The Curious Case of People, Process, Technology

In our asset-heavy environments, where efficiency and economies of scale are paramount, a digital platform enables managers to have much larger spans of control. They can have large-scale resources, but their span of accountability will be relatively narrow. For these units, flexibility and innovation are less important than efficiency and cost minimization. Work can and should be fully digitized. This transformation causes value to be released as a function of digital tools plus accountability (to respond immediately) divided by resistance (to digital). Resistance is caused by five design errors:

  • Confusing goals
  • Conflicting incentives
  • Misalignment of accountability and control
  • Faulty connection to value creation
  • Inadequate competence and skills

Remember that the roadmap to an optimized digital asset includes decision rights to rapidly migrate to a centralized collaboration center. Managers must clearly understand that digital is fundamentally changing the company structure, roles and decision rights. Without proper business processes to clarify this transformation, new technology deployments cannot achieve their name plate outputs.




Gideon Malherbe

Gideon Malherbe

Gideon Malherbe is a partner of VCI Ltd, a global strategy design company. Gideon is well known for his development and implementation of unique methodologies and strategic insights that deliver truly extraordinary results to clients. As a visionary, Gideon has orchestrated some of the largest strategy, innovation, and digitization projects in the Mining & Metals and Oil & Gas industries, the results of which have become enduring models worldwide.


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