Digital Transformation Failure Is Not An Option

It is customary to say that failure is not an option. Much as I’d like it to be true, one has to admit that this is not what we observe in the field. Strangely enough, touting that you have succeeded with your digital transformation efforts even seems to be an international sport. Not so long ago, I was browsing my LinkedIn timeline and I spotted something worthy of note.

Digital transformation failure is not an option

The LinkedIn post was from someone working for a very large international bank. Nothing wrong with that. This is a very honourable banking institution and I’m not quite the “Occupy Wall Street” sort of person, I do believe that banks have a role to play and even though I’m not in sync with the scandals that arose with the 2008 crisis, I really cannot imagine hiding wads of bank notes underneath my mattress.

Digital Transformation failure is not an option

That said, the Linkedin message was quite something. It stated that

” xxx [name of the top man] had written his first ever piece of PHP code!” and it added that “this [was] the proof that the Bank was digitally transformed.”

No kidding.

It’s almost laughable, but at the same time, I am quite sure that there are people — be it in banks or elsewhere — who believe firmly in the fact that

a) A multi-billion dollar top executive should start learning coding and PHP of all languages

b) Having just written a line of that venerable code (even though not a trending topic anymore) is sufficient to transform a very old and respectable banking institution into a maverick fintech startup.

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Startups and Big Businesses: buzzwords, hype and the naked truth with @_thefamily – #irev10x

Big businesses and startups on the agenda … again

Large groups and startups; now there’s a topic that has been on the agenda for so long and even more so for the  5 to 6 years, that is to say since digital transformation has been buzzword de rigueur.

At a startup gathering that took place recently in the historical centre of Paris, Rodolphe Roux — a long time acquaintance and former CDO of Wiko and SEB, now a partner at The Family, a European Startup accelerator and VC — was having a go against digital transformation, buzzwords, hype and the naked truth.

The “Digital transformation” moniker in itself deserves a proper definition, we’ll get back to that later.

Down with the hype, long live the naked truth

And here is the perfect transition to present our new site that we hold dear, on which we have been working hard since the beginning of the year, on behalf of our customer iRevolution [disclosure]: The digital transformation horror museum. Read more

Digital Strategy Success: Think 10X And Nothing Else #irev10X

Before you claim Digital Strategy Success, defining digital strategy is a must

Digital strategy, digital transformation

It is strange that the terms we often use are also those which one understands the least or the ones which are the least well defined. We take them at face value, just because they are fashionable, we think that everyone hears the same thing when we use them.

This could not be more false. And decidedly, digital (the term ’digital’ in itself can be interpreted in various ways) is keen on quirky terminology.

Digital Strategy Success
Always the inevitable hipsters, digital professionals use such terms en masse without always understanding what they really mean. For fear of being taken for has-beens.

According to Yahya El Mir, co-founder of iRevolution, a really successful digital strategy is when we do it X10! Click To Tweet

In the case of digital strategy, interpretations vary from one expert to another, but you shouldn’t draw the conclusion that it means nothing. That’s why we created the Horror Museum of Digital Transformation with our client, iRevolution.

Digital revolution and digital strategy success

Even if many commentators (remember the Solow computer paradox) do not hesitate to question the idea of a digital revolution, when the proof is in the pudding, nothing much is left but to eat the pudding. Theory matters so little at the end of the process.

So, to define the digital transformation, what it is and what it is not and what it can represent for a company, I interviewed Yahya El mir so that it gives us his point of view.

Digital revolution: the proof is in the pudding

I’ve known Yahya for over 10 years, having met him when he was the CEO of IT services company SQLi. I must admit I was impressed by his field knowledge, his efficiency, his professionalism and his ability to remain humble. It is clear that those professionals who are the most humble are also often the most seasoned.

So, when we had the opportunity to work with him and his teams on the digital transformation horror museum, we found out not surprisingly that we were on the same page, and that we had the right true anecdotes to prove our points.

As the saying goes, with digital strategy as anything else, the proof is in the pudding.

Enough said, I proposed to Yahya to deliver his vision through this piece entitled “A successful digital strategy is when you do it 10X! which provides the background for a series of articles posted on this new blog dedicated to digital transformation. Obviously, all these articles will be teaming with examples.

Digital strategy success is when you do it 10X!

When it comes to digital transformation, you have to be revolutionary and know how to think. The 10X Rule is the path to success, explains Grant Cardone, in his eponymous book. To succeed, you have to thing 10 times bigger, fix objectives that are ambitious and also give you ten times the ability to succeed. Little goals can only lead to little successes.
That is real digital transformation. Let me explain my vision.Digital transformation is a break point – the biggest mistake is to just keep on doing as beforeCLICK TO TWEET At a time when digital transformation is on everyone’s lips, you cannot talk strategically without exploring the importance that digital has in business.

Digital is used to sell, to expand businesses, to communicate with customers … in a nutshell, to do business better.It is a tool that lets us multiply our results 10X– or even 100X or 1000X. Without it, you will have only “digitized” – to put it another way, at best, you will have automated your existing processes, and, at worst, introduced technology for the sake of it, where it adds nothing, just because it is in vogue

Source: Digital strategy success is when you do it 10X!

6 free digital strategy eBooks written by GEM students – @grenoble_em

Here is a little text I wrote some time ago in order to introduce a set of ebooks based on the work carried out by my students of the Advanced Master’s in Digital Business Business Strategy of Grenoble Ecole de Management. Digital Me Up ( was created five years ago. I decided to create that online space in order to serve a business case for content marketing. My idea was that, if I encouraged them well enough, our students would end up liking the blog so much that writing in it would not be pure pleasure.

4 of our 6 free digital strategy ebooks
4 of our 6 free digital strategy ebooks

In essence, the idea was to give them the taste for content marketing rather force feed them with concepts about content marketing. Less theory, more practice. Read more

Data Science Ethics: Without Conscience It Is But The Ruin of the Soul

Data Science is on the agenda but what about Data Science Ethics? The twin motors of data and information technology are driving innovation forward in most every aspect of human enterprise. In a similar fashion, Data Science today profoundly influences how business is done in fields as diverse as the life sciences, smart cities, and transportation

As cogent as these directions have become, the dangers of data science without ethical considerations is as equally apparent – whether it be the protection of personally identifiable data, implicit bias in automated decision-making, the illusion of free choice in psychographics, the social impacts of automation, or the apparent divorce of truth and trust in virtual communication.  

Justifying the need for focus on the Data Science Ethics goes beyond a balance sheet of these opportunities and challenges, for the practice of data science challenges our perceptions of what it means to be human.

This contribution was inspired by Julie Compagny’s noteworthy article on the Digital Me Up. Digital Me up is the blog of our students from the Advanced Master’s in Digital Business Strategy of Grenoble Management School, where I teach and Julie is one of the students from the 2018-2019 academic year. This topic will be on the menu of next month’s lecture about “Technology and Innovation”, which I will deliver on the premises of Vinci’s incubator, aptly named Leonard.

Data Science ethics and its influences on today’s business practices

Data Science Ethics
Pr Lee Schlenker with Vinci’s #Weareleonard Camille Desforges is preparing is Apr 5th Offsite lecture. The Advanced Master’s in Digital Business Strategy of Grenoble Ecole de Management will be hosted by Vinci on that date.
if ethics is defined as shared values that help humanity differentiate right from wrong, the increasing digitalization of human activity shapes the very definitions of how we evaluate the world around usClick To Tweet

Margo Boenig-Liptsin’s points out that our ever-increasing reliance on information technology has fundamentally transformed traditional concepts of “privacy”, “fairness” and “representation”, not to mention “free choice”, “truth” and “trust”.These mutations underline the increasing footprint and responsibilities of data science – beyond the bytes and bits, data science shakes the perceptual foundations of value, community, and equity.  If academia has been quick to establish Data Science programs around statistics, computation and software engineering, few programs address the larger societal concerns of data science, and fewer still analyse how responsible data practices can be conditioned and even encouraged. Let’s sketch out the contours of this challenge. Read more