An explosion of innovative technologies in mobile devices, social media platforms and big data and analytics is dramatically disrupting traditional businesses and giving rise to a sweeping range of new capabilities, products, services, channels and competitors. To respond to these digital challenges and opportunities, organizations require new leaders who combine digital vision, industry expertise and change-management experience. To help meet this need, Russell Reynolds Associates, a global executive search and assessment firm, has launched the industry’s first fully integrated Digital Transformation Practice. “In every sector, digital innovation is rewriting the rules of business. Leaders across all industries are recognizing that digital is a strategic issue and not just about technology platforms or business processes. It requires leadership from the board, the CEO and the digital experts who will execute a strategy for digital transformation,” said Clarke Murphy, CEO of Russell Reynolds Associates. “As a result, nearly every company must rethink how it adds value. In the last 18 months, we’ve had the privilege of identifying more than 500 digital leaders for our clients—not just pure-play digital companies, but also and increasingly for organizations in sectors from financial services, to automotive and healthcare.” Murphy continued. “Creating a practice devoted to the specific challenge of digital transformation was a natural step that will allow us to continue to help our clients by combining our digital experience with industry-specific expertise.” The Digital Transformation Practice has dedicated resources in each of the following areas:
- Digital Board Directors: The board of directors must evaluate and advise the CEO regarding the company’s digital strategy—a responsibility that requires that they as a group possess a certain critical mass of digital expertise. The Digital Transformation Practice, in conjunction with the Russell Reynolds Associates CEO/Board Services Practice, helps organizations identify and recruit board directors who can strengthen the board’s ability to be a resource to the CEO on this critical issue.
- Digital Functional Leaders: Digital transformation requires most organizations to have a strong internal digital function. The Digital Transformation Practice helps organizations recruit Chief Digital Officers, Chief Data Officers, Senior Vice Presidents for Online and other digital leaders who can integrate with the existing leadership team while driving change.
- Horizontal Specialty Areas: Digital transformation is being driven by a number of technologies that have dramatically altered how information flows and what can be done with it. The Digital Transformation Practice helps organizations recruit executives to lead initiatives in Social, Mobile, E-Commerce and Big Data and Analytics.
- Industry-Specific Digital Leaders: In some sectors, digital transformation has given rise to entirely new specialty functions, such as “Connected Vehicle” in the automotive industry and “Digital Payments” in financial services. The Digital Transformation Practice draws upon its extensive industry networks to help organizations find digital leaders with track records of success in bringing digital approaches to established processes.