Many of today's leaders of legacy businesses are grappling with the prospect of digital transformation. "Lots of people think of digital transformation and they think of changing a process or part of a business – but it's got a much bigger meaning," says Professor Nick Wailes, Director AGSM and Deputy Dean UNSW Business School.

"Digital transformation is about equipping your organisation for the digital future – how do you take advantage of new technologies to deliver new value to customers?"

Stephen Scheeler, AGSM's Executive-in-Residence and Former CEO of Facebook, ANZ agrees digital transformation is much more than simply changing one process or service.

"It means changing everything about how you do your business to bring it into the digital age. This means looking at your assets, your operations, your processes, your people and how you digitise products and services," says Scheeler. "It goes to the heart of how you manage a business, build leaders, build culture and business models."

A powerful short course for innovative leaders

To help business leaders navigate the digital frontier, AGSM has created a short course, Leading Digital Transformation. Co-created by Professor Wailes and Sanjay Verma, the course is specifically designed to help leaders develop the skills and insights they need to lead a digital transformation.

 "We know a lot of legacy businesses will need to change the way they do things. And this program is designed to help leaders in those businesses know what to focus on to effectively implement digital transformation within their organisation," says Professor Wailes.

As Program Director of Leading Digital Transformation, Sanjay Verma brings extensive global experience across government, private and social sectors. With over 16 years experience specialising in co-design, including four years as Director of Strategy and Transformation at PwC Australia, Sanjay has led many iconic transformation projects, working with senior executives and enabling them to transform their organisations.

"This course is all about providing practical, pragmatic information to leaders, and we have some amazing global thought leaders joining us – people who've already developed interesting points of view in the digital space," says Verma. "Complementary to those, we'll be leaning on some incredible academics – and key for this course – the voice of business practitioners. People who've been there done that, so we can deliver a real-world flavour in this course."

The why, what and how of digital transformation

The five-day course is split into two modules where leaders will be taken through the why of digital transformation, what some of the emerging technologies are, and how they're impacting the world of business.

"We'll hone in on what your digital transformation strategy should be," says Professor Wailes. "And the 'how'. That is, what you need to focus on to get the job successfully done."

This includes some introspection on the self as a digital leader. "What are the skills you need to develop and what are the attributes you need to be successful in a digital world?"

A common issue for leaders of incumbent organisations is letting go of the legacy actions and processes that led to their current success – even if they won't serve them in the digital future.

"Legacy organisations tend to assume the way they've done things in the past is how they should do things in the future," says Professor Wailes. "But when you're competing against born-digital companies and tech start-ups using artificial intelligence, robotics and data-driven algorithms, it's time to think differently."

Deep learning to produce real outcomes

The course is designed to have very real and beneficial outcomes, and leaders will experience the 'Art of the Possible' by working with experts and researchers to formulate their own transformation strategy.

The first module runs over three days and helps leaders understand their digital imperative. "This involves looking at the current state of their industry, where disruption is occurring, and how that's impacting their current framework," says Professor Wailes.

There'll be a focus on digital strategies, implementing transformation including cyber security and risk, ways to innovate existing models – and participants will begin digital action planning by completing an audit of current opportunities.

The second module deep dives into the characteristics of culture, how leaders can build capability and scalability into their business to constantly evolve and the organisational conditions that need to be put in place.

"We'll look at what it takes to go through a successful transformation, learning from live case studies and successful transformations," says Verma.

After five days, leaders will have built their digital literacy to enable meaningful conversations and decision-making; developed lateral understanding of current and future competitors; learned about the significance of digital technology and data in creating personalised customer experiences, to grow customer loyalty – and much more.

"We've created a practical, pragmatic course which includes the wisdom and experiences of thought leaders, practitioners and professionals already leading digital change," says Verma. "And the opportunity for leaders to walk away with a well-rounded transformation strategy for their business is a vital and exciting step in broadening their horizons in the 21st century."

Learn more about Leading Digital Transformation and other AGSM short courses.

For any enquiries:
+61 2 9385 0330