The Technology Fallacy. How people are the real key to digital transformation.

Kane, G.C., Phillips, A.N., Copulsky, J.R., Andrus, G.R., (2019). The Technology Fallacy. How people are the real key to digital transformation. Cambridge: The Mit Press.

very short summary

The book “The Technology Fallacy” is about the organizational changes required to harness the power of technology. The authors argue that digital disruption is primarily about people. The authors draw on four years of research, conducted in partnership with MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte. They address cultivating a digital environment, enabling intentional collaboration, and fostering an experimental mindset.

some of my favourite lines

“When executives simply delegate responsibility for digital business to the technologists, it is a recipe for near-certain failure.” (p.91)

“If you just expect employees to engage in new processes because your company adopts some new technology, you’re in for disappointment. They won’t.” (p.92)

“Forty percent of respondents reported that being ‘change oriented’ is the most important skill for employees to possess.” (p.111)

“Only one-third of respondents said they are satisfied with how their organizations are helping them prepare for the changes necessary to work in a digital environment.” (p.128)

“If we primarly fit human work into the gaps left by what computers cannot do, people will increasingly be squeezed out as technology becomes more advanced.” (p.145)

turn to page

to understand the model of digital maturity

turn to page

to read the super interesting chapter about digital culture

turn to page

for a (somewhat) practical step-by-step guide

my personal opinion

The book has a nice balance between survey results, practical use-cases and scientific background. The build-up to the digital maturity model is somewhat slow, but once the book touches upon digital leadership, digital skills and culture, it gets up to speed. I have to admit I needed a second reading to see the overall common thread. Doing so, I was charmed with how much I could relate to what I experience on the field.

Is the book a must-read? The authors make a strong case for taking into account the human factor during digital transformation. So, if you are looking for an overall introduction into the topic and if you need proof & numbers, then yes, this book is a real asset.


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