I recently talked with Sandeep Dadlani, global chief digital officer (CDO) at Mars, to hear his thoughts on becoming a digital business. We started our conversation discussing his CDO role (10-minute video).

Here are three key highlights of our conversation:

  • Sandeep has focused his role on leveraging technology, analytics, and experiences to drive the company 100x faster. The key, he stressed, was the importance of driving digital thinking across the entire enterprise. With org structures constantly changing, use this structure to drive great leadership across all points of the company. And note that the entire tech/IT team is a digital team!
  • Focus on user centricity. Find the customer/business problem by leveraging this mindset and design thinking. Solve it using analytics, AI, and machine learning. Once you have solved it, scale it using automation so you can free up resources to find the next problem. Spin the flywheel fast enough, and anyone can drive digital. Every business partner needs to own the digital change. Get momentum with a user centricity team. At Mars, this is seven people, all deeply empathetic with the consumer. This team unlocks unstated needs and inspires others to join the movement.
  • Don’t try to dictate how to govern and spread the movement. Allow it to grow as a grassroots movement. In the words of Bruce Springsteen, you can’t start a fire without a spark. Celebrate early successes and failures to encourage innovation.

How is your organization becoming a digital business? I’d love to hear how you are making progress!

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