We can’t just keep doing what we’ve done… We’ve got to do things differently. That’s where I think learning becomes critically important.

- Rick Chavez

Leading Learners

Digital Transformation: A Fact, Not a Fad

Rick Chavez has spent more than 20 years as a technology entrepreneur and advisor at the forefront of the digital revolution. He has guided growth and innovation strategies and incubation programs at major organizations, ranging from Adobe, Microsoft, and Yahoo to American Express, the University of Michigan, and WalMart. Chavez’s teams bring together world-class business strategists, technologists, designers, data specialists, and software wizards to make digital transformation stick throughout an organization.

Chavez’s interdisciplinary approach incorporates diverse points of view and insights and fosters flexibility in a world of rapid change. His method also relies on extensive primary research to understand underlying human needs. Chavez turns to market research, scientific and behavioral studies, test-and-learn iterating, and outside expertise. When he works with GLG experts, he focuses on getting pragmatic insight from people with “boots on the ground” experience. Chavez and his teams can put together a solid macro framework on their topics, so when they engage external peer-to-peer learning, they look for actionable, practical counsel that can only come from the pioneers ahead of them.

I’m Rick Chavez and I focus on helping companies with digital transformation.

Over the last 20 years or so, I’ve served as an advisor or on the inside of some of the largest tech companies

We’ve been taught to think about product building, creation, distribution, selling. It’s an inside out way of thinking. Right? If I can just build a good product and I can sell it for the right price and the right channel…I may succeed.

The shift, though, is now from product push to demand pull. Because hey…. What are the human needs really and how are people getting connected to their needs?

Putting yourself in service of the need and working back is everywhere critical.

We can’t just keep doing what we’ve done to get better results into the future. We’ve got to do things differently.

That’s where I think learning becomes critically important. But when you’re in a business where things are changing very, very rapidly, there’s a certain amount of getting up close and personal and understanding the human need that a conference won’t give you and a classroom won’t give you.

When I was a General Manager of a large tech company, I brought GLG in to help us drive an innovation initiative.

I would say the two standout things, the things that really struck me in the experience, Number one, how quickly I was able to get to experts who really understood the space.

And the second was their ability to be very boots on the ground and pragmatic and practical about particular topics. And it could be anything from implementing a certain technology to the nature of analytics and marketing.

There’s a company that I’ve been working with that is in…I’ll just say the general agribusiness. And the question is digitization in agribusiness. Well, you can say slow moving sector. And then you do a little bit of diagnostic work, peer to peer learning work and you find, oh no, actually, not at all. It’s moving very quickly.

GLG can go places a big tech company cannot possibly go.

Where there’s enormous value is there are people who’ve pioneered this space. They’re willing to share some of the learnings and it’s not so scary. So I would say at a very fundamental level, whether it’s about the application or the technology or anything, it’s this notion that change is doable, it’s manageable

Actually, some of the more recent GLG experience I’ve had has been for that purpose. To help to instill confidence that the journey is doable and there’s good stuff on the other side of it.

You just can’t get there on your own.