Implementing my learning into my career and organisation

07 March 2023

Executive Diploma in Digital Leadership participant, Ben Huskisson, shares how the programme has impacted his career journey.

I am proud to say that the Warwick Business School (WBS) Executive Diploma in Digital Leadership has helped me enormously, both personally and professionally.

This programme illustrated that digital transformation is not just one thing. It is not one product. It is not one service. It is not just better use of data. It is not just technology. Digital transformation necessitates wholesale and, organisational changes. It is an interconnection and collaboration of people and processes with data and technology.

The course emphasised that any digital transformation benefits from a clear definition of vision, mission and objectives, which must be robustly communicated and supported by the highest grades in the company and then delivered by a dedicated leader.

The course, cohort and tutors collectively highlighted that:

  • Digital transformation (the fourth industrial revolution) offers key opportunities but, equally, there are major barriers to overcome
  • Unlocking and using data effectively is crucial for every business, to improve analytics and increase revenue
  • The importance of developing coherent strategies for artificial intelligence (AI), platform strategy and blockchain
  • Maximising value from external sources and the plethora of new business opportunities that exist working with start-ups.

During the course, I was encouraged to draw on my own leadership experiences throughout my career. The course made me realise that the need to embrace digital transformation is immediate, and global in scale and will have a massive impact on the built environment. Most significantly, a practical translation of the modules into one’s work environment was the ‘take home’ factor for me. This allowed me to examine the impact of digital roadmaps and strategies I have developed and explore how I can take them forward.

I firmly believe this qualification will accelerate the next steps of my career, taking my professional development journey from strength to strength. Joining the course at WBS has ultimately accelerated my move to becoming a Chief Digital Officer (CDO) who is now responsible for implementing digital transformation within a large consultancy in the built environment sector.

As a CDO I will have to unify the digital transformation mission and connect it to the company vision. There must be intent and measurable outputs linked to the objectives to help visualise the changes and make the transformation more tangible. It is clear to me, as a CDO, that I must leverage my resilience, leadership and communication skills, business acumen, and knowledge of technology, as it can help what a business does now as well as in the future and, finally, credibility within and outside of the organisation.

As CDO I intend to drive:

  • Energy and enthusiasm within the company about the possibilities and benefits of digital transformation
  • Augmentation of our systems and process by progressing a service excellence programme, automating and offshoring wherever beneficial to do so
  • Globalising our technology, advancing cloud infrastructure, and interconnecting software
  • Better use of our data, by formulating and delivering a global data strategy, which will enable worldwide insights, analytics, efficiency, and business modernisation
  • Digital innovation and revenue — an exciting priority for me. We are going to build new solutions for our clients, including a blend of services, products and apps. We are going to work with start-ups and progress a platform business model. We have a great client base, whom we need to help safely benefit from the abundance of innovative offers available.

Every organisation in the built environment faces strategic challenges associated with digital transformation. The impact of data, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, AI, blockchain, metaverse, and constant new technologies and software in the construction industry cannot and must not be understated. The opportunities are huge. Digital transformation for the company I work for will be associated with making us more efficient, improving our value proposition and ensuring we are future-proofed for an increasingly digital marketplace. I feel privileged to be part of shaping the digital transformation strategy being implemented as we speak and I am grateful to WBS for helping me be able to do so.

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