Digital transformation is all the rage these days. Those two words are on the tongues of CEOs, CIOs, academics, and even bloggers who know nothing about the topic. Organizations seem to understand they should do it, and some may even have a vague understanding of the benefits of doing so. However, many don’t know where or how to start, or – even worse – focus solely on implementing technology. A true digital transformation is about people and processes, not just fancy new tech. Applying basic change management principles and taking a holistic organizational viewpoint will help ease the digital transformation journey.

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The 7th Global Drucker Forum explored the theme of “Claiming Our Humanity – Managing in the Digital Age.” The issue of leading and engaging a workforce in our highly technological digital society is one I ponder and deal with regularly, so it was only natural that I make the journey to pasty- and coffee-fueled Vienna to hear the leading thinkers from business, academia, and many other disciplines tackle this subject. The issue of technology in our homes, workplaces, and communities is largely ignored by the general public, but it affects all of us more than we think.

With fifteen years of professional experience and a lifetime of interest in technology, I am excited to explore our relationship with the silicon that surrounds us. How do we maintain our humanity as IT continues to embed itself in our lives? What is the human performance element that can never be replaced as computers and robots take on more and more of our daily tasks? Does social media and interconnectedness over the Internet actually make us or more less connected to each other? These questions matter and need to be addressed.

Two months ago I embarked on a whirlwind MBA tour of China. Over a two week period I explored a new land, met new people, made new friends, and learned all I could about this magical place. It’s taken this long to process the experience, partially due to my own busy life preventing me from putting hands to keyboard to write this, but mainly because it is impossible to digest all of China overnight.