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Leading Edge Forum’s 2017 Research Agenda

As we turn the corner on a very eventful year – a year of Trump and Brexit, of exciting technology innovations, and also some very public technology-driven incidents and issues at both corporate and national levels – we face what is perhaps the most exciting and challenging year we have seen in a long time, from a digital leadership perspective. 

Look t the future

How do we approach this new year?

How do we approach this new year? How do we think about success in 2017? Last year, we introduced the 21st Century Organization framework, as a way of helping our clients make sense of what is necessary to succeed in the next few years: 

The Six Aspects of the 21st Century OrganizationProactive

LEF’s Research Agenda for 2017 includes five major studies to be published in 2017 that build on and flesh out this framework. These are: 

Winning in the 21st century 

Winning in the 21st Century: A User’s Guide 

We have summarized what is required to become a 21st century organization in 6 macro capabilities, broken down into 36 detailed capabilities, each of which has 5 levels. We use this framework to help clients understand their strengths and challenges, and form action plans to win in 2017 and beyond. 

Technology Trends and Me  

Technology Trends and Me 

Lewis Richards leads our technology sensing capability, including our Xperience Labs. In this bi-monthly multimedia series, Lewis and colleagues will explore the impact of new technologies and trends on our digital lives. The first episode, published in January, focuses on virtual reality. Subsequent episodes will look at personal automation, machine intelligence, augmented and mixed reality, the internet of things and digital health.

Unleashing Talent  

Unleashing Talent 

We are entering an increasingly intense war for talent. New digital skills such as digital anthropology, machine intelligence and new forms of data science are emerging. Traditional HR capabilities are often insufficient. In this study, we are investigating practices for attracting and unleashing talent in the organization that only a small minority are pursuing, let alone achieving successfully. These include reverse mentoring, hiring whole teams and creating internal talent marketplaces. Rich Davies and I will be interviewing organizations around the world that have real experience with these breakthrough practices, and drawing out success and failure patterns.

 Cyber-Risk for the Board

Cyber-Risk for the Board 

For any of those who doubted it, the spate of corporate and national cyber-risk issues we saw in 2016 and early 2017 clearly shows the need to step up our cyber-game. LEF associate Mike Bufalino will lead a study into more powerful approaches to cyber-risk, capturing the realities, the opportunities and the threats to facilitate better board-level decision making.

 The New Shape of IT

The Future of the IT Organization

We need to rethink the IT organization and how it operates in the light of the Matrix, the cloud, the internet of things, and other 21st century digital realities. In this study, we will be working with leading organizations to clarify how the IT organization needs to evolve to accelerate, not inhibit, the realization of digital opportunities.

In 2017, we will also publish a series of other pieces to help our clients evolve and thrive. Studies currently on the agenda are:


Rethink Risk through the Lens of Antifragility

Robustness is not enough in 2017. The winners are creating anti-fragility, such that risk and complexity drive greater success and advantage. This piece will provide guidelines about incorporating anti-fragile thinking into your business and IT strategy.

 Disrupting the Professions

Disrupting the Professions – Scenarios for Human and Machine Expertise

David Moschella is exploring how machine intelligence and other developments will change professions such as medicine, accounting and law. This has implications for all white-collar work, and society in general.

 Getting Value from the Cloud

Getting Value from the Cloud

With long experience at the cloud coalface, Glen Robinson is crafting a thought leadership piece to help CIOs achieve greater value from the cloud.


Digital Disruption in Healthcare

LEF Associate Anneclaire van Not is exploring digital disruptions in healthcare, and what we can all learn from them.

We look forward to working with all our clients on these topics during 2017.

A year is a long time in the current world, so we have left space for some more research later in the year too. With platform businesses, blockchain and the internet of things all making waves, we will not be short of things to research and share.

We look forward to working with all our clients on these topics during 2017. Please get in touch with your Leading Edge Forum contact if you would like to know more, or take part in our research.


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Research Commentary

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