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At my company, we’ve prioritized grasping the latest developments and incorporating them into business practices. There’s always more to come, though. Automation and the internet of things (IoT), for example, are still in their infancy.
How can you as a CEO keep your business on the cutting edge? Here are 10 ideas:
1. Absorb new information strategically.
When it comes to obtaining new knowledge as a CEO, Elon Musk had some sound advice: “It is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree — make sure you understand the fundamental principles, i.e., the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to.”
Absorbing the high-level concepts of a technological trend can give the CEO just enough power over it. Basic knowledge is often enough to be able to speak accurately about new technology to clients and at sales pitches. When CEOs try to absorb too many of the small details, they can get caught up in less significant parts, ultimately clouding the client’s understanding and holding them back from commitment.
2. Learn how to code.
Many CEOs don’t put coding websites at the top of their to-do list. That is, after all, why they hire web developers. However, many CEOs don’t realize that having a basic knowledge of coding can be a significant advantage. It can help with strategic decision making, attract top employee talent and impress potential clients. A few months of rudimentary training goes a long way. There are several free resources CEOs can use to absorb the basics.
3. Hire top-notch employees.
Maximizing product creation, increasing sales and improving internal operations requires top talent. Employees with technical expertise will propel the company forward more quickly than those without it. If your current employees face a learning curve before they can fully grasp digital best practices, invest in their education and give them resources to get up to speed. If you don’t have access to top technical talent in your area, invest in hardworking, faithful people who will learn quickly.
4. Bring on the right board of advisors.
Advisory boards provide valuable insight into the company. However, sometimes their breadth of experience means they are not up to date with current technology. Often, they don’t want to be, either. To remedy this problem, many CEOs are now taking active steps to make their boards more technologically knowledgeable.
5. Utilize technology for your daily operations.
Technology can be used to help a company in two major ways: expediting daily operations internally and improving customer relations externally. It can also allow employees to work remotely, a practice that has been shown to improve productivity and retention. If your company claims to be on top of the latest trends, don’t be afraid to use technology to improve your operations from the inside out.
6. Rely on your CIO.
Chief information officers’ technological expertise makes them much more than just an in-house consultant; it can make them an invaluable asset and a mentor to the CEO. The CIO can offer the best ideas on how to streamline processes and implement updates. They can help make improvements to customer experience such as better analytics, mobile-friendly accessibility and more.
7. Bring in your CFO.
As CEOs determine strategies to move the company into the digital future, having trusted confidants in the C-suite can be the key to success. The chief financial officer, in particular, can help the company invest in the right technologies. In addition to the CFO, other senior management can contribute to company decisions when it comes to digital strategy. Having a trustworthy team will help make difficult decisions easier and build respect within the company.
8. Trust your instincts.
Do you feel that new software will crush the current offerings? Are you thinking of replacing your current email program or database? The media may say so, but if your instinct doesn’t, don’t invest just yet. About 70% of CEOs have made decisions based on instinct, and over half are not as confident in data analytics as historical information. Balancing data with instinct usually requires an understanding of how data gets developed for your industry. Take the time to make informed decisions and invite everyone to weigh in.
9. Make digital security a priority.
Data breaches are an unfortunate daily reality around the globe. Nearly 60% of CEOs are beginning to make cybersecurity their own personal responsibility. Therefore, understanding technology for security is critical. Doing so protects not only your customers’ privacy, but your business for the future.
10. Look beyond the screen.
Technology has, by and large, improved communications, though it sometimes has the opposite effect. Interacting face to face is most often what makes or breaks a deal. Top-notch technology is what comes next. While the company’s growth is the CEO’s ultimate goal, it alone will only do so much to advance the company’s mission. Relationships with collaborations, sponsorships and support from other business partners will also propel the organization forward.
In an age of constant digital innovation, a typical CEO’s tech-savvy looms large. Their understanding of digital advancements can help that of the team as a whole and go a long way toward ensuring continued success.
April 1, 2019 at 08:08AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs