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Fabian Buder, Anja Dieckmann, Holger Dietrich and Julia Wieting

Open access

Andreas Neus, Fabian Buder and Fernando Galdino


Digital transformation requires a digital mindset and new approaches to dealing with both decision risk and decision speed. Well-entrenched companies seem to hold all the assets needed to adapt and keep succeeding, but sometimes they don’t seem to adequately react to a disruptive threat; instead, they show symptoms of innovation blindness. They might overestimate their digital skills or their learning occurs too slowly and resources are being wasted. Deep expertise that used to be an asset turns into a liability because companies are stuck in old mental models. A few things can be done proactively to avoid major pitfalls in the digitalization of a business. Facts that are taken for granted need to be challenged and checked against reality to identify strategic failure in time. Whenever somebody assumes that something is “surely” true, a company’s alarm bells should go off. Moreover, top management needs to check if their digital projects not only scratch the surface but that they grasp the essence of what makes them successful: creating new added value, dramatically increasing speed and ease of use, reducing complexity, and lowering costs substantially. Also, a new approach to innovation, such as design thinking, encourages rapid prototyping and a fast-failure culture.