Friday, August 5, 2022

The Digital Mindset: What It Really Takes to Thrive in the Age of Data, Algorithms, and AI (Paul Leonardi and Tsedal Neeley)

Technology and information are driving vast, rapid changes in how businesses operate. Smart businesses are able to transform their operations and their procedures to account for the ever-evolving age of data that we’re now in.  Paul Leonardi and Tsedal Neeley’s book The Digital Mindset: What It Really Takes to Thrive in the Age of Data, Algorithms, and AI offers practical, thoughtful solutions that businesses can follow to thrive in this new era of work.

Technological innovations have been with us for centuries - from the physical in the form of wheels and tools to the industrial with the uses of water, coal, and other sources of energy to fuel faster creation of products. The current set of innovation involves the use of data and computer literacy to help fuel business productivity. The authors suggest that businesses need to become fluent in key technological concepts - either through self-training or hiring key personnel who can effectively lead internal innovation - to help build what they term a “digital mindset” inside an organization. The authors stress that it’s important for companies to collaborate internally to ensure that remote and non-remote workers are included in key decisions, as well as to ensure that any changes to a company’s operations are made with all the necessary players involved. The biggest piece that is stressed is that companies help encourage their personnel to be self-driven to embrace learning new technological concepts and that this change not be “forced” but guided through the use of early adapters, influencers, and others who can help shepherd the company through innovation.

The Digital Mindset is very effective in laying out technological terms and concepts at an easy-to-understand level. The arguments are clear and persuasive, but more importantly, delivered at a fair and balanced perspective that simply shows the importance of understanding technology and how it ultimately applies to a business’s success or failure.