara) and Chapter Three on creating an operational advantage.

Readers looking for insight on Digital Strategy would be better served checking out Knowledge@Wharton, Statechery or even Gigaom.

Readers looking for insight on implementing strategy might like to try S+B, HBR's Must Reads Digital Boxed Set, the strategy+business collection: The Executive G(Digital
Pipat Srimattayakul
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
The content is OK but you can cut the words by two thirds and still get the same amount of detail. Too wordy and too many repetitions throughout the book.
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: strategy, digital
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is an outstanding account on how businesses transform into more profitable and viable sources of value using modern technology. It provides a vivid picture on how different types of firms face the disruptive changes across their respective industries.

The authors of this book started by giving us a background on how having a set of digital capabilities and leadership capabilities are important to become digital masters. This was followed by the discussion on what it takes to have digit
Parth Agrawal
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
My views on this book is biased. What I felt is that learning from this book will be at its best if a person reads this while or after working in a IT sector. Lack of examples was another issue which makes this book hell lotta difficult to complete smoothly as whenever you read a concept it feels as if either it has been talked about before or what the hell is difference between the previous concept and present one!? My gains from this book were that i came across various such companies who were ...more
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Leading Digital managed to describe what I as a consultant aim to achieve at work, and structure it into neat and useful lists. I found the approach focusing on large companies to be refreshing in the world of startup hype. Real examples (numerous and excellent) were, in my opinion, the beef of this book.

As a sidenote, as for many American business books, I do think here too the pages could have been cut by half without much loss in content.
Dec 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
A great book for organisations embarking on the path to becoming more digitally-minded. At its most fundamental, becoming digital is indeed firstly about having a vision of what it would look like - lots of ideas and case studies in this book to help you get started. If you already have a vision, roadmap, and your digital platform underway, this book may be too basic for you.
Jean Corbel
May 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: change, society
This book will offer you a wealth of quotes and situations. But unfortunately not much more as the content is not very rich beyond that. I invite you to read from HBR Press the Dual Transformation. you will learn much more to address the digital transformation in that excellent book.
Aug 21, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a good introductory book on how organizations are using Digital technologies for business transformation. There are a number of examples from diverse industries globally. However, I was hoping to find more longer term views and plans which is missing. A good read for an introduction..
Nishant Bhagat
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was released in 2014 and it is quite ironical that I finally read it only when I quit Capgemini. A extremely relevant book based on a study conducted by MIT and Capgemini, this book explores what it means when one says "Going Digital" .

The study has classified companies into 4 quadrants as Conservatives, Beginners, Fashionistas and Digital Masters. Exploring each type through the lens of various real life cases this book does a splendid job in terms of explaining what "Goin
Sep 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: executives and managers
Shelves: business
Leading Digital is about setting and executing strategy of "going digital" or using new technology and innovation in customer engagement, internal processes optimization.
The books lists some random examples of companies that according to the authors are "Digital Masters" - companies leading both in digital capabilities and leadership capabilities to execute the digital vision.
There are some good examples from P&G, Starbucks, Codelco, Burberry.
I liked especially the example
Lingyuxiu Zhong
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
Maybe because this book is a few years old, I found most of it to be pretty obvious and basic. Part I on what digital mastery looks like and Part II on what the authors call leadership capabilities but really is how a company operates and executes on its strategy - barely skim the surface. As a reader, I don't need to be convinced the benefits of digital - after all that's why I picked up the book - but the authors never get very deep into how you actually get this shit done, not until part III ...more
Ben Merton
This book is a consultant’s sales pitch. It’s far too high-level to add meaningful value to a specific organisation, although it does lay out a perfectly sensible thought process.

I slightly felt that if you needed to read a book like this to start the journey of digital transformation in your organization, you probably don’t know what you are doing.

Nevertheless, Leading Digital is quite well researched and has some interesting empirical data about the economic advantages
Johannes Keil
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
It's a very informative book which makes you think of business ideas or what you could do better in your own business. Despite that, it repeats its messages constantly, which makes it quite boring after a while. It looks a little bit like the author had ideas to fill around 80 pages, but wanted to sell a whole book, so he added additional examples and repeated his message in a never-ending mantra. The book could be compromised to 80-100 pages and then it would be great.
Abhijit Gupta
Jun 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
One of the best books if you want to understand what it means to 'go digital' for your business. It can serve as a reference guide to diagnosing what you should do for a digital transformation journey.

The best part for me was that it does not just spout out global statements, but gives actionable, specific insights.

All in all, a great read
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, digital, cio
Definitely one of the better digital books. It takes a really sensible approach guiding the read through the benefits of clearly defining your vision, before building strategy, through roadmap development, investment analysis and onto the change required to guide your organisation and partners through the digital journey.
Lalit Panda
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very well written guide for CIOs and CDO's on how to vision, mobilize and execute digital transformations in large organizations using very detailed examples of successful cases. Thoughtful and practical with loads of insights.
Jay Costa
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
The premise of the book is strong and hard to ignore: tech strategy and digital advertising helping companies grow and become more efficient and competitive. But the layout and depth is poor. Too much consultant speak, superficial analysis and not enough details.
Atif Shaikh
Ofcourse the review is based on how useful the book was to me; very subjective. Nevertheless the book can be one third the size as multiple times the author kept on repeating similar narrative that made it hard to focus on the good parts.
A bit of a painful read and personally not very inspired
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A realistic overview and great insight.

The authors had done a great job putting together a practical framework that leaders and executives could start leveraging it to lead the digital transformations.
Faith Nhlapo
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great and practical guide

Brilliant book with loads supplementary research. The only book that I've read so far that gives a good balance between a tech perspective in business language
华 强
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book but makes me uneasy. In a sense, we can never stop learning. We have to constantly update ourselves to this environment. There are opportunities but a lot of stress that comes with it. Don't chase all the digital trends but not shunning it altogether is good sound advice.
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books on digitalization ever written.
Cian O
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A good read, interesting concepts, helpful stories - you get a real feel for what's going on in the world of Tech - note to self, read these as they come-out rather than 3-4 years later... lol
Joao Martins
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very good insights and practical advice on digital transformation.
Jos Voskuil
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good pragmatic book - connecting vision and execution well - not a dreamers book
Nov 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Can't understand the whole bounch of the book but try my best to read in Chinese version.
Mark Steed
Oct 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Leading Digital outlines how firms in any industry can harness digital technologies to gain strategic advantage. The book categorises four types of organisation according to their ‘level of digital mastery’ with the follow characteristics:
Beginners – an immature digital culture usually with a management sceptical of the business value of advanced technologies;
Fashionistas – a digital culture which lacks an overarching vision; but has many advanced features which exist in silos.
Conservatives – an overarching digital vision which i/>
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: workers in corporate
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a comprehensive look into the ongoing trend towards digital transformation. This is less about original theory and more as a case study of multiple Fortune 500 companies. It doesn't go into too much depth or hypothesize on the true "secret sauce".

Part I:
Build digital capabilities
- Develop compelling customer experience in digital channels through use of analytics and mesh physical and digital experiences in new ways.
- Digitize core operations using a "both-and" mindset
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“Digital Masters spend time understanding customer behavior and designing the customer experience from the outside in. A Digital Master figures out what customers do and why, where, and how they do it. The company then works out where and how the experience can be digitally enhanced across channels.” 1 likes
“Our research shows that successful digital transformation starts at the top of the company. Only the senior-most executives can create a compelling vision of the future and communicate it throughout the organization. Then people in middle and lower levels can make the vision a reality. Managers can redesign processes, workers can start to work differently, and everyone can identify new ways to meet the vision. This kind of change doesn’t happen through simple mandate. It must be led.” 0 likes
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