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Interview: The Art and Science of a Digitally Resilient Organization, with Professor Gerald Kane, co-author of The Transformation Myth

There is no question that our future will continue to be one of disruption. Either acute disruption, like COVID, or chronic disruption, like the emergence of digital technologies across industries and use cases. So the question isn’t a matter of will there be disruption, but what do leaders do in response? Business Professor Gerald Kane of Boston College, along with his co-authors, found themselves in the middle of a pandemic conducting deep research through hundreds of interviews with executives that resulted in new scholarship around thriving through disruption. The book is the Transformation Myth, and Professor Kane sat down with Peter to discuss it.


Peter (00:00):

Welcome to unpacking the digital shelf, where we explore brand manufacturing in the digital age. [inaudible]

Peter (00:18):

Hi everyone, Peter Crosby here from the digital shelf Institute. There is no question that our future will continue to be one of disruption, either acute disruption like COVID or chronic disruption, like the emergence of digital technologies across industries and across use cases. So the question isn't a matter of will there be disruption, but what do leaders do in response business professor and author, Gerald Kane at Boston college, along with his co-authors found themselves in the middle of a pandemic conducting deep research through hundreds of interviews with executives that resulted in new scholarship, around thriving, through disruption and the leadership skills it takes the book is the transformation myth, and we had a great conversation about it. So professor Kane, thank you so much for joining the podcast. And my first question is although it, it, it goes against every fiber of my respect for educated people from college. May I call you Jerry

Gerald Kane (01:20):

Courage to call me Jerry? Thank you so much,

Peter (01:23):

But I'm really grateful to have read your book and to be able to pepper you with questions about it. It just it's, it just caught my imagination to have research of, of this depth come out of such a fraught period is so interesting that just, it was informed by that time of acute disruption, but at the same time, I think you, you and you and your coauthors ended up with timeless practices for how we prepare for future inevitable disruptions, which I dunno, watching floods all over the world makes me feel like they're just going to be coming at a faster rate than ever before it does it. I mean, I loved that it wasn't merely an academic exercise as well. You make it actionable, like throughout the book, there's a series of exercises that, that you've used with companies that are street seeking to strengthen their agility, resilience, and response to disruption. It's really an incredible piece of work. Thank you for, for investing in putting it together.

Gerald Kane (02:17):

Well, thank you. I mean, it was definitely a team effort, so I'm the academic on the team and three of my co, well, myself and Jonathan Copulsky, he is now at Northwestern and then two Deloitte consultants. So we work really well together. So we're able to take sort of the academic framework and the critical thinking side, combined with the experience on the boots on the ground. And you know, we really work together, I think, to create a whole that is better than the sum of its parts. And, you know, my colleagues at Deloitte did all of the, I got to give them credit for all these exercises. You know, these are actually ones that they use with companies or, you know, have been using with companies. And then I'm bringing of, we conducted over 50 interviews with people, executives as they were leading their companies through COVID.

Gerald Kane (03:06):

And it was generally both a, an extremely rewarding and extremely stressful project because we writing about something as we're living through it. We have a deadline of December, 2020 to finish the book when the pandemic isn't finished at that point. And how do you write something about a phenomenon when you don't know what the end is like? And so when our, when w when we're coming out in September of 2021, and we were really careful throughout the book to talk about disruption generally and not COVID specifically and the more work we did, the more work, we more, we realized that disruption is disruption. That's the new normal, whether it be COVID, whether it be the George Floyd protests, whether it be floods, whether it be Australian wildfires, whether it be the vaccines, you know, which are creating uneven disruption across the world, that some communities are more vaccinated than others.

Gerald Kane (04:06):

You know, global leaders are having to really struggle with what's the right thing to do in the right place at the right time. And so I think we hit the right tone, which was we don't know what the future is going to be. Like, all we know is that disruption will continue and we can learn from the pandemic to understand how to adapt to disruption in our future. So that's really the theme of the book, and I think we hit it as we're getting closer to our launch date. I'm feeling more confident about the tone we set throughout.

Peter (04:36):

Yeah. Which I, I said really resonated for me and, you know, the kind of list of disruptions that you rattled off there. And knowing that they're going to keep coming is, is exhausting, but being able to prepare for it is great. And also, so our listeners certainly experienced all of those as human beings, but in addition, they are in one of the most disrupting and disruptive industries right now in retail and brand manufacturing and consumer B2B and B to C like there's you know it seems like that's one of the most disruptive industries that's happening right now. And so I really want to dig into that. Cause one of the core thesis of your book is needing to be a digitally resilient organization. And obviously digital is such a part of our, the way our listeners do business inside and among their partners and ecosystems, but also it's the way they, they now are connecting with consumers. It's where all the growth is coming from. And so it's become a real, a real area of focus. So I'd love for you to walk, walk us through the characteristics of a digitally resilient organization and some examples that, that bring it to life for us.

Gerald Kane (05:50):

Okay. Yeah. So let's take a step back. And you know, really we, we frame a response to disruption, particularly in COVID in a three part process and we call it respond, regroup, and thrive. So the first step is responding and that was, you know, really March and April of 2020. We realized we were something dealing with something unprecedented companies had to lock down. And we figured out how we were going to keep doing business in the midst of this. We all migrated the zoom, we all went digital and remote. And we just figured out how to keep the doors open and the lights on. And by and large, I think that was pretty successful for most companies. You know, if you would've asked me a year and a half ago, would the stock market be up, would most companies be functioning today as well as they are today?

Gerald Kane (06:41):

I would have said, absolutely not. And I think what we've accomplished is actually pretty remarkable. And it really goes to support the thesis of my previous book, which is called the technology fallacy, how people are the real key to digital transformation. We've always been able, we've always had the capability to do this digital work. It's been the organization and the people and the risk aversion that has kept us from moving forward. And I think if there's a silver lining, that's going to come out of this whole pandemic it's that it really forced companies to engage in a level of digital trends and 10 years worth of digital transformation over the course of a year, and really might help avoid that slow Chinese water torture that was already going on with digital disruption. And it might be this wake up call that actually leapfrogs many companies into the future. So that first was, was respond. Yeah.

Peter (07:38):

And I wanted to dig into respond just a little bit more because one of the case studies that stood out for me was Albert Bellatti a CEO of beam Suntory, and they really saw the five priorities through, through acute COVID disruption. And I don't know if you have those at the top of your head, but how would you characterize sort of how they approached response?

Gerald Kane (08:02):

Yeah, I don't really have it in front of me. So I'll paraphrase and, you know, when I was interviewing him, it was a fantastic interview. In fact, a series of interviews because we first interviewed their team that pivoted to produce hand sanitizer in the midst of, in the early days. And I thought that was, of course, alcohol companies knew how to make hand sanitizer. It was a far more complex process that really took not only beam Suntory, but their competitors to work together, to feel like, to make this problem solve this problem. And, and they were even saying, you know, I, I never thought I'd be getting emails from my competitors on how do we solve this problem together. So that's a really sort of phenomenal story I actually have on my website, www.prof, cain.com. We've been sharing profiles of leadership from some of our interviews, cause it was just too much good stuff to put in the book.

Gerald Kane (09:00):

And they've been published in the wall street journal and I factor them all on my, my website and you can go read some of them. But when I was interviewing Albert [inaudible], I was, I was stunned that like two weeks after the, the crisis hit, he rattled off five priorities for them that pretty much matched our respond, regroup, thrive framework. And they were things like, make sure our employees are safe, make sure our customers, you know, things like make sure we can keep the business running in a safe, responsible way.  and then it was, let's see what opportunities are out there.

Peter (09:37):

That's what I love. So I, you know, I, I happen to have them in front

Speaker 4 (09:40):

Of me. And, and

Peter (09:43):

One that I loved was after the couple of, you talked about sort of protecting our people, securing our supply chain, big deal. The third was we continue to give back to society, which is central to our culture as a company. And in moments of disruption that can be hard to focus on. You can sometimes throw those things or the backseat. Absolutely. And that's,

Gerald Kane (10:02):

And that's where the, the hand sanitizer initiative came from was how do we do that? And speaking to the people involved in that, they said it was extremely motivating in this crisis when everybody's afraid, when we don't know what to do that at least gave them something to inspire them to work on. They there's even a quote in there. It's like, they know they're not doing frontline medical work, but this was the one thing they could do. And it felt good to be able to do it under sort of the banner of the company. And we see seen a lot of stories like that, where you know, another great example is the health insurer Humana realized that many of its members were having food insecurity. So they actually ramped up a food production capability and delivered over a million meals within the first three months. And you know, who would've thought that the health insurer would do that, but they said if our mission is actually to provide, I don't remember what their mission is, but it's sobriety, healthiest patients or whatever. How can we do that if our, if they're food insecure. So we, they stepped up and reinterpret their mission differently as a result of the events on the ground and again, super motivating for the company and the employees involved.

Peter (11:16):

Yeah. And I think the last two in the beam Suntory story that stood out to me because I think they'll resonate with our audiences. Great. beam Suntory saw consumption, starting to shift, and I've heard that from suddenly

Speaker 4 (11:28):

Every alcohol. Yes. But also every, every food

Peter (11:32):

Went, you know, digital yeah. The digital shelf. So, and they saw, we saw there's a new normal, and we need to be winning in the new normal. And then finally, as you said, need to anticipate future trends and position ourselves to win in the long-term, which I just, you know, it's not like a stunning resume. Right. You know,

Speaker 4 (11:53):

But to be able to say

Gerald Kane (11:54):

That in two, while we're in the midst of this, and so let's go to the other parts of the framework, regroup is where you get a sense of what this new normal is like. And that's, I would argue from about last may to now, or to really, to September, 2020 and this whole sort of figuring out how to win in the future condition. That's what we call the thrive stage. And I think that's yet to come. And that's really the, if there's one sort of goal for the book it's to get executives, as we hopefully knock on wood, you know, whether we're coming out of the pandemic or whether we're going into the last chapter of it you know, start to think about, okay now is not the time to go back to the way things were. And I think there's a real risk of that, of who we made it we're done, but just to say, okay, we've developed some pretty remarkable capabilities over the last 18 months.

Gerald Kane (12:49):

How do we want to blend the best of both worlds? The pre pandemic way of working with the pandemic innovations we've had to do to create a stronger, better, more innovative organization going forward. And I actually think the next three to five years are going to be amongst the most interesting, exciting, dangerous period of business any of us will ever live through because you now have companies that have developed these massive, new digital capabilities for competing that would have taken them a decade otherwise, and you're going to unleash them into the marketplace. And I think, and I, and I don't even think they know how they're going to use all of these new capabilities themselves. There's going to be a ton of experimentation. There's going to be a ton of innovation. As a professor, I'm super excited about it because I get to watch and study and learn. And my hope is that we can inspire, you know, executives to say, okay, this is our time to thrive. This is our time to step up and become more competitive, more agile than we ever were before. And so I think you need that mindset shift to make it happen.

Peter (14:01):

Yeah. One of those new capabilities that stood out at me from one of your case studies was KLM, the airline KLM, and they had to in the pandemic with remote work and everything, they sh they started doing customer service on social because that's where their customers were reaching out to them. The frame lines were. So talk about that and, and, and sort of in your regroup story, sort of what happened, the

Gerald Kane (14:24):

Interesting thing I have to correct. One thing about your reading of the KLM story, which makes it so fascinating. Is it, wasn't about the pandemic at all? It was about the 2011 Icelandic, volcano eruption. And so, no, but that's, that's the whole point is we wanted to use something that wasn't, COVID to say, look at how this company went. Cause we don't have any examples of companies in the thrive stage yet. Cause we're not there yet, but we looked at KLM and they first dealt with this massive shutdown, which of course we've seen replicated in the pandemic as well. They saw this massive shutdown, they turned to social media to respond, to respond and they did, and they got through it. They said, Hugh we're done. And it wasn't until six months later where the CEO said, what are we thinking? We just developed this massive new capability for customer relations that we just threw away.

Gerald Kane (15:20):

And now what we need to go back cause dust that off and make sure we can capitalize on it to do better. And they ramped up a best in industry, social media platform, a customer service thing. So I think the KLM story is actually an amazing story for us is don't be that KLM that says, no, they got it right. But for six months I just said, it's over rather than saying, what can we take what we learned from this to be a better company? And so as we look 10 years previous, as we see examples of companies enduring disruption saying, whew, it's over, don't do that. Make sure we use the innovations to grow and be stronger and a better company.

Peter (16:01):

You know, I was going to kind of, you have such an amazing section on remote work. And cause obviously that was an enormous change. And to be honest, I was going to kind of avoid the topic because I think it's been talked about a lot. However I've recently was speaking with the, the head of marketing at a consumer brand. And he was talking to me about the fact that his company, which had gone obviously remote now for manufacturers, there's, you know, your manufacturing, people need to be in the plant. You know, I mean, things don't get made without human beings making it happen, but there's a whole other set of capabilities that, that went remote and could stay remote. And they're insisting that everyone come back and I suppose everyone has to decide for themselves whether or not that's the right decision. But in my mind, particularly when I think about the digital realm, there's so many employment opportunities out there for the digitally savvy people that to insist on, on coming back completely to the way things were seems to me. But I would love your thought on this. Like how should, how should companies be thinking about the value of being in-person versus remote work and the, and the, the employment opportunities that opens up?

Gerald Kane (17:20):

Yeah, I mean, and th we're going to see that's the other sort of quote unquote exciting time is I think we're going to see a massive reshuffling. And there's no one right answer for everybody because employees say under 35 have hated remote work. You know, if I ask my students who wants to go work in an office, I think it was almost 100% for various reasons. They don't have a great work at home environment. They don't have a family to, you know, that they are spending time with have roommates that they may or may not get along with, but are stuck with. Whereas somebody, my age I'm perfectly content to stay at home. I got to spend more time with my teenagers and we bonded over stuff, but they hated it for a lot of it, but it was a great time.

Gerald Kane (18:02):

You know, I, there were aspects of a lockdown that were really rewarding for me and I got, and I was super productive because I didn't have to go to pointless meetings. I didn't have to go commute into the office. So, but what we're seeing, so first thing to do, what I recommend companies do is at the very least take a step back survey your employees get a sense of where people are, what people want and figure out how you're going to combine the best of both worlds. Because I think anybody that says we're staying remote fully that's also not a great solution because there are things that you can do, like starting new projects as much better in person. Building culture is much better in person mentoring and, and networking as much better in person. And a lot of those things, innovation is much better in person.

Gerald Kane (18:56):

And so to, to throw all of that out, I think would be a mistake. At the same time, many companies have found that they can hire a more diverse workforce that they can get a more robust employee and talent base. It opens up new markets to them. That I think it'd be silly to only limit yourself to co located employees, particularly in San Francisco and Silicon valley. They've found that they've been able to access immense new talent because they're not limited to only people who can afford or willing to pay the premium to live in the San Francisco bay area. And so, you know, what do you do? And in some cases you know, one company I worked with started the pandemic with 10 employees is coming out of it with over a hundred. They had a very strong in-person office culture to start, but then the nine, the 900% growth were all employees that were outside of the area.

Gerald Kane (19:54):

So how do you go back into the office when all your employees are somewhere else? And so I think it's good. I think employees are going to have lots of choices. I think there's demand super demand for the best talent out there. And so I think companies that decide on one path forward without doing some reflection, some survey of their employees to figuring out what it is they want their organization to be brainstorming about what is the value of in-person work versus remote work? I just think those companies are going to struggle because I think we are in a massive reshuffle and we may change up as things go. And so I do think it's worth companies rather than this declaring one way or the other spending some time thinking about it and working with their employees. Otherwise they may find that some of their best employees leave because they have more opportunities to do so than ever before.

Peter (20:50):

It was a I'm trying to find it here in my notes. You, you said in your research, the good news is that early data from Asia suggests a little co-location can go a long way toward reducing the limitations of remote work. And a friend of mine works for a large consulting organization and they've been remote throughout, but now the things are starting to come back together. What they're having teams do is just go co-located in a city that you all want to go to for a week and, and you get together in conference rooms and hash things out. And I thought that was really smart. I mean, you know, they, they have the travel budget flexibility to be able to do that kind of thing, but it makes sense that let's at least make people happy where they're, where they're getting together. Absolutely. Are you seeing things like that? Yeah, actually

Gerald Kane (21:42):

This is the first I've seen it, but I have certainly I call it the destination organization where, you know, that's a way, so when we talk about hybrid work, you know, there's a tendency of, oh, I go into the office two days a week and I'm home three days a week, or vice versa. There are so many different, more robust ways that think about hybrid work. Like these destination organizations where you go to a place like, you know, so if everybody's going in every other day, do they go in together or do they, you know, what, how do you make sure the right people are together at the right place at the right time? Because just saying, come in half the time isn't going to work, you don't get those synergies and you don't get those serendipitous connection. So now the bright side is we have a lot of electronic data and that's what humanized was doing was sort of looking at electronic data to look at what's working.

Gerald Kane (22:32):

And what's not particularly in global organizations can use data from one region or not, or another to sort of figure out what's going to work better in other situations. So yeah, I think, I think for me, if I were to say there is an answer generally, it's, it's some sort of hybrid workplace. What hybrid workplace, what a hybrid workplace though, is so varied and has so much potential. I think it's worth spending some time consciously and intentionally thinking about what that's going to work look like, because you know, this is an unprecedented opportunity to sort of engage in organizational change with an a historically low level of resistance. You'd be silly not to take advantage of this opportunity to figure out what can be your best organization going forward without this massive political campaign and change management initiative, data that habits have been disrupted. You have a unique opportunity to rebuild the organization. You want to be the best organization. It can be, take some time thinking about that and figuring it out before you make any single position.

Peter (23:44):

Jerry, I just love idea of now is the time like people have, you know, fortunately, or unfortunately in a lot of ways, unfortunately have to have come accustomed to change in this moment. And that is the time to keep shaking until you, you get to, to the practices that are going to restore growth and, and make people feel safe and et cetera, right?

Gerald Kane (24:12):

Not just restore growth, accelerate growth. That's what I was trying to ship them point set is. And that, you know, I've got to give credit to my coauthor, rich Nanda. Who's the strategy head of Deloitte. This has been his lesson the whole time is this is, this is an unprecedented opportunity. And there been so many cool things I've seen. We interviewed the sportswear company fanatics and in 2020 summer of 2020, they did a $350 million fundraising round because they knew they were going to be opportunities for equity, mergers, and acquisitions out there. So they wanted to raise money. It got oversubscribed the following summer, no March. I think, I don't remember that they raised another $350 million at a $12 billion valuation or whatever double it was before. So they were able to innovate. And another company I talked to called trove said, you know, his attitude, they said we can't afford not to take advantage of this opportunity to grow our business.

Gerald Kane (25:14):

And that the best leaders see opportunity everywhere. And as I interviewed digitally mature and digitally resilient companies, that optimistic mindset and that, that opportunistic mindset was that characteristics that really sort of defined those people. And that's something I think that it's not just some people were born with. I think it's, they just recognize the opportunity. And I think what I'm trying to do, if I'm getting a bit evangelical, I'm sorry. But I do think this is, you know, managers and executives need to have that shift in mindset that this is our, this is our time. This is our chances, our opportunity to make the organization enact the strategy, develop the change and recruit the employees, whatever it is, this is the time because there's never been a better time to sort of make those changes, make that growth, turbocharge your company into the, into the future. I love it. I want to say

Speaker 4 (26:18):

[Inaudible] absolutely get on board. So I can't,

Peter (26:21):

I can't let you go without, there's a chapter 11 rebuilding disrupted customer relationships. I'm not going to go through it in detail on this recording because there's so much there. And I want people to get the book and read it in. It'll be on the shelves when in September 28th, 2021.

Gerald Kane (26:42):


Peter (26:43):

Okay. So, so let's make sure you, and I think, can you, pre-order it

Gerald Kane (26:49):

Yep. It is available on Amazon and your local bookseller and independence and all that sort of stuff.

Peter (26:55):

Terrific. So so many relationships with customers have been disrupted during this time, right? And you talk about the need to establish trust or re-establish trust, excuse me. And so you talk about the need to establish trust or re-establish trust, and you talk about four dimensions, humanity, transparency, capability, and reliability just cause I'm sort of all heart-centered person. Yeah. I'd love to just focus on humanity, which you described and you're off the coauthors described as being the most salient. Tell me about what that word means in terms of customer relationships and how you can sort of establish humanity at scale.

Gerald Kane (27:46):

Yeah. and that's a great question and that may be one there. I got to give credit where credit's due. This chapter was really mostly the brainchild of my coauthor, Jonathan Copulsky, who teaches marketing at Northwestern and is the former COO at Deloitte. So this was one of his big things. But you know, I think it goes through one thing we've seen come out, and this is not just with employee. This is not just with customers, but with, also with employees, is this, we've seen the new sense of authenticity is treating people like people and not just as numbers on the page and not just as slots on the org chart and not just as dah, dah, dah, that, you know, there's nothing like a shared crisis to help us see each other as genuine people. And so the more that you can, I think, you know, and then in a period where we've a lot of us have been locked down that we're craving human con, you know, I've talked to more random strangers over the last several months, probably in the last 10 years, because you know, you have something in common, you know, they're dealing with the same stuff.

Gerald Kane (28:53):

And so the more you can humanize your brand human, give your employees the opportunity to humanize the interactions with people to be personable to be empathetic. You know, if we go back to Humana and they're sort of dealing with food insecurities, they didn't go looking for that. Their call center employees just, there was just noticing an uptick in mentionings of that by the consumer, by their customers while they were on routine calls with them. And so to have the mechanisms by which they can elevate those concerns to a level by which the organization could then mobilize and act on it. I mean, to me, that is if there's ever been a bigger of response of humanity where, you know, a company develops a capability, simply because their customers are in need of it, you know, that's the best example ever. And so how do you begin to collect that data?

Gerald Kane (29:56):

So you're talking about it at scale. How do you begin to collect the data and analyze that data? So you can begin to get some of the needs that people have. And I do think people are struggling right now, not just financially for those people, but emotionally and socially. And you know, we're here on Cape Cod and there's a, although people are here vacationing and relaxing, there is a sort of a sense of tension underneath where a lot of businesses have had real problems with customers being aggressive and combative. And, and how do you sort of, and we've seen, you know, businesses, like one of the local restaurants here shut down because they didn't like the way that their employees were being treated. And that's a way to humanize the brand to say, we're going to make business decisions to protect our employees. And they've seen such a massive outpouring from the community of support that you know, just act. So it's not just about marketing, it's not just about reaching out, but it's about having communicating the humanity of your organization. So people are interacting with people rather than people are interacting with a massive corporation or just a business or whatever. Yeah.

Peter (31:10):

And I think that's such an important opportunity for our listeners who as brand manufacturers, you know, for a lot of years, it was put product on a pallet and ship it to a retailer and, and I'm oversimplifying, but call it a day. Right. But now with the consumer, you know, talk about disruptive customer relationships, the consumer has disrupted the relationship with their brands, right? They are going to shop wherever the heck they want to shop and they want the information they need when they need it, or they'll go find somebody else. And I feel like I'm using these new direct to consumer relationships as data gathering opportunities to feed every other interaction is a big opportunity, but also a huge data and systems challenge for absolutely. Yeah. You've been seeing that. I think that's where some of the

Gerald Kane (32:00):

Value comes from because, and that's where, that's where it goes from just being a you know, a night, not, I want to say platitude, but an attitude to a discipline it's how do we take it from, okay. We want our, our employees to engage with humanity, but then, you know, what does that look like? We have data that can, that can tell us that we can analyze this. We can do it with discipline and structure. And you know, as a data geek, I love doing that stuff.

Peter (32:28):

So Terry, to close first of all, I want to make sure I get it right. Prof Kane, K a N e.com or, or

Gerald Kane (32:37):

P R O F K N e.com.

Peter (32:40):

And, and, and as, as Jerry said, there are amazing case study stories on that site that I think will be inspirational. And hopefully it will inspire you to to read the book. But one of the things you did was you held off right. In the epilogue until the last possible moment. Right. And and the quote that I love from the epilogue was the only response to a world characterized by disruption is to build the capabilities, to engage in ongoing workplace re-invention

Gerald Kane (33:10):

Yes. Because, so we had to finish the book in October. And so that's why we said, please let us hold off on this. So if you think of what happened between October 20, 20, and now, I mean, vaccines, elections, political uprisings you know, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, it's a different world now than it was then. And it, it goes with that tension of how do we possibly write a book while we're, while we're living through the phenomenon we're writing about. And it was that step back that said, what we're writing about is disruption. And that is not new. That is not limited to this event that is not going to end anytime soon. And in fact, I think more disruption from a business perspective is still in advance as we cope with the aftershock and the fallout of, of COVID.

Gerald Kane (34:02):

But, you know, regardless, and, and you should note that that quote came from Shamim Mohammad. Who's the CIO of CarMax in 2016. And when he took over, he said, I don't know what the future is going to be. Like, all I can do is create an organization that can adapt to change. And boy was he right? You know, he didn't need to know that the pandemic was coming, but he built an organization that was able to adapt to whatever chance threw at him. And it's been invaluably helpful as they've coped with the pandemic. So I think that is the right answer. And that's sort of our, our framing of the book is you know, it's not about COVID, it's about disruption and let's learn from this disruption to help us with our next one. Because in our interviews we saw many of our respondents said, why knew how to do this?

Gerald Kane (34:53):

Because I dealt with a financial crisis, or I dealt with nine 11 where I dealt with dadada, you know, I dealt with crisis before. So I dusted off that playbook to say, how do we need to do this? A great example is Hilton. You know, they said you know, 90% drop in demand, what are you going to do? And Hilton just said, rather than trying to hang on to money or hold people to reservations, they just said, give it all back because we know if we do it right now, customers are going to remember it a year from now two years from now and Hilton. There's another great example with Hilton of treating their employees really well. In the midst of laying off 45 or 55,000 people, they're still voted the number three best place to work in America. Because of the humanity going back the, with the way they treated their customers, their employees. And that was a very intentional decision on their part. And it looks like it's paying off.

Peter (35:49):

I go back to those four qualities of, of of establishing trust, whether it's customers, employees, whoever humanity, transparency, capability, and reliability. And Jerry, I have to say your, your book just digs into all of those in spades. One area I didn't even get to, which is super frustrating is the, you, you outline the four skills of leaders who are ready for disruptive change. So if I might impose, could I try and get you back some time to talk about those set of skills? Because I know our listeners would, would benefit from them.

Gerald Kane (36:28):

Absolutely. We'd be happy to talk further.

Peter (36:29):

You are very kind and generous. So again, the book is the transformation myth tremendous read, backed up by, I think, 10,000 survey. It was 20,000, 20,000

Gerald Kane (36:44):

That were before I should clarify. We we've been researching digital disruption generally for the last eight to 10 years. And this, we found that many of those insights really informed what companies were dealing with. So it's not anything fundamentally new. It's just an acceleration of where things have been going. And we use that data to sort of give us insights into what we're dealing with now.

Peter (37:09):

Great. Well, professor Kane thank you so much for, for coming on and discussing this book. And I look forward to part two of this conversation. Me too. Thank you so much. Thanks Jerry Kane for joining us, please share this episode with your colleagues as there is more disruption to come and the link to the Amazon product detail page for the book is in the show notes. We'd love to hear from you drop me an email@peteratdigitalshelfinstitute.org. Thanks for being part of our community.