Strategy Execution

  • Swedish-Swiss Business Forum – Artificial Intelligence, Zurich

    This article is about my summary and reflexions from the excellent Swedish-Swiss Business Forum on Jan 31, 2019 in Zurich arranged by the Swedish-Swiss Chamber of Commerce (SSCC) and hosted by SIX. The event was visited by around 130 persons, listening to 6 speakers, with great networking afterwards.

    The Business Forum was opened by Eva Fiorenzoni, Managing Director, Swedish Swiss Chamber of Commerce, greeting the speakers and the participants.

    Deep Learning – the Engine of Modern Artificial Intelligence

    The first speaker, Damian Borth spoke on the subject of “Artificial Intelligence: Deep Learning – the Engine of Modern Artificial Intelligence”. 

    Artificial Intelligence is becoming part of our Pop-Culture. We need to change the image and embrace it.

    The evolution of Artificial Intelligence will depend on the relationship AI – ML (Machine Learning) – DL (Deep Learning)

    Talent Management is a rapidly increasing issue since AI requires Machine Learning; to that effect huge amounts of AI experts are needed, i.e. in Germany only, 5000 AI experts were needed in 2017 vs. the worldwide supply of the same was 22000 that year. So, to some extent, the speed of AI evolution will depend on on the availability of these experts.

    Artificial Intelligence at the core of business

    Kye Andersson, Head of Brand & Communication, Peltarion, confirmed the previous speaker’s focal point that AI is about Deep Learning and Neural Networks. As a fact, Deep Learning is already here, i.e. Google, Siri, to name a few.

    AI will be used everywhere in our lives and the speed of change will increase dramatically over the next years, also due to the ongoing digitalisation of our society. AI will impact the entire value chain in any industry and in profound ways change the ways we are doing things.

    Two obstacles for business to become “AI First”:

    Another topic discussed by Kye Andersson once again, was the enormous amount of talent needed with data science skills. The U.S. has today around 35.000 people with data science skills, and 700.000 more are needed by 2020, in the U.S. alone.

    The key question is about who are the winners?

    The winners in every single industry worldwide, will be those who operationalise AI

    Tapping the potential of AI as an industry leader

    “Deliver value in every single part of the value chain with AI”, says Otto Preiss, Chief Operating Officer Digital, ABB. AI is the key to enable ABB’s vision. With AI, the vision to provide the industrial processes with muscles will become a reality, by starting to use autonomous systems. In the past, systems required programming, now it’s about teaching the systems and in the future systems will learn what to do autonomously. The difference between automated and autonomous systems is to create a bigger picture: Perceive, Understand, Solve versus Analyse, Act, Sense.

    AI in Banking: Key learnings for the future

    Annika Schröder, Executive Director, UBS Group Technology explained how AI may be used in the Banking sector.

    Creating ideal, customized investment strategies for specific customers, Compliance and Cyber Security as well as ML (Machine Learning) systems to detect patterns in Big Data that humans would not be able to discover are examples of how AI can be used. Banks are also using ML systems to discover behaviours indicating potential money laundering transactions. Combined with other technologies, the potential of AI is huge. For instance, innovative, smart services and products can be created with Blockchain technology, combined with AI.

    AI – Key to Autonomous Driving

    One area that AI will affect is self-driving cars, said Dennis Nobelius, CEO Zenuity. A self-driving car has a very large computing power that uses neural networks to understand the outside world. The implication is that the networks are the foundation for the car’s position.

    To cope with all this, the car is equipped with a variety of sensors, cameras, radar, laser, GPS receiver and a supercomputer. The car also communicates with service functions in the Cloud.

    “In the process of developing self-driving cars, a very high level of safety is the most important thing,” said Dennis Nobelius. There are also ethical aspects that must be taken into account. Within 5 years, there should be an enormous potential for self-driving cars.

    Panel debate

    A panel debate with the speakers and moderated by Damian Borth wrapped up the Business Forum. The discussed topics where:

    • Use AI to augment the Human, not replacing it, just taking out the tedious work.
    • Regulation is a challenge; it’s important to tackle this issue with the lenses of the regulator.
    • How to deal with Data Privacy: A Data Manifesto has to be implemented, for real.
    • Who owns the data and whom monetizes on that?
    • Can machines be rewarded? Winning reinforces the machines behaviours but chemical processes in human brains cannot be copied, can only be a learned behaviour.
    • Last, the panel was asked by when a robot will be able to dream. The answers differed between “not possible” to end of the 21st century.


    The Chairman of the Board for the Swedish-Swiss Chamber of Commerce (SSCC), Hans Ueli Märki, closed the Business Forum concluding that every job will change because of AI and with a final remark:

    Drive the change or be driven by it (disappearing)

    Summary with my reflexions

    Throughout the Business Forum, the main repeating topics are the scarcity of AI experts (programming the machines), AI will affect all jobs to some extent and that AI will have an impact on the entire value chain. Someone at Google said that AI is bigger than fire and electricity, I think this may be correct. At least one aspect is pretty clear, disruptive change is already here and will keep accelerating at an astounding pace, already this year.

    The speed of AI adoption will depend on several factors. Some of them are: Partnerships and other alliances in new ecosystems (startups mixed with existing companies) to reduce the impact related to the scarcity of AI experts and the wide spread availability of 5G networks because of the enormous data amount to be transmitted to/from the Cloud. The players that are in the driving seat are the network owners.

    Finally, I am convinced that AI will change EVERYTHING. This requires companies and organisations to transform their culture towards organisational agility. The house is on fire, believe it or not, since it is predicted that towards the middle of the coming decade, many companies will have disappeared.

    So my question to you is, Dear Boards and Management Teams, if you want to survive and remain competitive? It’s time to act, now.

    #AI #digitaltransformation #leadership #culturetransformation #futureisnow #SSCC #prosensitchange

    Christian de Loës

    I am Christian de Loës, founder of Prosensit Change Management, a Digital Business Transformation Leader & Interim Manager, Change Advisor/Agent, Speaker and Lecturer with 30 years international senior leadership experience in Sales & Marketing, Portfolio-, Program- & Project Management and Business Change Management internationally. I am passionate about helping mid-sized SME Board members & C-level executives to enable culture transformation by supporting them to bridge the gap between strategy & execution, including Change Management.

  • Digital Transformation success – Why it requires organisational agility

    In this article, I am sharing with you a Best Practice based approach with a further read on how to increase Digital Transformation success probability.

    Digital Transformation requires Culture Transformation, changing the company culture to create organisational agility

    It’s being predicted that roughly about half of today’s companies will continue to exist, at least in their current form, beyond 2020 and already by the same year, more than 25% of the worldwide workforce will consist of Millennials and Generation Z individuals. These new generations think and act in a totally different way compared to older generations, they are purpose-driven, based on their deep-rooted values. The new generations require a different, inclusive and engaging leadership style.

    Constant, ever faster disruption is becoming the new norm requiring companies to collaborate transversally in ecosystems

    More than 20 years research and thousands of answers from bi-annually conducted Best Practice surveys by Prosci show a direct correlation between how well the people side of change is managed (Change Management) and how successful the change initiatives are.

    Companies and organisations with an effective and integrated approach to Change Management have up to 6 times higher likelihood to reach expected objectives and realise the desired benefits.

    Companies aiming for success beyond 2020, need to develop their organisation and equip it with change capabilities to become organisational agile so that they can react quickly to new digital innovations in the future and adapt their business model quickly.

    Is your company ready for a Digital Future?

    In preparing for the future, many companies are embarking on a digital business transformation journey — often without any sense of direction. However, the goal isn’t digital transformation but rather business transformation — using digital capabilities to transform a traditional enterprise into a top performer in the digital economy. We call such top-performing enterprises “future-ready.

    Future-ready companies earn 3 times more than laggards and are also much more likely to be successful during the crucial next decade.

    Source: MIT Sloan Management Review “Is Your Company Ready for a Digital Future?”

    Achieving Organisational Agility means culture change

    How can your organisation achieve the required organisational agility if you are facing one or several of the following issues?

    • Struggling to get momentum for the transformation journey – people are left behind – the change or transformation is not happening.
    • Change Saturation – according to the 2017 Best Practice Survey by Prosci, the world’s largest Body of Research in the field of Change Management, 73% of organisations are reporting being past, at or near change saturation point.
    • There are different views/opinions where we stand on our transformation journey. We don’t have a shared, unbiased view on that.
    • We have a doubt whether Change Management is being sufficiently addressed to be successful.
    • We can’t measure the performance of our change or transformation, especially not the people side of change.
    • We have little evidence when it comes to Change Leadership and Change Readiness.

    Change Leadership and Change Readiness are the culture change enablers

    This is the starting point to integrate Change Management into your Digital Business Transformation as well as starting to measure and follow-up upon the people dimension – Change Leadership & Change Readiness, the enablers of culture change – as a key component of Benefits Realisation.

    #organisationalagility #changemanagement #leadership #digitaltransformation #prosensitchange #3pprofessionals

  • Survival requires culture transformation

    Survival requires cultural transformation

    In partnership with Tesla Switzerland and Ms Elga Reana Tozzi, I recently had the pleasure to organise the event “Executive Forum Digital Transformation” (in German) at the Tesla Showroom in Zürich, Switzerland.

    Have the courage or “Wait and Die!

    The topic of my presentation at the Executive Forum was ”Inspiration for the courage”. Let me explain what I mean. The speed of disruption change stemming from Digital Transformation, Robotisation, Automation, Globalisation is ever increasing. In a couple of years, the disruptive ”wind of change” will be blowing constantly much stronger than today. In the light of this expected development, it is not enough for companies to define and implement a ”digital strategy” or to create a dedicated digital unit, embedded in the current organization or not. Digital Transformation is about Digital BUSINESS Transformation which requires culture transformation. Organizations need to be able to quickly and constantly adapt their business models, as required.

    Did you know that:

    • Only about 50% of companies have actively embarked on the Digital Business Transformation journey?
    • Company life cycle has already shrunk from 60 down to 15 years?
    • About 50% of current companies are expected to disappear from 2020 onwards?

    What’s required to survive?

    Remove barriers to Strategy Execution

    Today, since most organizations are still operating according to the old fashioned silos, it is not possible to speedily adapt business models to cope with the speed of new entrants and ever changing constellations of operating models. At the same time, many companies are struggling to execute strategies for accelerated, digital growth. As a matter of fact, according to a strategy execution survey, 96% of executives face some hinder to strategy execution.

    Drive culture transformation

    Gartner foresees that within three years, 80% of all digital business solutions must be able to deal with situations in real time. This situation requires a new organisational culture and survival reads culture transformation, to shape agile organizations, putting huge demands on the leadership, which is mainly silo oriented ”you work for me” ”don’t look left and right”, ”sit still in the boat, I’ll let you know what to do”. While my statement may be largely exagerated in many instances, there is still too much of this stuff going on. Let’s instead empower the workforce to its full potential, driving innovation. A proof to my statement – Only 13% of the world’s active workforce is actively engaged and passionate towards their occupation…it’s time to smash the silos and start working transversally throughout the organisation. This new Ways of Working (WoWs) need to be enabled by servant leadership, having the courage to make swift decisions in this world of VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) and release the innovative power of the entire organisation, at individual and team level.

    Align strategy and put People First

    Even if and when the above challenges are beeing addressed, the foremost issue hindering strategy execution is the fact that in many cases the Board and the Executive Management Team have not ”switched on their GPS” and typed the same ”address” or have switched on their GPS without entering an ”address” at all. The meaning of ”address” here is, a common direction i.e. shared strategic objectives. The consequence of a lack of shared objectives is that the organization gets confused, i.e there is no common ”WHERE” and reason(s) for the change/transformation ”WHY” are unclear, i.e. the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) are not clearly understood by the entire impacted organisation. With no sense of direction, the transformation will be very painful and costly, if successful at all.

    Where are we heading?


    As discussed above the starting point for successful strategy execution is to ensure joint strategic alignment between the Board and the Executive Management Team. Another key aspect is to focus early enough on the people side of change, i.e. Change Management. My recommendation is to base the Change Management framework on Prosci, one of the two leading independent Change Management bodies worldwide.

    To get your Digital Business Transformation journey started successfully, consider these steps:

    1. Strategy Alignment. Make sure that the Board and Management Team jointly have their “GPS switched on” with the same “address”. I call this the EXPLORE phase.
    2. Bridge the Gap. Link the strategy and its objectives with the required changes, based on Benefits Realisation, i.e. produce a ”Benefits Dependency Map (BDM)”. This is part of the FOCUS phase.
    3. 90 Days Planning. Since organizations normally do not have spare capacity and the Leadership team is busy with Run-The-Business (RtB) or Business As Usual (BAU), the most common hinder and a major reason for the failed change, is the insufficient capacity and capability to focus on change/transformation (CtB, Change-The-Business). In order to alleviate this challenge to some extent, my recommendation is to prepare a 90 days implementation plan, where 3 Big Rocks from the BDM are prioritized, together with the identification of 3-5 Quick Wins. The exercise will result in a comprehensive actions list, to be finished within the aforementioned 90 days. This is the EXECUTE phase.

    Then it’s about to make it happen. Remember: What’s most important is to put PEOPLE FIRST.

    What’s the situation in your organisation?

    Take our free Digital Business Transformation Assessment and find out your result instantly.

    Upon completion of this self-assessment, you may schedule a free 30 min call to evaluate your assessment results with some tips and your own report.

    Watch the video: Digital Transformation is about People First

    I help SME’s (50-500 employees) to bridge the gap between strategy and execution. My clients are Chairmans, CEOs and CFOs with some kind of growth challenge, realising that disruptive transformation is needed.



  • Prosensit enters into cooperation with Hubbster

    New cooperation with Hubbster


    Prosensit AB with CEO Christian de Loës, having extensive experience in strategic change management internationally, is now one of Hubbster’s established partners. Prosensit will be part of Hubbster’s customer offerings both initiating and implementing change initiatives with the cloud service CoreHub as a foundation, on a non-exclusive basis. The same applies vice-versa, Hubbster’s digital tools for strategy activation will an integrated part of Prosensit’s offerings.


    “All organizations want to succeed in bridging the gap between strategy and implementation, no matter the size or complexity of the change (Digital Transformation, as an example). We know, however, that only maximum 30% of all change initiatives succeed. Reasons are insufficient change leadership skills and –capacity, resulting in lack of communication, involvement and, last but not least, poor monitoring to make the change stick. Or to put it in another way; change implementation often lacks methods and tools. But now there are tools that are both user-friendly and smart. I got Hubbster recommended to me and made contact. After testing the tools, it was quite clear; Prosensit wants to work with Hubbster. We got the structure to support drive and commitment in one. I’m really in favor of Hubster’s strategy activation tools and we are excited to using them together with our customers”, says Christian de Loës, Founder and CEO Prosensit AB.


    “We are delighted to welcome such a driven and talented person as Christian de Loës and Prosensit AB as our partner. The combination of Hubbster’s digital tools for strategy activation and Christian’s long and extensive experience of successful international executive change management is just right combo and we know that the market demands it. Together we look forward to helping many companies to move from words to action”, says Niklas Engström , CEO of Hubbster.


    Niklas Engström                                                                     Christian de Loës

    CEO Hubbster AB                                                                    CEO Prosensit AB

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