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Innovating for a digital future

The leadership challenge

Digital Future


This is the final paper in our digital leadership series, during which we have grappled with some of the key challenges facing manager in technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) organisations. In developing this series Deloitte LLP and Spencer Stuart have combined their own expertise with the perspectives derived from interviews with leaders across the TMT sector. In this third paper, we focus on a critical challenge for TMT companies – how to innovate beyond products or deeply ingrained ways of working which have been successful to date but which are now holding back an organisation from its next stage of evolution.

Key findings

Innovation stands out as the differentiator that has enabled these organisations to drive value by ceaselessly driving beyond their core products or by breaking through entrenched ways of working. We were keen to see if we could learn valuable lessons from their success.

At the heart of our research in to effective innovation we found three unexpected paradoxes:

  1. Innovation is a social sport. It is not the preserve of ‘lone geniuses’ – yet it requires lone geniuses working effectively with others to make it work.
  2. Innovation is somewhat anarchic, ‘organisations’ can impede it. Innovation rates substantially increase where there is a large population of people yet large organisations do not appear to gain an innovation premium – the construct of organisation itself, is in many ways anti-innovation.
  3. 'Good’ failure is critical to the innovation process. For innovation to flourish organisations need to embrace failure; yet not many CEOs would survive if they made failure a virtue.


Download  Innovating for a digital future: Full report (PDF)

Download  Innovating for a digital future: Extended case studies (PDF)

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