Strategy in times of digital change: simple rules and impromptu action

Tuesday, 01/10/2019

Dr Kyriakos Kyriakopoulos, Professor of Strategy and Marketing at Alba kicked off the 2019 – 2020 Lead Creatively: Discussion Series  with an interactive speech entitled “Strategy in times of digital change: simple rules and impromptu action”

More than 90 executives, representing almost all industries of the Greek Economy, actively participated to the event, organized by the SEV Center of Excellence in Creative Leadership, on Thursday, September 26.

The Lead Creatively: Discussion Series are hosted by the Center’s Director, Professor Mainemelis



In industry after industry, firms face a tsunami of digital disruption with the odds against them if we are to believe business analysts and technology gurus. While digital transformation touches almost every single sector and every stage of the value chain, digital technologies are not always disruptive; conversely, disruption often is not digital. Rather than being obsessed with digital disruption, managers, therefore, need to organize for increasing ambiguity and velocity of change caused by technology, flimsy customers, and new rivals.

Facing increasing complexity, managers need to simplify decision making: simple rules, few clear guidelines (e.g., setting priorities, seizing opportunities, exit decisions) foster swift and concerted action. Rather than predicting it, companies need to discover the future as they improvise small, unplanned steps to market surprises. While in the past, firms have been addicted to routine behavior, complicated decision tools, and elaborate plans, they begin to discover what has been always the norm in jazz bands: educated spontaneity, active listening, common aims, ‘yes-and’  coordination, and rotational leadership.

After the completion of the presention and the Q&A seesion Dr. Kyriakopoulos commented that "while introducing my research and best practices, I noticed a keen interest from Greek companies to assimilate these practices into their core processes, eg new product development, customer service or logistics. A key finding from the discussion with executives /participants is that when businesses are called upon to respond to real-time action, improvisation and simple rules are important survival skills. The worth of these skills however is defined by corporate culture and management systems. "

The Lead Creatively: Discussion Series are stimulating discussions organized annually in order to disseminate to senior executives, the Alba Academic Community and the larger society, cutting-edge and management-relevant knowledge about creativity and leadership.

The mission of the SEV Center of Excellence is to advance the generation and dissemination of cutting-edge knowledge about creative forms of leading in the third and fourth decades of the 21st century. Through its world-class research and simulating dissemination, the Center aspires to be a force of excellence that will spread the values and practices of creative leadership in the Greek society and the rest of the world.

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