Over the past couple of months I've been working as an Associate with EY London and I've visited some lovely places but definitely Gleneagles has joined the list of up there places to visit. Spectacular surroundings (though I passed on the golf). I was there with HarryGaskell EY's Chief Innovation Officer for their annual Scottish Finance Directors Forum to talk digital disruption and what it means for Finance Directors. It's a sign of the times that the discussion was really engaged and interactive as professionals from all parts of the business are beginning to grapple with the reality and threat of things like robotics and automation.
I talked about digital transformation in the context of government and shared the GDS values which underpinned our philosophy for achieving change:
Digital by default
But the one I emphasized most was the need to enable technology leaders to flourish. A lot of senior management in large organizations can feel threatened by digital (particularly if they are not adopters themselves) and tend to slio the CTO or Chief Digital Officer to the "tech" part of the business. Which is to fundamentally misunderstand the nature of technology and its wide reach across ALL of the business. So I asked how many of the participants had a CTO or CDO at board level and very few did.
I also showed them a photo of a then 19 year old Jordan Hatch (pic on left) a former colleague of mine in GDS who now advises the Australian government on digital strategy (pic on right Jordan now) and warned them not to have a stereotype about what future technology leaders look like cos they won't look like what you are used to.
Harry walked through the field of disruption citing lots of threats envisaged for core EY business across Advisory, Taxation and Audit and shared how he is dealing with this in EY - so good to see example of such a large organization eating its own dog food and planning for a very different future. What does audit look like in the era of blockchain or advisory in the era of hugely sophisticated data analytics? He posed some good and challenging question to the audience such as:
And just one additional fact about Gleneagles if you are an Art Deco fan (which I so am) then you'll love it there see snapshot of ballroom roof and one of the beautiful hallways (I want those lamps!)