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Leadership in the Age of Digital Disruption – A Chat with Charles Araujo

digital disruption

Charles Araujo has a passion. He wants to see a generation of IT leaders develop and grow and he is determined to do whatever he can to encourage the development of an environment where this can happen.

Attendees at the upcoming itSMF Norway ‘Working 9 to 5’ conference, being held in Oslo from March 3-5, will get a chance to experience Charles’ vision of the future in his keynote address on the final day of the event.

This promises to be a speech to remember and it will challenge the way the audience thinks of the current models for leadership in our industry and in the business at large.

Come prepared to be taken on a journey to a new reality, one where the IT organization and its leaders will need to reinvent themselves in order to meet the needs of a new digital society. Having been able to experience the energy of Charles’ presentations on a number of occasions, I can confidently predict that he will inspire discussion, debate and bring an air of positivity and excitement to the event.

Charles travelled to New Zealand in May of 2014, and has drawn on some of his experiences on that trip for his address at the conference. He sees a lot of demographic similarities between the populations of Norway and New Zealand, making this experience very appropriate in relation to the itSMF Norway conference.

During that trip Charles spoke to a group of people that were totally non-IT aligned, he had no idea what he was getting into with this, and took a step back to refocus his thoughts. He needed to look at the broader implications of his work on leadership and to understand what it meant to other parts of the business.

“My presentation in Norway is going to be an expanded version of the speech I gave in Auckland last year.”

“This isn’t just about IT anymore, we are in the middle of a seismic shift that is really affecting everything about how business, and even more than business, how society operates.”

Charles believes that we have been ensconced in the industrial age for the past 200 years, but we are now moving into a new age. The structure of our organizations has not changed since the industrial age, despite all the technology and social development; nothing has shifted to any great extent. But that is now starting to change, it has been happening slowly for he past 20 years, but it is now speeding up.

“The fundamental mechanisms that are operating our businesses are changing, says Charles. “I believe we are moving to, what I call, the movie studio business model.” This is a model where a whole series of smaller companies, actually make the movie and the movie studio simply assembles a team of companies, provides a layer of infrastructure, finance and insurance that delivers the product to market.

“I think this is going to be the business model for the future as businesses cannot be nimble enough to do everything themselves, but we still need the underlying infrastructure for things to work.”

Charles believes that this means we are moving into an era where the fundamental models of leadership have changed and the whole concept of being a leader has shifted…”the people you lead may not work for you or even report to you, they probably won’t even work in the same company as you.”

“The concept of leadership from the industrial age is going to be turned upside down in this digitally disrupted world we are going to be living in. This has totally mind-blowing implications for the leadership model of our IT organizations.”

Charles warns that organizational integrity and security will become ‘one heck of a challenge’ for IT in the future.

If these radical ideas intrigue you, as they do me, makes sure you are in the audience on Thursday March 5 in Oslo.

About Charles

charlieCharles Araujo is a recovering consultant and accidental author of the book, The Quantum Age of IT: Why Everything You Know About IT is About to Change. He is an internationally recognized authority on “IT Leadership” and liberally shares his message of hope about the future of IT and what it means for all of us. He is the founder and CEO of the IT Transformation Institute and serves on the boards of itSMF USA and the Executive Next Practices Institute. He is a regular contributor to CIO Insight Magazine and has been quoted in or published in magazines, blogs and websites including Time, CIO, CIO&Leader, ZDNet, IT Business Edge, ITSM Portal, TechRepublic, itSMF USA’s Forum, SupportWorld, Computerworld, USA Today and Forbes. 

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