Saturday, December 23, 2017

Only a DESI CTO can Manage the Technology Disruptions

I was invited by CII as a keynote speaker for their first CTO Summit (Mumbai, Nov 2017). I designed my talk around two themes (a) the challenges that a CTO faces in managing the disruptive technologies and (b) the new skills that the CTO has to acquire to lead successfully in a  VUCA world.

I discussed the technologies disrupting the Mobility and Energy industry - Electric, Autonomous and Connected Vehicles, Renewable Energy etc.Analyzed their exponential growth and potential for convergence. New business grow through technology platforms rather than technology pipelines - it is a paradigm shift for the traditional CTO who has been building technology pipelines for many years now. The closed innovation model is giving way to Open Innovation model - saves cost and accelerates the development.- the CTO has to manage a distributed innovation team and handle shared IP.

The CTO has to acquire four thinking skills to lead technology in this VUCA world - Design Thinking, Exponential Thinking, Systems Thinking and Inventive Thinking. The CTO has to practice human centered design thinking and use empathy to drive decisions. The CTO has to learn and practise 6 D Framework (Peter Diamandis) to handle exponential technologies. CTO has to deploy Systems and Architectural Thinking to align technology development with fast new product development. The CTO has to be an inventive thinker - train his team in systematic innovation (like TRIZ) and build expertise in technology trends analysis.


Thus the VUCA world needs a DESI CTO to effectively manage the disruptive technologies.


  1. Catchy Acronym. DESI. This also resonates well with the definition of Innovation that you have always had (Balance b/w Creative Freedom and Execution discipline ).

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