Last week, there was a team from Ernst & Young in our offices. One of the visitors spotted the Agile Manifesto on our wall. He asked me if we have always held those values. I explained the premise of agile development and shared how our customers have grown to love it. Later it hit me that one of the parts of the Agile Manifesto — Responding to change over following a plan — is one of the reasons I am a voracious reader. And it’s why I push my staff to read and keep up on the latest thinking.

The Agile Manifesto – Key Values

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software
over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration
over contract negotiation
Responding to change
over following a plan

(While there is value in the items on the right, the items on the left matter more.)

The World Economic Forum says we are entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the forum, says it is, “characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres.” He goes on to say there is no historical precedent for the speed of the current technology breakthroughs.

Oxford researchers estimate that 47 percent of American jobs are at risk of automation. My advice? Keep your job. Read up. Stay in the loop and be one of the people transforming the world. If you follow your plan instead of adjusting for technology breakthroughs, you will be asking yourself what happened to your job and possibly even your company.

Below are a few of my latest great reads on digital transformation.


1. Are you really listening to what your customers are saying? (March 2016, McKinsey & Company)

This paper resonated with me because it speaks to the importance of measuring the customer experience. This study encourages readers to quit debating the metrics and just pick one. You will move the needle. This research reveals, “It matters less which top-line metric a business relies on; almost any one will do.”

2. Next-Generation User Interface Technologies for Mobile and Consumer Devices (March 2016, Pagemill Partners)

This report focuses on the user experience aspect of human interfaces on mobile devices. Many companies are still struggling to provide a decent mobile experience, which is shameful. Google will tell you that if your page does not load in 3 seconds, you have lost your customer. There is so much more to the mobile experience than page speed. Reading this will provide you with an overview of gesture recognition, eye tracking, speech recognition, touch screen haptics, vision/image processing, virtual reality, augmented reality and biometric sensor technologies. Written by investment bankers, this technology whitepaper speaks to anyone in digital marketing. At 104 pages, it is long. However, it is easy to skip to the sections on the different types of interfaces.

3. Digital: Disrupt or Die (November 2014, OpenText CEO Mark J. Barrenechea and Chairman of the Board for OpenText Tom Jenkins)

The authors offer this resource as an e-book (free pdf) or as a series of articles. They focus on how to transform your digital organization and prepare for 2020. It remains thought-provoking two years after it was written. Many of the author’s predictions are already knocking at the enterprise door. As consumers demand more personal and more engaging interactions, brands are scrambling. Read this e-book to gain insights on how to simplify, evolve and accelerate your digital transformation.

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