Britta Daffner on Disrupting Business

27 Jul, 2021

Britta Daffner knows a thing or two about reinventing your business. She is Practice Leader of Data and Technology Transformation at IBM, and the author of a brand-new book to boot. Her Disruption DNA collects successful stories of digital transformation in business

1. Which topics and issues drive today's business?

The most important driver of business is change. In a world that’s changing exponentially, any organization must constantly reinvent itself, exploring the future while capitalizing on the present. They must foster a culture of innovation and a culture of leadership that coexist harmoniously under one roof, push for new business models, and cross traditional industry boundaries.

 2 ... And what are the biggest challenges?

The greatest challenge in business is bringing together all its different fields, and thus very different people. This requires leadership skills in team and senior management, but it can continuously drive innovation in large organizations, taking people along in the process and inspiring them to rethink and change.

3. What innovations and tech trends do you find particularly exciting?

I find the vast field of biotechnology very exciting. Its medical applications, for example, are leading to new treatment options for rare and complex illnesses, as well as genetic tests to better identify hereditary diseases. Biotech also plays a major role in replacing environmentally harmful materials and chemical processes with more sustainable biological alternatives.

4. Which ideas have inspired you recently?

Germany plans to ban single-use plastic by the end of 2021. Among various initiatives I've heard about, there's one idea that would never have crossed my mind: edible cutlery that apparently tastes great. The Greentech startup FRENVI, from Mannheim, works by the motto: "Tasty not wasty".

 5. Why do cultural change and digital transformation belong together?

Digital transformation without cultural change is simply not possible. Culture can be either the greatest barrier or the best accelerator for change and innovation. A great example of this is Amazon. That company has managed to grow tremendously and consistently reinvent itself, but only because it has built a corporate culture that enables constant pioneering.

6. In one sentence, what's a topic that we should no longer be discussing in five years?

Why diversity and people’s equality matter.

7. What makes companies or leaders successful in the long run?

What makes companies and leadership successful in the long term is the ability to constantly question and reinvent themselves.

Curaze

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