Leonard Brody: The Great Rewrite

Leonard Brody: The Great Rewrite

In partnership with Forbes, Brody produced a documentary series and is writing The Great Re:Write, a book based on it. His mission is to be a guide in the midst of profound new trends that are rewriting the way we work and live. “The story of the rewrite began with my fascination around a question: How is this time different? We’ve lived through three decades of massive change, but it always felt like there was something different in the air. This time is different from the mobile era, from the web era?but how is it different?” Brody says. “This journey is about answering that question. It’s not about technology and it’s not about business models, but it’s about us,” Brody continues. Brody will address the following points in his GLC session: We are living in a unique moment in history when revolutionary change in all sectors is occurring at a frenzied pace. This massive scale of disruption has understandably left organizations on shaky footing, struggling to engage consumers and employees alike and stay relevant. Those who learn to adapt and allow themselves to be “rewritten” for the modern day will survive and prosper. Those who do not will collapse. We’ll explore how organizations can harness the uncertainty they’re faced with and turn it into excitement, innovation and success. While technology may be the catalyst of the rewrite, this is a deeply human story: How are executives and entrepreneurs, consultants and thought leaders metabolizing dynamic technological advancement to create game-changing innovation for their employees and their customers? KPMG partnered with Brody and Forbes to bring The Great Rewrite to life on Forbes, where Brody shares his thoughts on three pertinent factors: 1. Master digital disruption with digital reinvention The critical balancing act for every organization: leverage core, established strengths and embrace your coming destruction. Along with new competition comes new opportunity. The ways in which customers behave, what they expect and what they want to pay for have all fundamentally changed. Reinvent your incumbent enterprise before you’re disrupted by another, or you risk becoming obsolete. Leaders must ask key questions: What do we do best, and how can we keep doing it? What do our customers want and expect from us? Who is stealing customers’ attention and their business? What technologies are disrupting us, and which should we adopt? The secret to a long and prosperous corporate life span involves a continual focus on mortality. 2. Empower the workforce for the future of work in an automated world The automation of physical labor will not stop. The digital encoding of human cognition and decision-making is arriving parallel to it. Smart robots, sensors, digital agents and other technologies have brought a new vocabulary to human resources: Companies now speak of “reskilling” and “upskilling” — the need to ensure that employees are empowered, not replaced, by the disruptive new technologies that are rewriting the planet. Smart leaders are getting ahead of the curve by empowering employees with “upskilling” and “reskilling” programs to compete in the workforce of tomorrow. 3. Focus on the customer to profit from the customer revolution You can’t own your customers. They can walk away more easily, and more loudly, than ever. That’s why smart companies are beginning to treat customers like prized assets, despite what the accounting textbooks say. Recognizing the ongoing value that loyalty brings, companies are rewiring every business function, from product development to their own staffing. Businesses are shifting away from “what can we make?” and “how can we sell it?” to ask questions like “What do our customers want? What do they not want? How do we calculate the value of our best customers? How can we improve the customer experience and increase that value?” Customer-centric thinking rewrites the old rules about where value originates. Broadly, it means creating an experience for customers that transcends products and prices. One component of customer-centricity is using data to determine where to devote customer-focused resources. Managers need to identify customer experience measures that have a proven connection with financial value. And then companies must invest in what it takes—people, technology, information, infrastructure—to bolster the activities that drive value.

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