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Rewired summary

Eric Lamarre Kate Smaje Rodney Zemmel

The McKinsey Guide to Outcompeting in the Age of Digital and AI

3.8 (186 ratings)
20 mins

Brief summary

Rewired is a business book that explores how digital disruption is reshaping industries and redefining business models. It provides practical guidance on how companies can adapt and thrive in the digital age.

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    Charting a purposeful digital transformation journey

    In today's digitally-driven world, it's essential for leadership teams to craft a bold, achievable vision for their organization's digital future. To navigate this journey, let's take a closer look at some fundamental components to ensure success.

    First, envisioning the digital future isn't a solitary endeavor – it's about your top team creating a shared understanding. Think of this as plotting your organization's North Star – a guiding light that illuminates where you're headed. But it can't be abstract. For instance, take hypothetical company GreenTech. It might have a vague vision like “Becoming a digital leader in sustainable technologies.” But what does that truly mean? It becomes more actionable when articulated as, “Using digital tools to increase sustainable energy output by 30 percent over five years, while reducing operational costs by 15 percent.” Although it’s quite a bit longer, its clarity offers a tangible target, making it easier for the entire organization to rally behind.

    But there's a catch with this big vision. Starting too small can undermine the transformative potential, but biting off more than you can chew risks overwhelming your organization. To strike the right balance, imagine your business as a series of domains or distinct areas of activity. Identify a few that are ripe for transformation. Take the story of EcoBuild, a construction firm that chose to focus its digital efforts initially on optimizing supply chain and site management. Within two years, it reported efficiency gains that exceeded its expectations, all because it chose the right “bite size” to start with.

    Now, just having a domain in sight isn't enough. This is where your leadership team comes into play. They're the ones who'll outline what's truly possible in your vision. Using a systematic approach, leaders can pinpoint specific user needs or pain points, then align these with measurable key performance indicators, or KPIs. Think of BankOnUs, a finance company that leveraged digital tools to reimagine customer onboarding. It tackled specific pain points like long wait times and complex paperwork. By defining clear KPIs around customer satisfaction and process efficiency, it transformed a tedious, hours-long process into a seamless, 15-minute digital experience, boosting client acquisition rates in the process.

    Finally, as we discuss transformations, it's crucial to remember that this isn't just a tech project – it's the ultimate corporate team sport. Every member of the leadership team, from the CEO to business function leaders, must be actively involved. It's not enough for the CEO to merely endorse the vision – they must be its chief ambassador. And roles like the CTO or CDO? They're your digital champions, driving change on the ground, ensuring that the organization not only envisions but lives and breathes this digital transformation.

    In essence, digital transformation transcends mere technological shifts. It's about harmoniously intertwining vision with action, ensuring every stride is purposeful and aligned. As organizations embark on this journey, a collective spirit and clear direction can pave the way for meaningful progress.

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    What is Rewired about?

    Rewired (2023) presents a transformative roadmap crafted by the world's foremost management consultancy. It guides businesses on enhancing customer experiences, streamlining costs, and harnessing the immense potential of digital and AI. Dive in, and position your company for unparalleled long-term success.

    Rewired Review

    Rewired (2022) explores the transformational power of digital. Here's what makes this book worth reading:

    • Offers a compelling look at how digital technology is reshaping industries, providing valuable insights on how to adapt and thrive in the digital age.
    • Through real-world case studies and expert analysis, it offers practical strategies for organizations to navigate digital disruption and unlock new opportunities.
    • With its forward-thinking perspective, the book challenges conventional wisdom and inspires readers to embrace innovation, making it anything but boring.

    Who should read Rewired?

    • Business leaders navigating digital transformation
    • Teams spearheading AI-driven enterprise initiatives
    • Consultants seeking proven digital strategy blueprints

    About the Author

    Eric Lamarre spearheads McKinsey Digital in North America, guiding major digital and analytics transformations. Previously overseeing McKinsey Canada's growth, he currently serves on McKinsey’s Shareholders Council and the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation board.

    Kate Smaje, the global leader of McKinsey Digital, assists companies in embracing the digital era. Boasting a background in investment banking in London, she also commits her time as a trustee for Tommy’s children's charity.

    Rodney Zemmel stands at the forefront of McKinsey Digital, championing digital transformation across industries. Apart from his past roles in McKinsey’s northeast US offices and healthcare practice, he coauthored the pivotal leadership tome Go Long, a work endorsed by top industry figures and providing insights into how renowned CEOs navigate short-term pressures for long-term success.

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    Rewired FAQs 

    What is the main message of Rewired?

    The main message of Rewired is that organizations can thrive by transforming their technology, operations, and culture.

    How long does it take to read Rewired?

    The reading time for Rewired varies depending on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Rewired a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Rewired is a valuable read for anyone interested in digital transformation. It provides insights and strategies for creating competitive advantage and driving innovation.

    Who is the author of Rewired?

    Eric Lamarre, Kate Smaje, and Rodney Zemmel are the authors of Rewired.

    What to read after Rewired?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Rewired, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • The Coming Wave by Mustafa Suleyman
    • The Algebra of Wealth by Scott Galloway
    • AI 2041 by Kai-Fu Lee and Chen Qiufan
    • Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
    • Your First Million by Arlan Hamilton
    • Competing in the Age of AI by Marco Iansiti & Karim R. Lakhani
    • The Stoic Mindset by Mark Tuitert