George Westerman

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Leading Authority on Digital Transformation, Innovation, IT Leadership and Cybersecurity; Expert on Driving Advantage Through Technology; Principal Research Scientist with the MIT Sloan Initiative on the Digital Economy

Biography

Dr. George Westerman works at the dynamic intersection of executive leadership and technology strategy.  During more than 17 years with MIT Sloan School of Management, he has written three award-winning books, including “Leading Digital: Turning Technology Into Business Transformation.” As a pioneering researcher on digital transformation, Westerman has published papers in Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, and other top journals.  He is now focused on helping employers, educators, and other groups to rethink the process of workforce learning around the world.

Westerman is co-chair of the MIT Sloan CIO Leadership Awards, a member of the Digital Strategy Roundtable for the US Library of Congress, and faculty director for two executive courses at MIT Sloan. He works frequently with senior management teams and industry groups around the world. Prior to earning a Doctorate from Harvard Business School, he gained more than 13 years of experience in product development and technology leadership roles.

George Westerman is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Videos

Books & Research

Leading Digital: Turning Technology into Business Transformation

(Harvard Business Review Press, October 2014)

The Real Business of IT: How CIOs Create and Communicate Value

(Harvard Business Press, October 2009)

IT Risk: Turning Business Threats into Competitive Advantage

(Harvard Business Review, August 2007)

A-Z Name

Westerman, George

Biography

Dr. George Westerman works at the dynamic intersection of executive leadership and technology strategy.  During more than 17 years with MIT Sloan School of Management, he has written three award-winning books, including “Leading Digital: Turning Technology Into Business Transformation.” As a pioneering researcher on digital transformation, Westerman has published papers in Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, and other top journals.  He is now focused on helping employers, educators, and other groups to rethink the process of workforce learning around the world.

Westerman is co-chair of the MIT Sloan CIO Leadership Awards, a member of the Digital Strategy Roundtable for the US Library of Congress, and faculty director for two executive courses at MIT Sloan. He works frequently with senior management teams and industry groups around the world. Prior to earning a Doctorate from Harvard Business School, he gained more than 13 years of experience in product development and technology leadership roles.

George Westerman is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Speech Topics

Coming Back Stronger: Managing the People Side of COVID

The COVID crisis accelerated many changes already underway with digital transformation. It also introduced huge amounts of uncertainty for managers and workers. In this talk, George Westerman will discuss how leaders can help the company, and its employees, to emerge successfully from the crisis. He’ll share research-driven insights on how you can build a more digital-ready culture that responds quickly to fast-changing conditions, how a transformative model of learning and development is ideally suited for the current reality, and how today’s challenges can position you to drive digital transformation more powerfully than ever before.

Leading Digital: Transforming Your Organization with New Technologies

Fueled by mobility, analytics, social media, cloud computing and embedded devices, companies in every industry are mapping their way through the digital universe. Yet some firms are far outpacing others in their ability to drive new value from digital technology. Why?  Drawing from his book, “Leading Digital: Turning Technology into Business Transformation,” George Westerman shows how effective leaders can transform their businesses – customer engagement, operations and business models — to continuously create new value from technology. This session will help leaders at all levels develop the skills needed to drive digital transformation in their organizations.

Participants will leave this session with:

  • An understanding of digital mastery and its implications
  • Case studies of how Digital Masters have earned digital advantage
  • Self-assessment and tools to drive digital advantage in your organization

Driving Digital Transformation: How to Turn Your Company into a Digital Master

What do companies as diverse as Burberry, Caesar’s, Nike, Codelco and Asian Paints have in common? They are all Digital Masters, says George Westerman; they use social, mobile, analytics and other technologies to transform the way they do business. Regardless of their industry, Digital Masters are 26% more profitable than the competition, giving them a huge digital advantage. As part of their DNA, Digital Masters invest in digital innovations and build the leadership skills to turn technology into transformation. This session will help leaders at all levels to play their parts in the strategic digital conversation.

Participants will leave this session with:

  • An understanding of the DNA of Digital Masters
  • Case studies of how Digital Masters have earned their digital advantage.

IT is From Venus, Non-IT is from Mars

In many companies, the relationship between business leaders and IT departments is like a troubled marriage: they share commitment but lack good communication. Unable to find common ground – and a common vocabulary – they find that their relationship is tense and unproductive. Decision-making is slower and more difficult than it should be. IT solutions seem more expensive and complex than necessary. It doesn’t have to be this way, says George Westerman. Like any strong relationship, the key is transparent communication about what really matters. This session focuses on four common areas of miscommunication in the IT/Business relationship – establishing trust; making better investment decisions; creating value; and exploiting the power of technology – and gives tools to improve them.

Participants will leave the talk able to:

  • Understand the four key areas of miscommunication in the IT/business relationship
  • Understand the reasons for disagreement and how to resolve them
  • Use tools and case studies designed to help you change your IT/Business relationship

How to Have the IT Risk Conversation: Delivering New Value from IT Risk Management

Understanding IT risk is fundamental to driving advantage from IT.  But few people outside of IT enjoy– or even know how – to talk about it. Too often, silos of risk intended to prevent incidents actually prevent organizations from capturing valuable opportunities. Research shows that companies with fewer incidents, more efficiency and stronger IT/business relationships manage IT risk differently. They start by defining a common language for talking about key IT risks and the value of risk management activities. This shared understanding enables better decisions about IT risk and IT management in general. Using insights from his award-winning book, “IT Risk: Turning Business Threats into Competitive Advantage,” Westerman discusses how to take charge of the IT risk conversation, transforming risk management from a necessary cost into a new source of business value.

IT executives and leaders will leave the talk able to:

  • Lead more effective conversations about needed improvements in IT infrastructure, methods and capabilities
  • Make better decisions about IT risk – and IT management in general
  • Apply tools, self-assessments and case studies to help jump-start and guide conversations about IT risk

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Books & Research

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Workshops

The Future of Work in the COVID-19 Era

For decades, automation and technology innovation have changed the mix of skills demanded by business. Now the COVID-19 crisis has created a discontinuity in these trends. As businesses reopen, they will be different from the past – both in the work they do, and they skills their workers need.

The “future of work” conversation that has been happening over recent years now has much more urgency. How will jobs change as we return to “normal”? Which skills and jobs will grow or shrink in demand? How will jobs change? What does this mean for workers, who will need to learn new skills to cope with these changes?

In this workshop, George Westerman will work with you to examine the changing nature of the demand for skills, discuss the current crisis, and make projections about what this means for the future of skills in your company.

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