Helping Your Workers to Survive and Thrive a Digital Transformation

A talk by Claire Gillis, James MacGregor and David Plans
VMLY&Rx, Ramboll and Exeter Business School

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About this talk

For all organisations, but particularly for larger ones, change is difficult, and digital transformation brings its own particular stresses. Surviving change involves mindful leadership, and depends largely on the adaptability and stress resilience of an organisations’ employees. Previous to the COVID-19 pandemic, these challenges were already there, and interest and need for ways to increase wellbeing and mental resilience in organisations was growing. As we emerge from it, we are seeing a significant increase in mental health suffering at the same time as an obvious need to digitise processes and communication pathways many of which were previously analog. How do we equip leaders and their organisations to face this challenge and succeed in stemming the inevitable churn of employees? What are current leaders seeing in terms of mental health trends?


• David Plans (Senior Lecturer in Organizational Neuroscience, Exeter Business School)


• Claire Gillis (CEO, WPP Health Practice)

• James MacGregor (Director Sustainability, Ramboll)

This is the fifth session in the series: Digital Transformation: A View from Beyond the Horizon

The last 20 years have seen an intense focus in all organizations on the opportunities and challenges of digital technology. This has changed how they operate to automate and accelerate day-to-day activities, providing new insights into what the organizations know about their products and services in production and in use, and revolutionizing the nature of the products and services they deliver to make them more virtual, personalized, and responsive.

For most organizations, digital transformation is a long journey. The first step has been intense focus on immediate concerns to digitize current ways of working, often referred to as “Horizon One thinking”. However, with such rapid technology change and increasing market volatility it is essential to also spend time to consider the coming needs of Horizon Two (in the next 12-18 months) and Horizon Three (over the coming 2-5 years).

This series of talks on “Digital Transformation: A View from Beyond the Horizon” will explore some of the key ideas currently under investigation that will bring opportunities for digital growth, innovation, and impact. The talks are inspired by the work being undertaken in the DIGIT Lab, a UK National Research Centre involving an alliance between academic and industry partners. Each talk will bring together experts from both communities in a fast-paced interactive dialogue addressing key themes for the future of digital transformation.

Day 1: DIGIT Lab: Accelerating Digital Innovation for Growth, Impact and Transformation

Day 2: Lessons in Driving Adoption of Digital Technology

Day 3: New business models of the Digital Economy

Day 4: Understanding the Keys to Effective Leadership in the Digital World

Day 5: Helping Your Workers to Survive and Thrive a Digital Transformation

Each 45 minute talk brings together provocative academic and industry viewpoints on the future of digital transformation and addresses key question on how these ideas will impact your future strategy.