Zum Hauptinhalt wechseln

The executive agenda: Adaptability, ROI, and emerging tech

Business people using laptops to write down notes at a white table during a work meeting. Daily meeting led by a black male manager wearing eyeglasses.

Today’s leaders need to develop adaptive strategies that prioritize innovation, empower their teams, and align to business needs.

Once upon a time, the business landscape was built on a foundation of exhaustive research, established use cases, and well-documented regulations. Every investment was given extensive consideration. The ROI was calculated and clear.

Throw AI, regulatory compliance concerns, and other emerging technologies into the mix, and things have drastically changed. In a recent survey of more than 700 senior leaders, 91% believe investments in emerging technologies would put them at the forefront of their market. However, 73% say the need to act quickly leads to investing before establishing a business case.

“Now more than ever, leaders should be making strategic plans for their organizations, but things are moving too fast for leaders to spend months developing a single roadmap,” says Amalia Goodwin, managing director of Business Advisory Services at Slalom. “This means building adaptive plans that allow for varying roadmaps, helping businesses quickly adjust to external influences and make smaller bets that can scale quickly.”

In our Q2 executive forums, we spoke with 100 leaders about how they’re establishing a foundation that allows their teams to stay proactive amid constant change. 

The old world was focused on doing a lot of research and then making big bets. But things move faster today, and we don’t always have time, money, or confidence for big bets. So how can we make more small bets to learn and succeed fast?

Fortune 100 CTO

1. Building an adaptive organization

From navigating economic headwinds to adopting new regulations and adjusting to a shrinking workforce, today’s organizations need to be built to pivot and maintain resiliency during constant turbulence. CMOs may need to adjust their digital strategies to accommodate third-party cookie deprecation, while sustainability leaders must be conscious of intricate and evolving ESG regulations.

While embracing both agility and resilience are key, leaders must also build an adaptive workforce that can thrive amid constant change.

“An adaptive organization is one built on the foundation of continuous learning, effectively balancing ongoing innovation with risk management,” says Michelle Page-Rivera, PhD, managing director of Business Advisory Services at Slalom. “It requires decisive leaders who are also willing to quickly flex as new insights surface.”

2. Embedding innovation into the organization

There’s no longer room for innovation to exist in silos—it must become a core capability within the business. For C-suite leaders, this means adopting innovation at scale to increase speed to market and drive continuous improvements.  

Today’s leaders can’t rely on external entities to bring new ideas to life; they must embed innovation across processes, products, and platforms. This includes empowering employees to be innovators by providing the necessary tools and resources. Building an innovation lab that’s tightly linked to critical business operations is one of the best ways to guarantee innovation is happening both quickly and ubiquitously.

3. Aligning stakeholders with business needs

With the onslaught of emerging technologies, many organizations have spent time and effort building proof-of-concepts (POCs) and then get stuck on how or what to drive forward.

“POCs without a path to production are a clear path to pain,” says Kevin McClelland, general manager at Slalom. Building clear ROI use cases, closely aligning with stakeholders throughout the build process, and measuring value through experimentation will keep innovation momentum.

Technology and business leaders need to partner to support both top-down directives and bottom-up initiatives, sourcing ideas from a cross-section of team members across the organization while also ensuring ideas are properly vetted and align with business goals.

We need to connect people who don’t always get to work together. That’s where ideas come from.

Fortune 500 CIO

Key takeaways

How are these trends influencing the way executives lead across functions?

Interested in attending a future Executive Connect? 

Fill out the form to be added to our invite list.

Lassen Sie uns gemeinsam eine Lösung finden.