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Alizabeth

Calder

The limits of my language

mean the limits of my world.

— Ludwig Witgenstein

Every senior business leader needs to have the language of the digital world.  I have seen a board challenge a management proposal for ‘a new ERP’ because they felt the assumed $500,000 investment was inadequate.  The inference was that the initiative was not fully understood so the investment was high risk.  What was actually envisioned was an upgrade to the G/L software by moving it into the cloud.  By not understanding the correct language, management put their credibility at risk and almost lost an important and well-considered investment.

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I have spent close to forty years building my digital vocabulary. Over more than twenty years of CIO assignments and transformational project work, I have learned to find the business context and to make sure that my use of technology terms is precisely aligned.  Successful digital conversations are seldom about the technology – they are about the business opportunity and challenge.

 

It behooves every senior business leader to develop a working vocabulary, so they can actively participate in the most impactful conversations of the coming decade.