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The Digital Eureka Moment

by Mark D. Krymalowski | June 07, 2016

The business sector is on its way to digital transformation. Most companies are now aware that digital disruption will strike to the very core of their business and that a revolutionary process is under way. But what is it that sets the early and rapid movers at the more traditional companies apart from the players in the slow lane?

The mindset with which corporate leaders approach digital transformation is a success factor that is often undervalued. The CEOs of pace-setting digital transformers, who drive far-reaching, if not disruptive, processes of change, often talk about an experience that, in retrospect, they consider a turning point in their own thinking and actions – their “digital eureka moment”, so to speak.

What can trigger a digital eureka moment? Any number of things – from an incidental question thrown into the ring by a young start-up founder, to intense personal involvement with applications that demonstrate the astonishing potential of digital value chains.

Research tells us that obtaining a full grasp of something intellectually does not guarantee that we will act accordingly. "We cannot do things that we are unable to visualize in some way or relate to through our senses," explains cognitive psychologist and neuroscientist Markus Kiefer. In terms of the digitization process, this means that, in isolation, even the best arguments won’t cut it.

People who take something on board intellectually and at the same time grasp it intuitively do more than just project strategic imperatives. They inspire others. As thought leaders within their own organizations, they build bridges between the two conflicting worlds that threaten to collide: the largely hierarchical, traditional organization with its encrusted structures, and the flexible, innovative and bold organization of the digital future.