CIOs wish for simpler ways to wrangle data and experiment with business models – but change remains hard to scale. Also, it may be time to stop chasing “alignment.”
7 must-read books for digital business leaders
Pack these books from MIT Press and MIT CIO Symposium speakers in your summer getaway bag to stay on top of the latest digital business topics
This week's MIT Sloan CIO Symposium brings together MIT academics and CIOs to discuss how IT leaders can overcome some of the common hurdles to digital transformation and take their efforts to the next level.
The Enterprisers Project is attending, and we'll bring you our top learnings after the event. In the meantime, we picked seven books from MIT Press and MIT CIO Symposium speakers that we think IT leaders will value.
Whether you are packing your carry-on for the symposium in Cambridge or planning a summer getaway, check out these must-reads on topics from machine learning to leading in the digital age.
How to Go Digital: Practical Wisdom to Help Drive Your Organization's Digital Transformation (The Digital Future of Management)
By: MIT Sloan Management Review
Description (Amazon): "A company's digital transformation does not involve abandoning widget-making for app developing or pursuing "disruption" at the cost of stability. Rather, it is about adopting business processes and practices that position organizations to compete effectively in the digital environment. More important than technology implementation are strategy, talent management, organizational structure, and leadership aligned for the digital world. How to Go Digital offers advice from management experts on how to steer your company into the digital future."
By: Linda Bernardi, Sanjay Sarma, and Kenneth Traub
Description (Amazon): "In the past, companies found success with a product-first orientation; they made a thing that did a thing. The Inversion Factor explains why the companies of today and tomorrow will have to abandon the product-first orientation. Companies that know this include giants like Amazon, Airbnb, Uber, Google, Tesla, and Apple, as well as less famous companies like Tile, Visenti, and Augury. The Inversion Factor offers a roadmap for businesses that want to follow in their footsteps."
Innovating: A Doer's Manifesto for Starting from a Hunch, Prototyping Problems, Scaling Up, and Learning to Be Productively Wrong
By: Luis Perez-Breva
Description (Amazon): "Innovation is the subject of countless books and courses, but there's very little out there about how you actually innovate. Innovation and entrepreneurship are not one and the same, although aspiring innovators often think of them that way. They are told to get an idea and a team and to build a show-and-tell for potential investors. In Innovating, Luis Perez-Breva describes another approach―a doer's approach developed over a decade at MIT and internationally in workshops, classes, and companies. He shows that to start innovating it doesn't require an earth-shattering idea; all it takes is a hunch."
By: Gretchen Ki Steidle
Description (Amazon): "In Leading from Within, Steidle describes the ways that personal investment in self-awareness shapes leaders who are able to inspire change in others, build stronger relationships, and design innovative and more sustainable solutions. Steidle argues that both personal and societal transformation are essential for a just society, and with this book she offers a roadmap for integrating mindfulness into every aspect of social change."
By: Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson
Description (Amazon): "We live in strange times. A machine plays the strategy game Go better than any human; upstarts like Apple and Google destroy industry stalwarts such as Nokia; ideas from the crowd are repeatedly more innovative than corporate research labs. MIT’s Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson know what it takes to master this digital-powered shift: we must rethink the integration of minds and machines, of products and platforms, and of the core and the crowd. In all three cases, the balance now favors the second element of the pair, with massive implications for how we run our companies and live our lives."
Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy - and How to Make Them Work for You
By: Geoffrey G. Parker, Marshall W. Van Alstyne, and Sangeet Paul Choudary
Description (Amazon): "Written by three of the most sought-after experts on platform businesses, Platform Revolution is the first authoritative, fact-based book on platform models. Whether platforms are connecting sellers and buyers, hosts and visitors, or drivers with people who need a ride, Geoffrey G. Parker, Marshall W. Van Alstyne, and Sangeet Paul Choudary reveal the what, how, and why of this revolution and provide the first “owner’s manual” for creating a successful platform business."
By: Peter Weill and Stephanie Woerner
Description (Amazon): "Peter Weill and Stephanie Woerner provide a powerful yet straightforward framework that has been field-tested globally with dozens of senior management teams. Based on years of study at the MIT Center for Information Systems Research (CISR), the authors find that digitization is moving companies' business models on two dimensions: from value chains to digital ecosystems, and from a fuzzy understanding of the needs of end customers to a sharper one."
"Looking at these dimensions in combination results in four distinct business models, each with different capabilities. The book then sets out six driving questions, in separate chapters, that help managers and executives clarify where they are currently in an increasingly digital business landscape and highlight what's needed to move toward a higher-value digital business model."