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Leading Your

Company through
The Digital Age
Authors
James Castillo
Julian Legido
Lisa Lormejuste
Logan Gelzer
Patrice Alvarez
Objective: The purpose of this training workshop is to provide leadership strategies to
transition your company to a digital platform.

Change has become an inevitable to being successful in business in todays


world. Whether it is a mom and pop shop or an international corporation you must adapt

to be successful. We are now in the digital age of society where technology continues to
advance. Smartphones, tablets, and laptops have continued to become smaller, and
more advanced. The industrial revolution in the early 1900s saw continued change and
advancements to make travel, production, and other elements of business more
efficient and more convenient. The new digital revolution is moving in the same
direction. Businesses fail everyday for many reasons, the most prevalent are their
inability to keep up with the changing marketplace they are in. On the other side,
several businesses thrive from constant change to keep up with their competition and
utilize their resources to maximize their returns. In this workshop, we will review
businesses that have succeeded and failed because of their inability to transition their
business onto a digital platform.
In this workshop we will explore successful and failed business transitions,
discuss the needed leadership styles to be successful through a transition to a digital
marketplace, and utilize a couple activities to refine these skills.

Successful Transitions
Part of leading is being able to drive your company to have competitive advantage.
Competitive advantage is the ability to keep up and have easy transitions onto new
devices and mechanisms to stay afloat with with competition. As a leader you are apart
of the success and failures of the business.. The internet is the new pathway for all
surviving and new businesses. Due to the heavy demand for conveniency, e-commerce
has been a necessary step and transition to stay above the waters in the business
marketplace.

Here are a couple companies who have experienced success in transitioning to the
digital platform:
Troubadour
Troubadour,focused on selling
high quality leather goods.
Founded in as recently as 2011,
quickly transitioned their
resources to online sales and
marketing; making their
transition straight into ecommerce with successful
sales as well as successful reviews. As you can see within their images the company
has used technology transitions in such a way that once you hover your mouse over the
product, the image changes to display to better market how you can wear these
different products.

FEDEX
Fedex founded in 1971, was ran by call centers. In 1996, FedEx becomes the first
company to allow customers to process shipments online with the introduction of
FedEx. Every request that is handled on the websites as opposed to seldomly used call
centers saves the company $1.87. FedEx ships an approx of 3 million packages a day.
Fedex has saved a minimum 57 million a years with transitions to websites and e-

commerce. The conveniency is transparent, the


benefits are in the statistics. E commerce is the only
and best way to stay afloat. This transition takes
risk, leaders who are ready for success, who have
work hard enough for the company to let it now work for you.
Moviefone
Back in the late 80s/early 90s when Moviefone
first started, sending ticket orders over the
internet was nearly unfathomable. So what'd
they use instead? Good, ol' fashioned fax
machines. One site that may have successfully
made the transition is AOL Time Warner's Moviefone.com. Between May 2000 and May
2001, Moviefone did not charge a fee to purchase movie tickets online -- although the
company continued to charge $1 to $1.50 for tickets purchased over the phone,
depending on the city where the tickets were ordered. In mid-May, Moviefone.com
reinstated an online service of $1 a ticket. And so far, customers have not balked at the
charge. Although sales declined about 10 percent between May and June, the company
attributed the fall to higher demand for advance tickets in May because of the Memorial
Day weekend and several blockbuster openings that month, including ''Shrek'' and
''Pearl Harbor.'' Moviefone said sales in the first half of July were up 10 percent over the
first half of June. Comparing this June with June 2000, the company said, ticket sales
rose 27 percent. Just after 2 month of transitioning their percentage online rose over
25% in s5ales.

Failed transitions
It is crucial for brands to embrace new technologies emerging within their
industry, especially when it has the potential to disrupt the current business model.
Typically, big companies are much more conservative than start-ups and won't do
anything that is untested or could risk future profits

Borders
Borders is a company that failed to keep up with digital transformation. Borders was one
of the largest book retailers in the US . They opened their first store in Michigan. One of
the main reasons that they failed is that they outsourced their online book sales to
amazon.
They never had a chance to develop their own online platform. It was a rushed decision
made at the time without looking into future disadvantages.
They gave another company control to them. They also failed to acknowledge the rise

of E-BOOKS like its competitor Barnes and Nobles that went all out with the Nook and
the Kindle. They opened up to many stores while everyone else was going online.

Kodak
In 1976 they held 90 percent of film sales and 85 percent of camera sales. They took a
long time to switch over to digital photography. It is important to keep up with the current
market but it is also essential to estimate future trends.Faced with change in technology
Kodak did not stick with the original values of the company and that was a factor in their
demise. They actually designed the first digital camera but their hesitance to change
opened the floodgates for other companies

to

come in.

Takeaway

The takeaway from these failed


companies is that companies in industries that have multiple competitors need to
keep tabs on trends so they dont fall behind. Once a company has an advantage
over you it is hard to catch up and by the time you jump on board they are
pushing you out the market.
Something else to consider is start trends instead of following them. Make
it a priority to survey consumers to see what changes they want to see, what they
like and what they dont like. Use the data and see if there are any technological

advancements that can drive these changes or if you can create a new form of
technology for their concerns.
Leadership Styles

Advantages (Transformational)
Transformational leadership is a leadership style where the leader works with
employees to target the methods that need to be changed, creating a vision to guide the
change through inspiration, and executing the change with everyone striving toward the
same goal in the group. Applying this leadership style to a process such as the
transition to E-commerce can assuredly boost morale in the group environment and
help create a motivational factor. If this style were summed up in one phrase, it would
be "Come with me." In todays day in age change seems to be inevitable. With
technology on a fast track to taking responsibility for a majority of our business a leader
in E-Commerce data tracking (Remarty.com) gives a few statistical evaluations on
growing trends in the US:

In 2015 there were 191.1 million online buyers

in the US, only 28% of

small businesses are selling their

products online.
The US comes second in E-Commerce
revenue with $349.06B sales in 2015.
98.9 million Americans have purchased, at
least once, on a mobile device.

Transformational Leadership Example

A prime example of a transformational leader would have to be the computer


wizard himself Steve Jobs. Despite what some might have observed upon the late
Jobs leadership style, he contained unique qualities to make him one of history's most
revered leaders such as: having a clear cut vision of what quality of work was being
performed, a passion for the company and its people, and an ability to inspire trust. In
fact, Mr. Jobs not only had a vision, he made sure that everyone in the company bought
into that vision, and this created a higher purpose for the company that really excited
Apple employees. Of course, his passion for the company and its products is
legendary.
Disadvantages (Transformational)
Although transformational leadership is an ideal leadership style to get everyone
on board with the project to move to online processes it may not always be a right suit.
Take into consideration the fact that the CEO of Netflix has managed to grow his
company to a multi-billion-dollar company by making as few decisions as possible, and
letting his team develop the new products and new initiatives.

Advantages (Coaching)
The Coaching leadership is one of the most powerful and influential leadership
style that excels at connecting people's personal goals along with their organization's
goals. A Coaching leader using this style is encouraging and empathic, focusing solely
on developing others for future success, helping others to advance their future skills,
and they also provide constant guidance and oversight to their students/employees.
Many can agree that is the coaching leadership style is most effective when the
followers are more responsible, agreeable, and experienced.

Coaching Leadership Example


10 time NCAA National Championship legendary coach John Wooden is a prime
example of the potential of an effective coaching leadership style. This exemplary coach
is immortalized in sports history for stressing how important building character and
winning were to success. By making sure his players lived up to the standards of his 12point character-building pyramid the coach not only developed elite athletes but also a
dynamic team of well rounded individuals. He is most famously quoted saying - Ability
may get you to the top, but character mental, moral, and physical keeps you there.

Activities

Group Timeline.
Using the whiteboard, create a blank timeline. The timeline should start as far back as
the oldest member on your team. Mark each year on the timeline. Then, using the same
time line select 4 different people from the audience and ask them to state their date of
birth along with the exact year they joined their current job. As each member states their
answered make the dates on the whiteboard timeline.
Give your team members two slips of paper along with those selected from the crowd ,
and ask them to mark down one important moment in their work related lives. Along with
one characteristic or skill which could help the group during the transition. Let them
mark their own moments onto the timeline.
Purpose: This exercise helps show, in a visual way, the different generations and
experiences of your team. It leads well into talking about cultural and generational

differences and the effects that has on how people work and communicate. The
exercise also highlight different traits which employees bring to organizations.
Manager vs. Leader
Management and leadership are often interchanged within the business world.
Management is essentially process/task focused and centers on the current and
immediate future. Whereas, Leadership is much more people and future focused. It
includes setting culture & Direction for the organization.
Handout a sheet of blank paper to each person participating , ask that they divide the
sheet in half titling each side Manager or Leader. To place each person in the mindset of
themselves as leaders after making a decision, a party not participating will read
common actions performed by upper employees. In between reading each action those
participating will have 30 seconds to decide and tally whether the action was made by a
leader or a manager. After all the actions have been read and each person has tallied
their decisions the reader will then reread the actions stating whether they were made
by a leader or a manager.
The exercise should leave the members with meaningful notes to take home with them.
Each member of the crowd should be able leave the workshop knowing situations they
must work on leading rather than managing.

Manager Or Leader
Scheduling work

Sharing a vision

Plan and prioritize steps to task achievement

Use analytical data to support recommendations


Provide feedback on performance

Explain goals, plan and roles

Motivating staff

Create a culture

Inspiring people

Delegating tasks Ensuring predictability

Co-ordinate effort

Co-ordinate resources

Act as interface between team and outside


Monitor progress

Give orders and instructions

Take risks Guide progress

Check task completion

Monitor feelings and morale

Create a positive team feeling

Look over the horizon

Appeal to peoples emotions

Follow systems and procedures

Provide development opportunities

Ensure effective induction

Monitor budgets, tasks etc


Monitoring progress

Use analytical data to forecast trends

Unleashing potential

Appeal to rational thinking

Be a good role model

Build teams

*Listed below are the actions categorized correctly


Manager

Leader

Scheduling work

Provide feedback on performance

Delegating tasks

Act as interface between team and

Use analytical data to support

outside

recommendations

Plan and prioritize steps to task

Motivating staff

achievement

Ensuring predictability

Explain goals, plan and roles

Co-ordinate effort

Inspiring people

Co-ordinate resources

Appeal to peoples emotions

Give orders and instructions

Sharing a vision

Guide progress

Provide focus

Monitor progress

Monitor feelings and morale

Check task completion

Create a culture

Follow systems and procedures

Create a positive team feeling

Monitor budgets, tasks etc

Ensure effective induction

Use analytical data to forecast trends

Provide development opportunities

Monitoring progress

Unleashing potential

Appeal to rational thinking

Look over the horizon

Build teams

Take risks
Be a good role model

Purpose: The point of this activity is to clearly show the difference between managers
and leaders and how every leader can be a manager but not every manager can be a
leader. Utilizing the skills, knowledge, and techniques presented in this workshop you
will no have a better ability to lead your company through the digital age and posses the
ability for any other changes that arise in the business marketplace.

References
Capron, E. (2013, November 1). How big data has delivered for FedEx for 25 years.
Retrieved from http://www.digitalistmag.com/future-of-work/2013/11/01/big-datadelivered-fedex-25-years-0887095
Cook, M. (2014, November 3). 10 Businesses That Failed to Adapt. Retrieved from
http://www.businesspundit.com/10-businesses-that-failed-to-adapt/3/
Mui, C. (2012, January 18). Forbes Welcome. Retrieved from
http://www.forbes.com/sites/chunkamui/2012/01/18/how-kodak-failed/#319f0a50bd6a
Noguchi Y. (2011, July 19).
How Steve Jobs Got His Employees to Believe in Apple. (n.d.). Retrieved April 10, 2016,
from http://time.com/4068347/steve-jobs-apple-employee-strategy/

Transformational Leadership: Becoming an Inspirational Leader. (n.d.). Retrieved


January 22, 2014, from https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/transformationalleadership.html

6 Leadership Styles and When They Should be Used - Colleen Kettenhofen


Motivational Speaker. (2013). Retrieved from http://bouncebackhigher.com/leadershipmanagement/6-leadership-styles-and-when-they-should-be-used/
https://youtu.be/bddeB6SRBJg