2018 graphicWe live in an era where, from a business perspective, it's disrupt or be disrupted.  

As HMG Strategy's Founder, President and CEO Hunter Muller likes to say, there's no better time than now to be a technology executive. And it's not just the ability to apply cutting-edge technologies such as digital technologies, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, blockchain, cloud, data analytics and edge computing to help recast the business to enter new markets and deliver distinctive customer experiences. 

Top-tier technology executives are also being recognized by the CEO and fellow members of the C-suite for the value they contribute and their unique ability to see how organizational functions and lines of business are interconnected. 

Still, in order to drive the transformational changes that are needed by companies to remain competitive, technology executives also must step up with courageous leadership in working with the CEO and the C-suite to foster a culture of genius for success. These challenges and opportunities form the core of HMG Strategy's 2018 Leadership Research Agenda, which is outlined below.  

HMG Strategy's Research Agenda is developed based on our unique peer-to-peer advisory model in which we collect insights from top-tier technology executives at our 30+ annual summits, through daily conversations with CEOs, CIOs, CISOs, CTOs, CDOs, search executives and venture capitalists who are sharing their insights and experiences from their real-world experiences, and in the research articles we co-develop with these executives. 

HMG Strategy 2018 Leadership Research Agenda

  1. Lead, Reimagine, Reinvent - Fostering a Culture of Genius for Success. In today's fast-changing business landscape, it's not your competitors that threaten a company's survival. It's your organization's willingness and capacity to disrupt its existing business model - or be disrupted. Since technology executives are at the center of an enterprise's digital transformation journey, he/she must partner with the C-suite and board of directors to navigate the business into the future and orchestrate the cultural change that's required to achieve success.
  2. Courageous Leadership Gains Ground. As organizational executives endeavor to act on digital transformation opportunities to gain a competitive advantage and optimize business processes, technology executives must break out of their comfort zones and demonstrate courageous leadership with the C-suite and board to drive successful, transformational change.
  3. Leading the Charge on Digital Transformation. Thanks to their expansive view across organizational functions and business units, technology executives are perfectly positioned to leverage digital technologies to seize upon opportunities to identify new revenue streams, reimagine the customer experience, streamline organizational processes and boost worker productivity. 
  4. Becoming Boardroom-Ready. Technology executives have tremendous insights and expertise to offer to boards of directors that are hungry for technical experience. Tech leaders will continue to focus on improving their C-suite and board-level communication skills while refining the required steps to land a coveted board position.
  5. Unleashing Bold Creativity to Attract/Recruit/Develop Sought-After Skills. As the war for talent escalates, technology executives will need to summon innovative techniques to entice, preserve, and develop next-generation skills that will be needed to support the organization's business roadmap. 
  6. Reassessing Cybersecurity Strategies as the Threat Landscape Becomes More Complex. As 2017 demonstrated, the cyber threat landscape continues to evolve and become more complex. CISOs and other technology executives must develop more proactive approaches to cyber threats, including the use of AI and machine learning tools, as historical 'analyze-and-respond' tactics are no longer sufficient.
  7. Fostering Innovation in Core, Parallel & New Markets. CEOs fully expect technology executives to identify and present opportunities for accelerating and even disrupting the business. These include ways to improve upon existing products and services, push into adjacent business markets and create new business models and services for new markets.
  8. Speed Wins in an Accelerated Business Environment. Business is moving at warp speed. Is your organization nimble enough to keep pace - or are you constantly chasing other companies? Successful technology executives help the business to become more agile by responding rapidly to customer and market shifts and by simplifying the customer and user experience.
  9. The Customer-Obsessed Technology Leader. In recent years, CEOs and business leaders have recognized the benefits of becoming customer-focused - including improving customer satisfaction, increasing customer retention and boosting share-of-wallet. Expect to see technology executives work more closely with CMOs and other customer-facing leaders to better understand and respond to customer needs and pain points. 
  10. Collaboration Begins with Relationship Building. Savvy technology leaders recognize that the IT organization can't do it alone - strong partnerships are needed with the C-suite, line-of-business and functional leaders (sales, marketing), technology partners, venture capitalists and other participants in the IT/business supply chain to brainstorm, execute, and achieve success. 
Interested in learning more about the 2018 HMG Strategy Research Agenda, sharing your insights or contributing to an article? Contact me at tomhoffman@hmgstrategy.com. Next week, we'll share the 2018 HMG Strategy Technology Research Agenda and the components behind its development.