John Hill CDIO – CIO Korea

interview | “To truly increase organizational digital agility (ODA)…”

After surveying 132 CIOs, MSC Industrial Supply’s John Hill CDIO advocated the concept of ‘organizational digital agility’. Businesses must change behavior, not processes, to make their digital initiatives successful, he stresses. John Hill, chief digital information officer (CDIO) at MSC Industrial Supply, received his doctorate in business administration in May. His doctoral dissertation examined the following questions: ‘Why do most companies have surprisingly high failure rates for digital initiatives, despite years of investment in project management, change management, and more recently in agile principles?’ Hill’s conclusion was that companies needed ODA, the ability to quickly and efficiently create digital functions. “My hypothesis was that many companies had certain behaviors that hampered their projects and hampered their effectiveness. Good project and change management capabilities alone are not enough to advance digital capabilities.” What is organizational digital agility? According to Hill, ODA consists of three components: slack, alignment and speed. ‘Loose’ is defined as a resource that can be moved from one project to another without losing value. “If everyone is fully involved in the operations project, there can be risks to the operations initiative if it has to be done for something more urgent,” Hill said. Due to laxity, CIOs do not allocate all resources to operational issues. They allocate some to innovation, education, or continual improvement, and may pause to shift these resources to more urgent ones. “The key to the slack is that moving resources from innovation to high-priority projects poses little operational risk,” says Hill. These resources allow us to innovate without sacrificing productivity.”

John Hill CDIO
digital agility

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The article is in Korean

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