879: AI can serve as a great enabler of customer experiences and breakthrough innovations, but a lack of preparation and organizational readiness often limits how quickly companies can adopt and leverage AI tools. In this episode of Technovation, we feature a panel from our May 2024 Metis Strategy Digital Symposium where Praveen Jonnala, CIO of CommScope, and Tim Dickson, CDIO of Regal Rexnord, speak with Metis Strategy Partner and Central Office Lead Mike Bertha about how organizations can prepare to leverage AI effectively. The panel explores strategies like the 80/20 principle of organizational readiness at CommScope, the creation and implementation of AI playbooks, and the importance of data quality. Learn about practical approaches to upskilling internal teams, leveraging external partners, and focusing on business-driven AI initiatives. 

Also available on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tivq9nY18Hg

865: CEOs of major companies serve as both the public face of the organization and pivotal leaders responsible for shaping its strategy and upholding internal values through their actions. In this episode of Technovation, Jim Kavanaugh, co-founder and CEO of World Wide Technology, joins Peter High in a conversation regarding his 34-year leadership tenure at the company and the career path that culminated in his current position. Jim shares his early career journey, playing professional soccer and representing the United States in the 1984 Summer Olympics, and what led him to pivot into technology and co-found WWT in 1990. He reflects on the transition from athlete to entrepreneur, the influence of his upbringing, and the foundational values that have guided his leadership and WWT’s culture. Jim also gives his assessment of the evolution of technology since starting WWT, the strategic pivots the company has made to stay ahead in the industry, and the importance of culture, teamwork, and continuous learning in driving success. Given the rise and current significance of generative AI as a transformative technology, Jim talks about the role this technology plays at the company and how WWT’s Advanced Technology Center explores future tech advancements. Finally, he recounts the lessons he has learned from his remarkable career and offers valuable advice for individuals seeking to level up their leadership within their organizations.

Also available on YouTube:

https://youtu.be/T6PnxUFIDo0

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This episode is sponsored by Nile.

859: As the digital landscape continues to evolve rapidly, executives are quick to understand that doing the same thing they did before isn’t going to get them where they need to go in the future. In a panel from our February 2024 Metis Strategy Symposium, Sunbelt Rentals CDTO JP Saini and Grainger CTO Jonny LeRoy join Metis Strategy Co-Head of Research, Media, and Executive Networks Steven Norton in a discussion about digital as an enabler of scale and how these executives are evolving their organizations’ business practices through the integration of technology and people to achieve growth and efficiency. JP and Jonny share insights on their companies’ journeys toward digital transformation, focusing on scaling operations, enhancing customer experiences, and improving predictive maintenance and service quality. These executives also cover the significance of culture, value alignment, and leadership in driving innovation and operational change. The discussion also covers the role of AI in enhancing productivity and decision-making highlighting the practical applications both JP and Jonny have identified and the challenges they’ve encountered in managing the costs of emerging technology. Finally, both technology leaders conclude with strategies they’ve implemented within their organizations for maintaining a forward-looking mindset and inspiring teams to navigate the dynamic landscape of technology and business.

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This episode is sponsored by Nile.

834: The introduction of ChatGPT and generative AI this past year has pivoted the conversation around AI in terms of how this new technology fits into a company’s broader transformation strategy. In a panel from our December 2023 Metis Strategy Symposium, Vishal Gupta, CITO of Lexmark, and Sumedh Mehta, CIO of Putnam Investments, join Metis Strategy’s Steven Norton in a conversation about driving an enterprise AI mindset and the implications the new technology has across the business. Vishal adds color to his role and team structure at Lexmark, the value he aims to deliver with new AI capabilities, and the importance that trust holds when driving a mindset shift. Sumedh expands on this with details on how he breaks down the silos present between teams at Putnam, collaborates with strategic partners to deliver AI capabilities, and brings talent into the organization to realize a successful AI strategy.

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832: As AI tools become more prevalent across companies, executives are putting more emphasis on refining processes and implementing new technology to compete in a future defined by data. In a panel from our most recent Metis Strategy Digital Symposium, Vish Narendra, CIO & SVP of Global Business Services at Graphic Packaging, and Filippo Catalano, CIDO at Reckitt, join Metis Strategy’s Alex Kraus on the virtual stage to discuss how they are leading the transformation in preparation for the data-driven future and the key ingredients necessary to ensure success. Throughout the discussion, both executives explain the importance of data hygiene and proper data governance as a part of a company’s data strategy and what it looks like to operationalize these new AI tools available to them. Vish and Filippo also touch on the impact AI will have on business including the value they hope to see from the use cases they’ve explored, the implications the technology will have on talent strategy, and generally what the art of the possible looks like. Finally, each panelist shares their perspective on the challenges they are facing when it comes to AI and their strategies for hedging their bets.

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828: In order for the technology organization within an enterprise to function properly, there must be a deliberate focus on talent and collaboration. According to W.W. Grainger CTO Jonny LeRoy, “technology is a team sport.” In this interview, Jonny discusses how he fosters this collaboration within his technology team and how this focus on talent is a key part of the company’s overall strategy. Jonny explains the three major components of talent development, the approach he takes to in-person versus remote work environments, and what it means to make the workplace a magnet rather than a mandate. He also talks about the process of modernizing the nearly 100-year-old company, efforts to adopt automation, and the company’s overall data strategy inclusive of cybersecurity. Finally, Jonny looks ahead at the future of generative AI, identifies the methods of finding focus areas for customer interactions, and reflects on his unique career path into technology.

Also available on YouTube:

802: Thomas Benjamin; EVP, CTO, and Head of Platform & Analytics R&D at National Instruments (NI); discusses the innovation he is leading at the company focused on what he calls ‘Horizon 3’ technologies and the preparation needed to take advantage of these technologies down the road. He shares how his team is organized across the diverse segments that are a part of the broader business and the ways in which these segments interact and collaborate with the IT organization. Thomas also gives an in-depth overview of the innovation labs he leads, the potential value that generative AI can bring to NI, and the skills that will be necessary to leverage these emerging technologies. Finally, he reflects on the lessons he has learned across his diversified career path, explains the benefit of being a hands-on leader, and looks ahead at the trends in technology that he believes will change the game.

Also available on YouTube:

795: Alina discusses the future of innovation, cybersecurity, and IT. With over three years of experience as CIO, Alina delves into the company’s strategy around artificial intelligence, its robust and unique approach to cybersecurity, and its commitment to data protection. Regarding innovation, she speaks to the partnership with R&D for groundbreaking initiatives and areas to revolutionize while introducing continuous improvement and automation to a field of R&D. Alina also talks about the implementation of training and upskilling policies around cybersecurity. Finally, Alina looks ahead at the latest trends in technology and reflects on the key drivers of her career success.

Also available on YouTube:

794: Vishal Gupta joins the broadcast to explain the elements behind his broad purview in corporate and IT strategy. Vishal explains the structure of his relatively new team and how he trains the talent he hires through Lexmark’s Cohort Training Program. Vishal talks about overseeing the company’s overarching corporate strategy, the innovation he is driving, and the security implications that come with what he and his team are developing. Of the innovation discussed, Vishal specifically dives deep into his perspective on the potential of AI and Generative AI within the firm. Finally, he reflects on the keys to his success and looks ahead at the trends in technology that excite him.

Also available on YouTube:

787: Ramesh discusses the modernization efforts at the company and the AI journey he has led. He has driven a remarkable transformation and instilled a positive, driven mindset across the organization. In this insightful conversation, we explore the company’s thriving AI journey, its participation in the surrounding community, and the cultural shifts that accompanied its modernization efforts. Discover Ramesh’s keys to success and the tech trends that are shaping the future of the industry.

Also available on YouTube: