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Leadership in Disruptive Times

Leadership in Disruptive Times

Sattar Bawany
Leadership in Disruptive Times
Copyright © Business Expert Press, LLC, 2020.

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First published in 2020 by

Business Expert Press, LLC
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ISBN-13: 978-1-95253-836-0 (paperback)

ISBN-13: 978-1-95253-837-7 (e-book)

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To Belle, for her love, devotion, and keeping me grounded always!
To Adam and Danny, for their continued inspiration; may they have great
success in overcoming the many disruptive events to come in their lifetime.
Disruption is happening everywhere and in every aspect of our lives. It
is happening at a scale and speed that is unprecedented in modern hist-
ory, impacting diverse industries, from financial services to retail, media,
logistics and supply chain, manufacturing, education, professional ser-
vices, health care, and life sciences. Leaders are finding it challenging to
navigate the near-insurmountable challenges resulting from the impact
of these disruptive events on their operations and have to reinvent their
operating and business models to ensure their survival.
Not every disruption is driven by advances in technology, as we have
seen in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic since early 2020, where or-
ganizations all over the world face an uncertain future in a global business
environment that is highly disruptive and increasingly volatile, uncertain,
complex, and ambiguous (collectively known as VUCA).
We face a new era of radical uncertainty and disruption brought
about by other challenges such as climate change, financial crises, terror-
ism, Brexit, demographic changes in the labor market, health/disease risk,
mass migration, and rapid developments in digital technology and its
impact on transformation at the workplace. The management of shocks
and crises is becoming an everyday occurrence. Organizations also need
to be agile and leverage opportunities and drive innovation to remain
competitive in the face of challenging conditions.
The right leadership is critical for organizations to thrive in a dis-
ruptive business environment. The book aims to answers the following

• How should we define leadership in such an environment?

• Are the current leadership practices and competencies still relevant
in the face of such disruption?
• How can leaders set themselves up not only to survive but also
to thrive as they navigate the challenges of disruptive events and
• What factors have helped organizations to successfully manage the
disruptive challenges when implementing digital transformation
at the workplace?

This book provides insights into an understanding of disruptive lead-

ership. It explores the transformation of organizations in today’s highly
disruptive, increasingly VUCA, and digital-driven era of the Fourth In-
dustrial Revolution (also known as Industry 4.0). It builds the case for or-
ganizations to revisit and, at times, reinvent their people strategy, internal
systems and processes, and deploy the technologies that would suit disrup-
tive times. The book also examines the attributes and competencies of dis-
ruptive leadership that would distinguish successful leaders as they guide
their organizations through the disruption caused by the COVID-19
crisis and the digital transformation at the workplace.

disruption; creative innovation; creative disruption; disruptive leader-
ship; disruptive leader; digital leader; disruptive digital leader; disruptive
innovation; crisis leadership; VUCA; Fourth Industrial Revolution; In-
dustry 4.0; digitalization; digital transformation; digital transformation
culture; COVID-19; coronavirus; 2019-nCoV; novel coronavirus; cogni-
tive readiness; critical thinking; next-generation leaders; next-gen leader-
ship; future leaders; high potentials; leadership pipeline; leading for the
future; future of work
Early Praise for the Book
“Leaders in organizations are continually confronted with increased
competition, globalization, demand for social responsibilities, and a
stream of technological advances that disrupt the marketplace. For
those looking to navigate the turbulent and complex landscape of the
digital evolution, Leadership in Disruptive Times is the perfect blue-
print for future-proofing their organization. Prof. Bawany provides
insights into the role of ‘disruptive digital leaders’ that transform the
organization into a more agile, innovative, and adaptive workplace
in times of disruption and successfully lead the digital transformation
efforts. A must-read.”

—Dr. Marshall Goldsmith is the New York Times best-selling

author of Triggers, MOJO, and What Got You Here Won’t
Get You There. Thinkers 50—#1 Executive Coach and the
only two-time #1 Leadership Thinker in the World

“Leadership in the increasingly disruptive and VUCA-driven era of

the Fourth Industrial Revolution (also known as Industry 4.0) re-
quires that both current and future leaders must possess a broader
skillset, one that equips them to demonstrate a ‘disruptive mentality’
along with change agility, adaptability, resilience, and cognitive read-
iness to thrive in today’s uncertain and volatile business environment.

Leadership in Disruptive Times, with its extensive best practice ap-

proaches, frameworks, tools, and case studies of global organizations,
such as Microsoft, Netflix, Uber, Starbucks, and Singapore’s very own
DBS Bank, can serve as the blueprint for organizations embarking on
a digital transformation agenda.”

—Abdullah Tarmugi, 7th Speaker of the Parliament of Singapore

(2002–2011) and Former Minister for Community
Development and Sports (1994–2002), Singapore

“Leadership in Disruptive Times  is an invaluable tool for execu-

tives, managers, and leaders in business, academia, nonprofit organ-
izations, government agencies, and more. This is a well-written and
well-researched practical guide for leaders who want to overcome the
disruptive challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and
how organizations can adopt the best practices in the development of
a digital-driven culture at the workplace. The book provides effective
techniques, real-world examples, and expert guidance for organiza-
tions seeking to implement a digital transformation strategy in today’s
era of Industry 4.0.”

—Prof. Howard Yu, Author of LEAP: How to Thrive in a World

Where Everything Can Be Copied (2018) and LEGO
Professor of Management and Innovation,
IMD Business School, Lausanne, Switzerland

“Leadership in Disruptive Times  could not have come at a more

appropriate time on the planet. COVID-19 has added an extra di-
mension to the VUCA acronym: Risky. The planet is faced with other
challenges such as climate change, racism, digital transformation, to
mention a few. These driving forces of change will require organiza-
tions to be led by transformational leaders that would develop agile

The book brilliantly explores the distinctive competencies, skills, meth-

ods, and techniques that leaders must develop for a post-pandemic
business environment that will equip them to lead their organiza-
tions in uncharted waters. I strongly recommend this book to leaders,
policymakers, and academics that wish to pursue multidisciplinary
research and future-oriented teaching.”

—Prof. Milé Terziovski, PhD (Melb), Chair, Department Business

Technology and Entrepreneurship (BTE) and
Faculty of Business and Law, Swinburne University of
Technology, Melbourne, Australia

“We have seen a vast range of ever-improving advanced technologies

driving the disruptive innovation that will continue to change and
redefine our world. Advanced technologies such as artificial intelli-
gence (AI), robotics, cloud computing, and blockchain technologies
have enabled new ways of doing business that result in more econom-
ical consumer trade-offs as well as improving employees’ productivity
and enhancing the organization’s sustainability in the longer term.

In his latest book,  Leadership in Disruptive Times, Prof. Sattar

Bawany, with his wealth of experience as a global executive coach
as well as a business leader, has shown the critical role of leaders in
future-proofing their organization to succeed in the highly disruptive
and digital-driven world. This is a must-read for leaders who want
to ensure their readiness as well as that of their future in resolving the
challenges during times of disruption and crisis.”

—YBhg Prof. Dato’ Ts. Dr. Noor Azizi Bin Ismail, Vice-Chancellor
of Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK), Malaysia

“Digital technology is fast disrupting and transforming every aspect of

industry, society, and lifestyle. In his latest book Leadership in Dis-
ruptive Times, Prof. Sattar Bawany has laid out compellingly and
practically how to understand and thrive in today’s digital-driven era
of Industry 4.0. He has provided market-tested experience and pierc-
ing insight with well-illustrated models and frameworks, to guide in
the implementation of digital transformation agenda that will future-
proof organizations. This book is a must-read for today’s CEOs and
government leaders.”

—YBhg Datuk Syed Mohamed Syed Ibrahim, President and Chief

Executive, Johor Corporation, Malaysia

“During disruptive times, we need leaders who can incorporate a

new suite of digital leadership competencies that will equip them to
lead successfully the implementation of digital transformation initia-
tives. This is a highly recommended book where Prof. Sattar Bawany

managed to provide us insights into the understanding of ‘disruptive


The survival and progress of the business will also depend on their
leaders who can thrive in navigating the challenges of disruptive
events and crises. This book also covers the current wave of disruption,
including the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the revolu-
tion of Industry 4.0 (including artificial intelligence, robotics, and
blockchain technologies), globalization, and demographic change.
This book also is an excellent follow-up to Prof. Bawany’s previous
publication Transforming the Next Generation of Leaders.”

—Dato’ Mustafha Abd Razak, Chairman, QSR Brands (M)

Holdings Berhad, Malaysia

“My congratulations to Professor Sattar Bawany for his new book, Lead-

ership in Disruptive Times. This is a significant book, and its theme is
overdue, particularly when severe disruptions have been brought about
by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. When times are good, solutions
often come easy and straightforward. However, with rapid changes
brought about by unexpected disruption, it is not clear if a solution
even exists, let alone a good one. It takes an exceptional leader who has
experienced disruptive times before to offer us insights and visions to
move forward and qualify to be an effective leader. Readers will benefit
enormously from Professor Bawany’s new book, and it is my firm belief
that this pioneering book will be acknowledged as a classic textbook/
reference in leadership in disruptive times.”

—Roger Wang, President, Marketing Institute of

Singapore (MIS), Singapore

“Disruption is everywhere and in every aspect of our lives. In which-

ever part of the world we live, the radical changes affecting social, pol-
itical, technological, digital, or corporate entities can be profound in
many instances. In recent times, we have seen or experienced several of
these powerful global forces that are changing how we live and work.

They include the devastating and disruptive impact of COVID-19

pandemic and the digital disruption of Industry 4.0 through the rapid
spread of digital technologies in the workplace and industry.

In his book, Leadership in Disruptive Times, Prof. Sattar Bawany

builds the case for leaders to have strategic insights and anticipate
these disruptions and develop the organizational and leadership capa-
bilities to navigate in today’s increasingly digital and VUCA-driven
business environment and workplace. To do so will require some radi-
cal rethinking on the part of the leaders by leveraging on a suite of ‘dis-
ruptive digital leadership’ competencies including cognitive readiness,
critical thinking skills, resilience, emotional and social intelligence,
among others.”

—YBhg Tan Sri Dato’ Azman Shah Haron, President, Malaysian

Employers Federation (MEF) and Chairman,
Antara Holiday Villas Sdn Bhd, Malaysia

“2020 has propelled the VUCA term to an unprecedented level of

intensity. Leadership in Disruptive Times is the first book to assist
leaders through the unfolding developments of the COVID-19 crisis.
Whatever we knew about leadership is greatly challenged in this new
era, and this book helps lay out a framework for how to navigate it—
for ourselves, our teams and our organizations.”

— Brian O. Underhill, Ph.D. Founder & CEO,

CoachSource, LLC, New Jersey, NJ, USA

“Leadership in Disruptive Times  is a must-read book for leaders

in organizations that are faced with challenges from the disruptive
impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0), pandemics
(presently COVID-19) exacerbated by a VUCA world. The rapidly
changing business landscape requires organizations to accelerate their
transformation journeys by adapting or changing their processes and
by leveraging the appropriate technologies. Professor Sattar Bawa-
ny’s emphasis on people as the most critical ingredient in addressing
the current and future challenges is evident in the title of the book.

Placing people before process and technology is a cliché but is consist-

ently overlooked by organizations.

This book not only touches on the attributes and competencies of a

leader for disruptive times but also provides a comprehensive guide
with accompanying tools to identify, develop, and coach leaders for the
future. It also highlights how high-performing digital organizations
build their leadership pipeline—a leader that is well equipped and
effective in meeting the challenges of digital disruption or any crisis.
One of the keys to success for leaders is the ability to organize and
manage teams, as no leader can do it alone. This book also covers what
is required in leading and engaging teams and provides tools that can
be easily applied to making teams more effective. Congratulations to
Professor Bawany for this insightful and excellent book.”

—Ramlee Buang, Chairman of 1FSS Pte Ltd (1 Finance Shared

Services, MOHH), Singapore

“The greatest leap forward for digitalization and Industry 4.0 may
not be extraordinary leadership by CEOs, CIOs, or Govt but the coro-
navirus pandemic that has brought the realities of the new normal
front and center. With digitalization, COVID-19 has also exposed
huge paper chasms or ‘cracks’ where we suddenly realize that to be
truly digital the whole value chain needs to accept digital. We are
not there yet. Sattar’s book and advice for leadership are timely in
these unprecedented times. It is no longer doing the same things but
to embrace change and being agile enough to respond to ambiguity.”

—Saw Ken Wye, CEO, CrimsonLogic, Singapore

“I have had the pleasure of working with Prof. Sattar quite extensively
and especially so during this unprecedented disruption that we are all
experiencing. I know I speak on behalf of my fellow peers who have
worked with him in acknowledging that his guidance, thought lead-
ership, and experience have truly enabled us to come out as stronger
leaders. Disruptive leadership has to be the norm for us all going
forward and one that we should all thrive on. I fully endorse Prof.

Sattar’s second book and look forward to many more. I wish him all
the very best.”

—Ronak Shah, CEO Singapore, QBE Asia

“This book cannot come at a better time. It is both practical and rel-
evant, helping leaders navigate through unprecedented VUCA events
like the one we are experiencing now. It is packed with case studies
and best practices to make the techniques and frameworks come to life.
A disruptive book for disruptive times.”

—Chen Fong Tuan, HR Director, Samsung Malaysia

“Prof. Sattar Bawany has captured many aspects of disruptions that

the world faces today, starting with what was already affecting the
world—Industry 4.0—and now accelerated and further disrupted
by the COVID-19 pandemic. As he correctly points out, the bigger
issue we will face in the coming years will be the economic impact in
the post-COVID-19 era. So how do countries, organizations, leaders,
and individuals adapt and be ready for the new normal that is ahead
of us?

Prof. Sattar shares his ideas of Digital Disruptive Organization and

Leaders and shows the way companies and leaders can transform
themselves by defining Leadership 4.0, on how to lead in a disruptive
environment: having a digital transformation strategy, developing
digital skills, and redefining the meaning of good leadership in the
new normal of a post-COVID-19, Industry 4.0 disrupted world. This
will be a useful reference for all leaders as they navigate to survive and
thrive in the years ahead.”

—Prof. Inderjit Singh Dhaliwal, Entrepreneur and Former Member

of Parliament (1996–2015) and Chairman of the Alumni and
Development Committee, Nanyang Technological
University (NTU) Board of Trustees, Singapore

“All of a sudden, a deadly pandemic is at the center of unprecedented

worldwide disruptions. Inadvertently, the COVID-19 pandemic has
left organizations with little or no choice but to take the big leap
toward digitalization. Prof. Sattar Bawany’s latest book Leadership
in Disruptive Times is a timely sequel to his first publication, Trans-
forming the Next Generation of Leaders: Developing Future
Leaders for a Disruptive, Digital‐Driven Era of the Fourth Indus-
trial Revolution (Industry 4.0).

In his latest book, Prof. Bawany recognizes the need for organiza-
tions to include digital leadership competencies for them to successfully
implement transformative initiatives in a highly disruptive environ-
ment. He also examines the attributes and competencies of disrup-
tive leadership as they maneuver through the disruptions caused by
COVID‐19 and the post-pandemic digital transformation in meeting
the needs of the new normal. In developing successful organizational
leadership in the new world order, this book provides valuable guid-
ance and direction on the future way forward.”

—YBhg Datuk Hj. Shamsuddin Bardan, Executive Director,

Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF)

“In his latest book  Leadership in Disruptive Times,  Prof. Sattar

Bawany considers the ever-changing nature of the world we live and
work in—in particular for business, the new forms of leadership we
need to adopt to take our organizations, with our people, to new
heights. The book asks the right questions and crucially delivers the

As we enter the 2020s, all of us in business need to think and do

differently. What a great book to accompany us on that journey. It’s
perfect for now.”

—Jeremy Blain, CEO, PerformanceWorks International, United

Kingdom and Singapore

“This is a timely and insightful perspective on how leaders should

navigate their businesses and the attributes and competencies that
leaders should have to remain agile and capture new opportunities. It
provides you with a framework that you can use to guide you through
this disruptive process.”

—Bahren Shaari, CEO, Bank of Singapore, Singapore

“Prof. Sattar continues to expound on the critical need, thinking, and

actions required by leaders to navigate in disruptive times. More than
just giving examples, he gives frameworks and tools to equip organ-
izational leadership to be prepared for disruptions that are expected,
thus ensuring continuing survival and success in the new world order
we live in today.”

—Collin Chiew, CEO, Windward Insurance Broker, Singapore

“During turbulent times, corporations need strong leadership to navi-

gate the ‘ship’ through challenging situations. Prof. Sattar Bawany
is not only a great and experienced Master Executive Coach but
also a seasoned human resource consultant with inspiring leadership
and with distinctive business acumen. I really enjoyed reading the
book Leadership in Disruptive Times, which is full of best practices
tools and frameworks that are very relevant in today’s highly disrup-
tive, VUCA-centric, and digital-driven business environment. It is
highly recommended for leaders at all levels for all organizations.”

—Edy Tuhirman, CEO, PT Asuransi Jiwa Generali Indonesia,

Jakarta, Indonesia

“In an era of disruption, uncertainty, and continuous change, leaders

at all levels need a new suite of leadership competencies to thrive in
the digital-driven workplace. Sattar Bawany has given us a practical
roadmap as to how leaders could implement successful digital trans-
formation. He pulls together so many ideas and case studies of leading

global organizations in the disruptive and digital leadership space

and does so in such a readable, engaging format that this book, Lead-
ership in Disruptive Times, represents real value. A must-read!”

—Bonnie Hagemann, CEO, Executive Development

Associates (EDA), Oklahoma City, OK

“The word ‘disruption’ sends chills down the spine of many business
leaders since growth is hard and disruptive growth is even harder if
one does not possess the knowledge, mindset and competencies to oper-
ate in today’s ‘new normal.’ Prof. Sattar Bawany, a dynamic mas-
ter executive coach, provides practical leadership and a management
toolkit using real-life cases for business leaders and organizations to
understand, navigate, and harness the disruptive forces of our times
for growth with people and digital transformation at the center.

Indeed, profitability, productivity, and sustainable growth are at stake

with the sea change our organizational systems, processes, and work-
place are undergoing with new technologies and other global develop-
ments. The Leadership 4.0 that Prof. Bawany puts forward in his
book is a ‘must-do’ for business leaders and organizations wanting to
grow successfully today and into the future.”

—Pushpanathan Sundram, CEO, PublicPolicyAsia Advisors and

Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN (2009–2012),
Singapore and Jakarta

“It has been quite a revelatory journey going through this work. It
is insightful with practical pathways toward achieving meaningful
results that are innovative for these times. Prof. Sattar Bawany has
developed from this publication a more critical understanding of all
the various critical variables that contribute toward success or failure
in these times. The perfect resource to have for all leaders who are

embarking on a digital transformation journey in today’s highly dis-

ruptive business environment.”

—Michael Wooi, CEO, International Professional Managers

Association (IPMA), United Kingdom

“Prof. Sattar Bawany has once again produced a timely resource for
business leaders and managers alike in navigating through these dis-
ruptive times. Prof. Sattar takes a hard look at the real challenges that
business leaders and managers would have to face in today’s business
environment, which includes navigating through a post-COVID-19
and increasingly digitized world.

Filled with thoughtful insights, relevant anecdotes, and practical

frameworks, this book serves more like a handbook where leaders
could refer to as they learn to adapt and navigate through today’s new
norm. For business leaders and managers who want to learn how to
adapt to this new norm, harnessing the challenges of today to produce
the opportunities of tomorrow, this book is relevant.”

—Joseph Chong, Managing Director, Asia and

McGraw-Hill International, Singapore

“In today’s disruptive and ever-changing business environment, digi-

tal transformation is more urgent than ever. If you want to get ready
for the future, you need new disruptive digital leadership competen-
cies. Whether you are a seasoned business leader or a high-potential
rising star and want to prepare for what’s ahead in the disruptive and
digital-driven world, the research presented in this book has identified
critical leadership skills you need in setting your organization up to
compete digitally in today’s increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex,
and ambiguous (VUCA) business environment of the Fourth Indus-
trial Revolution (Industry 4.0).”

—Bach Nguyen, Chairman and CEO, AsiaInvest Group,

Singapore and Vietnam

“One only needs to compare the world’s top 10 companies by market

capitalization ranking 15 years ago and now to appreciate the power
of disruption. The market has witnessed the emergence of companies
that harnessed the digital transformation to disrupt and dominate
the traditional sectors such as finance and logistics. This book provides
an up-to-date comprehensive guide and practical insights into the at-
tributes and competencies of ‘disruptive leadership’ that organizations
must have to survive and thrive escalating competition, globalization,
and major disruptive events.

In this book, Prof. Sattar Bawany leverages his decades of inter-

national management and executive coaching experience to deliver
practical and effective guides for organizations to review their people
strategy, internal systems and processes, and strategic intents beyond
merely surviving disruption but to thrive in such environment. A
highly recommended read for C-suite and HR professionals.”

—Tan Sue Ee, Managing Director, China-ASEAN

Fund (CAF), Singapore

“In his book Leadership in Disruptive Times, Prof. Sattar Bawany

has shared the complex landscape that business leaders and HR prac-
titioners are facing in today’s VUCA world and has provided tremen-
dous insights and practical tips to deal with the same. The book is a
must-read as it connects the dots across multiple global forces affecting
social, economic, political, health, technology, etc., changes that im-
pact how people interact with each other and how businesses are being
reshaped and disrupted. It will be very useful to help people navigate
these turbulent rapids that are becoming a part of daily life.”

—Varun Bhatia, Chief People Officer, Reali,

San Francisco, CA, USA

“Sattar elevates the leadership discourse to a different level by trans-

posing the leadership issues onto the disruption platform made com-
plicated by the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis.  Leadership in

Disruptive Times is a must-read for innovative business leaders and

enlightened entrepreneurs looking for the right tools and approaches
to navigate the murky waters of the pandemic and the economic crisis
that follows. We are in uncharted waters, and with an evolving new
normal, organizations must transform themselves quickly to survive
the long game.”

—Azman Jaafar, Managing Partner, RHTLaw Asia LLP and

Chairman, ASEAN Plus Group, Singapore

“This book has refreshed my understanding of the VUCA era and how
to counter it with VUCA behavior. It is about how leaders could opti-
mize their vision, understanding, clarity, and agility. For HR leaders,
our top priority is to create and nurture a high-performing digital
organization; this book provides some case studies/examples of disrup-
tive digital companies, giving insights and encouragement for us to
continuously innovate and implement new ways of doing things. My
best wishes to you, Prof. Sattar. Many thanks for sharing your know-
ledge and insights.”

—Rosalina Hanis, Human Resources Director,

AstraZeneca Indonesia

“In a world of disruptive times caused by COVID-19 and the advent

of Industry 4.0, understanding how to lead differently will be vital
for all leaders. Leadership in Disruptive Times is an excellent read
with very good ideas, practical frameworks, and inspiring stories of
disruptive leaders who have led their organizations through successful
transformations. This book is a wonderful gift to anyone with a desire
to lead, inspire, and, most importantly, to create high-performance

—Ted Tan, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Enterprise Singapore

“The strong wave of technology disruption has not mellowed and as

big and small businesses make changes and adjustments, never did

they foresee a tidal COVID-19 wave, which came as a surprise. It tells

us one thing—disruption in any form is inevitable and we must have
the mindset to accept and find a quick resolution.

Prof. Sattar Bawany’s work is very timely and I would ask business
leaders to make it mandatory reading. He asserts that leadership
strength, openness, and confidence are critical in navigating their
companies through stormy weather. He reiterates that old business
models will collapse and leaders must reinvent and that too must be
done quickly to avoid suffocation and ultimate demise.”

—Dr. T. Chandroo, Chairman, Modern Montessori International

Group and Chairman, Singapore Indian Chambers of
Commerce and Industry

“Riding on the momentum of his earlier book, Transforming Next-

Gen Leaders for Digital and VUCA-Driven Industry 4.0, Prof.
Bawany has produced another stellar work on an evergreen topic. The
COVID-19 pandemic has not only accelerated the process of disrup-
tion at the macro level but also, significantly, hit the man in the street
in a real way, impacting the way they work, play, travel, socialize, etc.

In a rapidly evolving post-COVID-19 setting, especially one where

digitalization has come to the forefront, we need to reflect deeply on
whether our leadership style remains effective. Those we lead expect no
less. This book will most certainly be a useful addition to this ongoing
reflection and conversation.”

—Prof. Ho Peng Kee, Associate Professorial Fellow, Law Faculty

and LKYSPP, NUS and Former Senior Minister of
State for Law and Home Affairs (2001–2011)

“A very timely leadership book by Prof. Sattar for our current and fu-
ture leaders. They will face multiple challenges shortly due to digitali-
zation, disruptive events, and crisis. Prof. Sattar has done a masterful
job of providing practical advice to navigate the disruptions and pre-
pare our leaders to compete and thrive in a business environment that
is dynamic and evolving by the day. He has been brilliant in mapping

the new competencies that are required of our leaders to manage and
drive businesses in a disruptive market.  Leadership in Disruptive
Times is informative and enlightening.”

—Dhiren Shantilal, Advisor to the Recruitment and Talent

Solutions Industry and Director of
Learning Initiative Asia

“Prof. Sattar Bawany’s latest book on leadership during disruptive

times could not have come at a more opportune moment. Not only has
the world to deal with digital disruption in recent times but for now
it also has to deal with the hefty blow of the pandemic. To be sure,
many businesses will not survive the current global recession, but there
will be others who do. Understanding what makes them succeed in a
distributive world is key to survival. This book seeks to unravel that
mystery and tries to get a better appreciation of the skills required.
Leaders who want to navigate well through these challenging times
will do well to read Prof. S­ attar’s latest book and pay heed.”

—Sin Boon Ann, Consultant at Drew and Napier LLC and

Former Member of Parliament for Tampines GRC,
Singapore (1996–2011)

“Prof. Sattar Bawany’s latest title is timely and much needed. The
clarity and insights are concisely offered and provided through tools,
frameworks, and best practices. The unprecedented challenges that
corporate leaders face post-COVID-19 will know no bounds and will
be exacerbated by the speed of change, digital adoption, and the new
normal ‘ways of human interaction and doing businesses’. All of these
challenges present a frightening scenario. Leadership in Disruptive
Times will be a good read and handy guide to help corporate lead-
ers make sense, address and navigate these challenges with reasonable
confidence, and, more importantly, overcome them and thrive.”

—Chong Huat Tan, Senior Partner, RHTLaw Asia and

Non-Executive Chairman, RHT Group of
Companies, Singapore

“Leadership in Disruptive Times  provides insights, real-world ex-

amples, and tools to leaders seeking practical guides in overcoming the
disruptive challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The
book also provides research-based insights on ‘disruptive innovations’
and ‘disruptive digital leadership’ as well as what it takes to build and
manage successful business models in this complex era of digital-driven
Industry 4.0.”

—Farid Basir, Chief Human Capital Officer (CHCO),

Telekom Malaysia

“Leadership in Disruptive Times  will rock readers with stunning

new perspectives. I like the emphasis on the usage of technology such
as blockchain and cryptocurrency in the near future to advance in the
vision of Industry 4.0. The need to use new technology to create a new
value of ‘trust’ will be something we have to look into.

This book will be a good reference for leaders who want a good over-
view of the post-COVID-19 times. The new world clearly values those
that can deliver disruptive innovation.”

—Anndy Lian, Blockchain Advisor, Asian Productivity

Organization (APO), Singapore

“This is truly a relevant book for all C-suite executives and aspiring
leaders who desire to understand the underlying issues facing big cor-
porations and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in today’s world.
It contains plenty of much-needed materials for all business strategists
to draw learning points and rechart their directions as to avoid all
the pitfalls that have been previously made. The case studies would
empower every forward-looking person to explore new possibilities to
stay ahead of competition after post-COVID-19. More importantly,
this book is a must-read for all current leaders and future leaders who
aspire to innovate, grow, and build new legacies by adopting the right
leadership framework in their business or workplace.

It’s certainly not a book for those who just want to look for survivor-
ship; it is dedicated to the brave executives who want to make it BIG
in the VUCA world.”

—Chia Yong Chye, Senior Director, Agency Department,

AIA Singapore

“While we are facing one of the most challenging times in history, in

the middle of a potential global recession coupled with the COVID-
19 pandemic crisis, this book is a timely resource to guide leaders in
an effective way to maneuver in a very highly volatile and disruptive
environment. It provides a clear insight into the nature of ‘disrup-
tive digital leadership’. It also emphasizes the need to review human
resource strategy, system, and processes and also put in relevant tech-
nologies suitable for the disruptive environment. There is also a corre-
lation between the importance of creativity as a leadership competency
to manage disruption at the workplace.”

—PeerMohamed Ibramsha, Chief Operating Officer, Corporate

Services, Bank Muamalat Malaysia Berhad

“The main driver of economic progress in the 19th century was the
railroad; in the 20th century, it was oil and the automobile; but in
the 21st century, economic and social progress will be marked by dis-
ruption, data, and digitalization. This will require future-ready lead-
ers who can navigate this epochal change.

Prof. Sattar Bawany, a world-renowned coach and leadership author-

ity, has written a very comprehensive and wide-ranging book on the
urgency of creating a pipeline of disruptive digital transformational
leaders who can master this new world where the physical, digital,
and biological aspects are merging to create a new age of promise and
possible peril.”

—Dr. Kanwaljit Soin, Founding President, The Society for

WINGS and Former Nominated
Member of Parliament (1992–1996), Singapore

“As if the immediate challenges posed by the digital revolution of In-

dustry 4.0 are not enough, we are now facing yet another great dis-
ruptive VUCA event caused by COVID-19. No one including the
scientists knows enough of the coronavirus, and there is no perfect
control and model for effective management to date. Since December
2019 we have been witnessing a process of learning and acting (fast)
as we go while the vaccine is still years away. Is this the new norm of
problem-solving? Naturally, the businesses across various sectors have
been severely impacted, particularly that of the aviation, tourism, and
retail sectors. How do we lead our respective organizations and teams
to face this new highly disruptive event? Why is value-based leadership
so critically important? Why is trust between leaders and stakeholders
the glue for partnership and positive outcomes? Why does community
connectivity hold the key to the sustainability of the business? And
lastly why and how should leaders build organization-wide digital
capabilities to do real-time intelligence gathering in aid of quick and
precise decision making?  Leadership in Disruptive Times  is very
timely and is an easy-to-read book that addresses these questions. It
also helps the organization to understand how ‘disruptive digital lead-
ership’ is crucial toward managing crises that are VUCA-driven in
nature and that are expected in the coming years.”

—Teng Theng Dar, Founder, Business Compass Consultancy,

Singapore and Advisory Panel Member,
China-ASEAN Business Alliance (CABA)

“Leadership in Disruptive Times  by Prof. Sattar Bawany offers a

compendium of important concepts and frameworks that will help
business leaders, in any industry, understand how to deal with the
current, challenging environment. This is a comprehensive and well-
researched book that also includes several case studies of well-known
companies that illustrate how leaders and organizations must behave
so that they can persevere through change and disruption. Beyond to-
day’s situation, Prof. Bawany offers insights on how businesses will

look in the future and the action leaders must take to ensure success in
what will be a continually changing landscape.”

—Ken Pasternak, Speaker, Workshop Facilitator, and Coauthor

of Performance at the Limit, Business Lessons from
Formula 1 Motor Racing, and Managing Your Strengths,
United Kingdom

“‘When the winds of change blow, some people build walls, others
build windmills’— Chinese Proverb.

I was delighted to learn that Prof. Sattar Bawany was embarking

on his second book, which is aptly named  Leadership in Disrup-
tive Times. There has never been a more urgent and critical need for
business leaders to acquire the necessary leadership competencies and
mental resilience to navigate and traverse such a challenging macro-
economic and sociopolitically uncertain landscape, compounded by the
COVID-19 pandemic crisis. The numerous case studies and frame-
works contained within the book provide leaders with concrete ideas
and strategies to execute their business plans and lead their people and
organizations through this economic maelstrom.”

—John Augustine Ong, Head of Learning & Development, Vice

President, Human Resources, Singapore Exchange
List of Figures..................................................................................... xxxi
List of Tables..................................................................................... xxxiii

Chapter 1 Leading in the Age of Disruption.......................................1

Chapter 2 The VUCA-Driven Disruptive World..............................15
Chapter 3 The Disruptive Impact of COVID-19..............................31
Chapter 4 The Digital Disruption of Industry 4.0............................51
Chapter 5 The Digital Transformation Culture.................................69
Chapter 6 What Makes a “Disruptive Digital Leader”?.....................95
Chapter 7 High-Performing Digital Organization..........................117
Chapter 8 Assessment and Development of “Disruptive
Digital Leaders”.............................................................151
Chapter 9 Leading and Engaging High-Performance Teams...........199
Chapter 10 The Way Forward...........................................................223

About the Author.................................................................................261
List of Figures
Figure 1.1 E-hailing ride services pioneer “Uber” disrupting taxi
Figure 1.2 Netflix online video streaming service..............................10
Figure 2.1 The four elements of the VUCA business
Figure 2.2 The VUCA prime model..................................................26
Figure 4.1 The evolution of the Industrial Revolution.......................55
Figure 5.1 The elements of digital-driven organizational culture.......72
Figure 5.2 Key success factors for DX implementation......................86
Figure 6.1 The five basic management functions...............................98
Figure 6.2 Competencies of the “disruptive digital leader”..............105
Figure 7.1 The HPO framework.....................................................125
Figure 7.2 The RBL framework.......................................................127
Figure 7.3 Paragon7 cognitive readiness competencies.....................139
Figure 7.4 The Goleman ESI framework.........................................143
Figure 8.1 The leadership pipeline framework.................................153
Figure 8.2 The GROW coaching model..........................................178
Figure 8.3 The transition coaching framework................................190
Figure 8.4 The “ADAM” coaching methodology.............................191
Figure 9.1 Lencioni’s framework of five dysfunctions of teams........208
Figure 9.2 The SCORE™ framework for developing high-
performing teams...........................................................212
Figure 9.3 The “AGREE” framework to achieve team
Figure 10.1 The crisis leadership model.............................................226
List of Tables
Table 7.1 Competencies for the next generation of leaders.............139
Table 7.2 Descriptors of Paragon7 cognitive readiness
Table 8.1 Factors in identifying high potentials.............................160
Table 8.2 McCall’s five leadership demands...................................164
Table 9.1 “SCORE™” characteristics of high-performing teams
for a digital transformation............................................213
Today’s businesses face unprecedented challenges operating in a global
environment that is highly disruptive and increasingly volatile, uncer-
tain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA). Disruption has significantly im-
pacted the way the world works, as many of us have experienced today
and in recent years. Today’s businesses, government, and individuals are
responding to shifts that would have seemed unimaginable even a few
years ago. The current wave of disruption, including the recent corona-
virus (COVID-19) pandemic, the known forces of Industry 4.0 (such as
artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics), globalization, and demographic
change, is reinventing the workforce. Internet technologies have enabled
drones and driverless cars, which are transforming supply chains, logis-
tics, health care and even defense and security, such as the war against
terrorism. These disruptive forces have significantly impacted businesses,
economies, industries, societies, families, and individual lives. Undoubt-
edly, the COVID-19 pandemic has been highly disruptive for business
across all industries, irrespective of whether it is airline business, retail,
restaurant, or manufacturing. The coronavirus has and will continue to
impact many businesses’ sustainability because of their inability to gen-
erate revenue in 2020, which could very likely result in their demise.
Many leaders have commented that they had déjà vu—the feeling that
they are experiencing and doing what has already happened, referring to
another past disruptive activity of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) of
2008 through 2009.
Advanced technologies have impacted virtually every industry and
organization on many levels, from strategic planning and marketing to
supply chain management and customer service. Today, many individuals
and organizations across the globe are exploiting this change to disrupt
every industry. Uber, Alibaba, Airbnb, Netflix, and Tesla are just a few
famous examples of companies that have transformed lifestyles, including
the way people travel, shop, and stay, and there are many more. Leaders

in organizations are continually being confronted with increased com-

petition, globalization, demand for growing social responsibilities, and
a stream of technological revolution disrupting the marketplace. Hence
leaders need to challenge their mental models in their efforts to build and
sustain a high-performance organization (HPO). Effective leadership is
the process of impacting and influencing people to achieve the desired
results and prepare for the future. Leading in today’s highly disruptive and
increasingly VUCA-driven world is becoming much more challenging.
As a result, there is no easy path to becoming a highly effective leader,
and the challenge of being one in such an environment seems almost im-
possible. One of the biggest challenges facing organizations today is that
they are facing more significant pressure to develop the future or next
generation of leaders faster in response to dramatically changing the digi-
tal and highly disruptive business landscape. Who is the next generation
of leaders? What would it take to lead in disruptive times? What do busi-
ness and HR leaders need to know about developing the next generation
of leaders? How can leaders leverage the relevant best practices tools and
frameworks to lead and engage their teams in today’s fast-paced, highly
disruptive, and VUCA-driven business environment?
Talent management represents an organization’s efforts to attract, de-
velop, and retain skilled and valuable employees. The goal is to equip
them with the right set of capabilities and commitment needed for cur-
rent and future organizational success. This group of employees would
include “high potential,” which is the “next generation” or future lead-
ers. An organization’s talent pool, particularly its top potential manag-
erial talent, is often referred to as the leadership pipeline. A leadership
pipeline is designed to deliver the “next generation” (nextgen) of leaders.
The payoff is a supply of leadership talent that simultaneously achieves
targets, strengthens and protects ethical reputation, and navigates trans-
formational change in pursuit of a bright, competitive future in an en-
vironment that is highly disruptive and digital-driven. Leading in the
VUCA-driven era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (also known as
Industry 4.0), requires both current and future leaders to have a broader
skill set, one that equips them to think critically and act globally. Con-
ventional leadership development practices are no longer adequate. Or-
ganizations globally need to incorporate the next generation leadership

competencies, including resilience and cognitive readiness, to address the

development needs of their upcoming leaders. What is the role of leaders
in transforming the organization to succeed in the highly disruptive and
digital-driven world? How do organizations develop the next generation
of leaders and ensure their readiness to meet the challenges during times
of disruption and crisis?
This book is a follow-up to an earlier publication by the same
author,  Transforming the Next Generation of Leaders: Developing Fu-
ture Leaders for a Disruptive, Digital-Driven Era of the Fourth Industrial
Revolution (Industry 4.0),  which was also published by  Business Expert
Press LLC in July 2019.
This book seeks to guide leaders toward managing success in the cur-
rent (and future) highly disruptive events such as the COVID-19 pan-
demic and the digital revolution impact on the business by:

1. providing insights into the role of leaders to ensure organizational

success in times of disruption and leading the digital transformation
efforts at the workplace
2. understanding the crucial competencies, best practices, and contem-
porary approaches in developing the next generation of leaders for
success in times of disruption
3. leveraging on best practices tools and frameworks to lead and engage
their teams to achieve the desired results in the highly disruptive
business environment.
This book would not have been possible, or would have taken twice as
long, without the unwavering support and encouragement of Mr. Lee Pit
Teong (Pote). Mr. Lee is a true visionary and inspires me with his passion
and entrepreneurial drive. It was he who ignited in me the motivation to
write this book.
I would like to express my gratitude to the iGroup colleagues, David
Shawah, Krystaller Foo, Gunawan Hadi, Noelle Tan, Joanne Teh as well
as to the BEP team, Sung Tinnie, Charlene Kronstedt, Rob Zwettler,
Sheri Dean, and our project manager, Rene Caroline Balan, for their un-
stinting effort, professional advice, and assistance in getting this book
published in record time.
Finally, Terry Mac Manus’ professionalism and continued drive for ex-
cellence have helped bring the vision of dynamic book publishing closer.

Leading in the Age

of Disruption

The Nature of Disruption

“Move fast and break things.” Mark Zuckerberg’s famous instruction to
the Facebook team continues to resonate as advice for anyone wanting to
change their market and the greater world. Disruption is not a gentle art,
and perhaps that’s how it should be—in the words of Steve Jobs, we are
all here “to put a dent in the universe.” And incredible things can happen
when insight is not watered down by the experience. As Facebook’s suc-
cess shows, youth is a crucial element in the phenomenal growth of the
organization over a relatively short period (Lewis 2020).
Those who have been managing organizations for some time will
attest to the fact that disruption, in its various forms, can happen at any
time, in any market segment, or any industry. The reality is that its impact
on traditional organizations can be disastrous if not managed effectively.
It has and will continue to fundamentally change the way we live and
work in decades to come. A leader must see beyond the horizon to antici-
pate these possible disruptions and develop relevant strategies to mitigate
the associated risks.
Technology has long been acknowledged as a disruptive force that
radically changed the nature of work, business, and society in general. In
the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution altered the world and the way
organizations were being managed profoundly and permanently. Then
came electrification, the automobile, and mass production, to name only
a few massive technological changes that have reshaped the 20th cen-
tury. In today’s 21st century, powerful digital technologies and the rise of
Internet connectivity have created a knowledge-driven digital economy

that has revolutionized to a more significant extent and considerably

impacted and profoundly changed human history toward the way we
work, live and do business every day (Bawany 2019a).
We have seen a vast range of ever-improving advanced technologies
that are driving the disruptive innovation that will continue to change
and redefine our world. Advanced technologies can simply be defined
as emerging technologies that may enable new ways of doing business
that result in more economical consumer trade-offs as well as improving
employees’ productivity and enhancing the organization’s sustainability
in the longer term.
The next significant disruption will involve the partnerships between
the largest tech companies in the world and elite universities offering
hybrid online-offline degrees, the affordability and value of which will
seismically alter the landscape of higher education (Walsh 2020).
When an innovation creates a new market or value that disrupts an
existing market, it is known as “Disruptive Innovation.” It is a process
where an underrated product or service starts to grow in popularity, dis-
place, and eventually replace an established player or market leader. The
term “disruptive innovation” was coined by the late Harvard Business
School (HBS) Professor Clayton Christensen, who describes it as “a pro-
cess by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applica-
tions at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves upmarket,
eventually displacing established competitors” (Christensen 1997).
Before Christensen, an illustrious Harvard economic professor in
the 1940s, Joseph Schumpeter, differentiated innovation from that less
groundbreaking change, calling it “creative destruction.” According
to him, creative destruction refers to the constant product and process
innovation mechanism by which new production units replace outdated
ones. He considered it as “the essential fact about capitalism” (Schumpeter
Christensen discovered that the reason why it is incredibly challeng-
ing for existing firms to capitalize on disruptive innovation is that their
existing systems, processes, business model, and operating philosophy
that make them competent or sound at the current business would make
them ineffective at competing for the disruption (Christensen 1997).
Leading in the Age of Disruption 3

Disruptive innovators have smaller margins, niche markets and simple

product offerings. These products begin their journey from the bottom
and slowly climb to the top and dethrone the market leader.
When a new player enters the market, whose primary objective is to
disrupt the industry, the market leader is in a state of paralysis. They tend
to ignore the progress they are making. Soon, that start-up or market
challenger starts to challenge the market leader’s supremacy. This is when
the latter will begin to react, but it will be likely that they are too late
unless they transform themselves quickly to stay relevant; otherwise, they
will be lost in oblivion.
Given how extensively the phrase “disruptive innovation” has been
invoked for nearly 20 years, Christensen et al. revisit his most famous
of innovative ideas in the  Harvard Business Review  article, “What Is
Disruptive Innovation?”  (Christensen, Raynor, and McDonald 2015).
They assert that the concept of “disruptive innovation” has proven to be
a powerful way of thinking about innovation-driven growth and state,
“Many leaders of small, entrepreneurial companies praise it as their guid-
ing star; so do many executives at large, well-established organizations,
including Intel, Southern New Hampshire University, and Salesforce.
com.” Regrettably, they also believe that the disruption theory is in dan-
ger of becoming a victim of its success, having discovered that despite its
being widely accepted and known, the core concepts have been widely
misunderstood and frequently misapplied.

Selected Case Studies of Disruptive Innovation

Disruptive innovation does not just happen at random. History shows
that it is possible to identify disruptive strategies when combined with
particular marketplace trends that can topple industry incumbents.
The root causes of these transformative trends, which are driving this
current wave of disruption, include technology, globalization, and demo-
graphic change. We need to understand how the interaction between
these forces has defined the present and will continue to shape the future
by their impact on businesses, economies, industries, societies, and indi-
vidual lives (Bawany 2018b).

In their book, The Innovator’s Solution, Christensen and his co-author,

Michael Raynor, states that the first step toward being a market disruptor
will be to identify the value customers derive from a particular product or
service (Christensen and Raynor 2013). As Harvard marketing professor
Theodore Levitt once said, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill.
They want a quarter-inch hole!” When organizations think in terms of the
value proposition they offer to customers rather than in terms of the fea-
tures of the product, the organization will be able to create a sustainable
competitive advantage.
We will now examine two cases where technological innovation has
disrupted the industry concerned.

Case 1: Uber Disruption of Taxi Industry

The taxi industry has been significantly disrupted as Uber (Figure 1.1)
and other ride services providers offer rides “e-hailed” directly from a
smartphone app (Pullen 2014).

Figure 1.1  E-hailing ride services pioneer “Uber”

disrupting taxi industry

The company capitalized on increasing customer trust of strangers and

asset sharing as well as the connectivity enabled by widespread smartphone
use to first deploy “for-hire” town cars and then privately owned vehicles
in the unchartered ride marketplace. Although Uber is often labeled “dis-
ruptive” in view of its high ($62.5 billion) valuation (Newcomer 2015),
the data demonstrate that Uber and one of its competitors, Lyft, have
collectively displaced incumbents and expanded the market, truly dis-
rupting the industry. It is worth noting that the disruptive impact of such
Leading in the Age of Disruption 5

private car networks will vary according to the nature of taxi regulations
stipulated by the city or local governments. Still, the data suggest the taxi
industry everywhere has cause for concern when such disruptors, such as
Uber, make their presence felt in the market.
To appreciate how the industry has evolved, consider the pre-Uber taxi
market (2009–2010) in the United States. Burdensome regulations and
consumer dissatisfaction long characterized the taxi industry. Although
transport regulations were managed at a local level, as mentioned earlier,
inefficiencies and reported problems were found industrywide. For example,
a 1984 Federal Trade Commission report found that “there is no persuasive
economic rationale for some of the most important regulations.” (Franken
and Pautler 1984). The report cites limits on the number of participating
firms and vehicles, as well as minimum fares, as a waste of resources and
a burden on the lower-income population. A much later study by Henry
Farber, a Princeton University Professor, found that inadequate pricing
incentives led to a scarcity of taxis under unpleasant or dangerous weather
conditions when taxis are most in-demand (Farber 2014).
The U.S. taxi industry has traditionally used a medallion system that
has remained mostly unchanged since the 1930s. Medallions are legal
certifications issued by local authorities that verify that the taxi driver is
allowed to operate commercially and pick up passengers from street hails.
Uber identified idle town cars in the adjacent “for-hire” market as
viable substitutes to provide short-range transportation to dissatisfied
taxi customers. Although regulations prohibited any vehicle without a
medallion from picking up street hails—“for-hire vehicles” had to rely
on call-ahead reservations—the increasing use of location-aware smart-
phones made it possible to request and dispatch rides without hailing it
on the road, allowing the town cars to compete directly with taxis.

How Was Uber Able to So Completely Disrupt the Taxi Industry?

Uber combined modern technology with flexible payment and pricing

strategies while simultaneously offering a beneficial platform for pro-
spective drivers.
Uber’s value proposition includes its ubiquitous connectivity, efficient
hailing and driver apps, and user-rating systems to establish trust with

riders, enabling it to create a sustainable competitive advantage as a more

dependable alternative to taxi rides. The cars are driven by professional,
courteous drivers and are clean and comfortable. With increased access to
data from smartphones, Uber’s platform embedded an incentive structure
to dynamically match supply with demand through “surge-pricing”—
when demand was high, fares increased to entice more drivers onto the
streets. Dynamic algorithms had finally addressed the “how to find a taxi
in the rain” problem (Pullen 2014).
In retrospect, it is alarmingly clear that the car hire industry fits a
mobile geolocation app like a glove on a hand. Uber recognized this sym-
biosis and created its mobile app, which enables users to order a ride
(known as an “Uber”), with the ease of a tap or swipe. The app recognizes
the user’s location or allows the user to define where he or she would like
to be picked up, and when. The user can then follow the driver’s progres-
sion toward the pickup location, in real-time. The app also includes a rat-
ing system, through which the drivers are evaluated at the end of a ride.
Uber removes subpar drivers from its operation, thereby maintaining a
high customer service standard.
To add to the convenience of its users, Uber has done away with cash
payments. Users define their payment details in the app, so the ride is
paid for digitally, saving time and hassle. Users are also provided the esti-
mated charge in advance, increasing the transparency of the service.
As Uber is not a taxi service, but rather a ride-sharing service, it is
not subject to various taxes and license fees. Uber has chosen to do away
with expensive transaction costs, such as reservation costs, and enjoys the
benefits of contracting its drivers as agents—not as employees. The driv-
ers are also not subject to municipal expenses, higher insurance rates, or
expensive permits and are, in essence, turning their existing cars into an
income-generating mechanism. These combined advantages allow Uber
to offer competitive pricing to its customer base while creating revenues
for its network of drivers.
Potential drivers have the flexibility and opportunity to turn the exist-
ing resources (a car and their free time) into revenues. As the number of
drivers increases, customer satisfaction improves, creating increased cus-
tomer demand.
Leading in the Age of Disruption 7

Uber users are growing steadily as a result of their satisfaction from

the short pickup time, the increased convenience, and the lower rates, so
there is a resulting increase in demand for drivers.
Thus, there has been a decrease in the prices of taxi licenses and taxi
medallions (permits) in some major cities. In order not to overinflate the
market with drivers, taxis were required to own a medallion, the number
of which is controlled, thereby ensuring consistent demand for drivers.

Taxi Industry Fighting Back

In the U.S. City of Florida, Miami, in July 2015, a local TV station

reported that the taxi industry was fighting back against Uber and posted
an advertisement on the Florida Taxicab Association website asking, “Is
Uber safe?”
In January 2020, to fight back against the dominance of ride-sharing
apps such as Uber and Lyft, the City of Los Angeles enacted sweeping
changes to its previous taxi system, where taxis pick up passengers along-
side Uber but on different lanes. The new system, according to The New
York Times (NYT), will make it easy for passengers because they will just
have to call a centralized dispatch to request a taxi, rather than having to
contact one of several different companies. There will be a cell phone app
as well if customers prefer to do it that way. Furthermore, passengers will
know the cost of their ride before getting into the cab, which has been a
sticking point with younger riders who were previously familiar only with
Uber and Lyft (Carpenter 2020).

Grab: Uber Challenger in Southeast Asia

In March 2018, Grab, a Singapore-based technology start-up offering

ride-hailing transport services, food delivery, and payment solutions,
announced that it had acquired Uber’s Southeast Asia operations. This
deal is the largest ever of its kind in Southeast Asia. Grab’s plans then
were to integrate Uber’s ride-sharing and food delivery business in the
region into Grab’s existing multimodal transportation and fintech plat-
form. With the combined company, Grab aims to become the leading

online-to-offline (O2O) mobile platform in Southeast Asia and be the

leading player in the food delivery market space (Keeton-Olsen 2018).
Grab provides the essential services Southeast Asian consumers care
the most about, namely, safety and affordable transport, food and pack-
age delivery, mobile payments, and financial services. The acquisition
allowed Grab to extend its leadership as the most cost-efficient Southeast
Asian platform, as it takes over Uber’s operations and assets in Cambodia,
Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and
Vietnam. As part of the acquisition, Uber will take a 27.5 percent stake in
Grab, and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi will join Grab’s board.
It’s not easy serving the needs of the Southeast Asian region’s popu-
lation of 620 million, but Grab’s hyperlocal strategy has allowed it to
gain an edge over rivals. The company has expanded by remaining sensi-
tive to the needs of the customers in particular countries and tailoring
new services to meet them. In Indonesia, Grab is operating GrabBike
as users prefer riding motorcycles to avoid massive jams. In Singapore,
GrabShuttle ferries commuters in less accessible areas on the first and last
mile of their journeys at a lower price point.
It took Grab more than 5 years to hit one billion rides. But it was able
to reach the next billion rides in less than 9 months after that. Grab says
it crossed three billion rides as of January 2019 (Economic Development
Board of Singapore 2019).
Grab’s steady expansion across the region is strongly tied to its
tried-and-tested principles of working closely with local partners, under-
standing and meeting the needs of its consumers, and staying true to its
mission of bringing the region’s 640 million people together to “make life
better for all.”
With Grab, one can swipe into its mobile-based application to hire
anything that rides on wheels. It has introduced more than ten on-demand
ride-hailing services—including taxis, private cars, carpooling, bicycle
sharing, shuttle services, and bike taxis—with more than 2.8 million driv-
ers processing over six million ride orders every day in 2019.
Grab’s strategic intent is to provide everything in the consumer services
sector, too. Touted as the super app model, Grab has forayed into mul-
tiple consumer services sectors such as hotel booking service, on-demand
video platform, ticket purchasing, food ordering, and grocery shopping,
Leading in the Age of Disruption 9

besides offering financial services. The model is believed to have been

first pioneered by Chinese multinational conglomerates, Alibaba’s Alipay
and Tencent’s WeChat. For now, Grab is among the front-line companies
spearheading this model in the Southeast Asian markets.
As part of its financial offering, Grab launched its QR-code-based
mobile payments service, GrabPay, in January 2016. The service is cur-
rently available in six Southeast Asian nations: Singapore, Indonesia,
Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. This payment service,
besides accepting payments for Grab rides, can also be used while making
an in-store purchase, food delivery, and fund transfer (Pradhan 2019).
In February 2020, the Nikkei Asian Review reported that Grab and
the market challenger, Indonesia-based Gojek, “casually” discussed mer-
ger options, according to two people familiar with the matter. A merger
would create the world’s sixth-largest decacorn (companies that are valued
at over $10 billion), valued at over $1 billion—right behind the United
States’ Airbnb, at $35 billion. China’s ByteDance is the top decacorn, at
$75 billion (Tani 2020).

Case 2: Netflix Disrupting the Television Entertainment Industry

Throughout the history of television, shifts in technology and the media

market structure have resulted in corresponding changes in the ways that
people view and enjoy content and entertainment. Over the past 40 years,
the television industry has undergone several shifts, whose effects have
manifested in onscreen entertainment by viewers. Right from the evolu-
tion from basic cable in the 1980s to the popularization of the digital
video recorder (DVR) in the 2000s, changes to the platform have rou-
tinely translated into adaptive shifts in how content is being delivered and
enjoyed by viewers.
The rise of the on-demand entertainment industry forces the trad-
itional TV broadcasters and networks as well as Internet providers
to rethink their approach of offering viewers specific programmed
time-limited choices.
The on-demand entertainment industry has evolved rapidly over the
last two decades. The first significant disruption to the television and
movie industry, in the form of subscription video-on-demand (VoD)

online streaming service, is pioneered by Netflix, where it offers an

inexpensive real-time on-demand alternative to traditionally expensive
cable TV services, using the Internet—anywhere, anytime.
Established in 1997 as a retailer that delivered DVDs via mail, Netflix
has grown tremendously to become the undisputed leader in the online
video streaming business (Figure 1.2). By April 2020, Netflix, Inc. had
over 167 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV
series, documentaries, and feature films across a wide variety of genres
and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime,
anywhere, on any Internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause,
and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments (Netflix
Investors 2020).

Figure 1.2  Netflix online video streaming service

When Netflix first started, in 1997, it was a small competitor to bricks

and mortar video rental stores such as Blockbuster, which opened its first
outlet in 1985. Netflix quickly grew into a corporate giant by revolution-
izing the way movies were rented. In 1994, it was bought by Viacom in
a deal worth several billions of dollars and was already one of America’s
most recognizable brands. It was listed on the New York Stock Exchange
in August 1999 (Web Archive 2020).
At its peak in 2004, Blockbuster had 60,000 employees and 9,000
stores worldwide, with a market value of $5 billion and revenues of
$5.9 billion. Ten years later, those figures have dropped dramatically, with
revenues of only $120 million coming from its remaining 300 stores in
Leading in the Age of Disruption 11

the United States. In subsequent years, Blockbuster’s results continued

to be very poor, supposedly because of the changing market dynamics.
On September 23, 2010, Blockbuster filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
protection, citing challenging losses; $900 million in debt; and intense
competition from Netflix, Redbox, and VoD services (Harress 2013).

How Did Netflix Displace Blockbuster?

From the beginning, Netflix innovated by embracing new delivery chan-

nels or platforms as they become available. This strategy has enabled it
to become the digital disruptor that it is today. With the rise of online
streaming, Netflix jumped on board. It was able to knock traditional
movie shops out of the game thanks to the value proposition, which
includes broader selection, buffet style (“all-you-can-watch”), convenient
access, and low-cost (monthly membership fees) approach.
Let’s examine the timeline for the development of both companies.
Between 2000 and 2010, Blockbuster Entertainment went from being a
movie rental giant with 9,000 stores across the United States to declaring
bankruptcy, as Netflix expanded the reach of the movie rental market-
place, first with physical movie rentals and then with streaming services
in 2007 (Antonoff 2015). Rather than replicate Blockbuster’s focus on
“hit” movies, Netflix brought unique films to viewers searching for niche
titles, such as documentaries and Bollywood films. As of March 2008,
Netflix had an inventory of 90,000 DVDs, and 25 percent of Netflix’s
sales were from products not available in even the largest offline retail
stores (Anderson 2004). Blockbuster did not go down easily. To match
the appeal of Netflix, it began to discontinue late fees and invest in a digi-
tal platform. In essence, this move cannibalized two core revenue streams,
hurting profitability and resulting in the ousting of CEO John Antioco
(Satell 2014). Unable to compete, Blockbuster fell from a company value
of $5.9 billion in 2003 to that of just $24 million immediately before fil-
ing Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2010 (Bernstein 2014).
One of the reasons why disruptive companies are often able to rise so
quickly is that their larger competitors overlook them, as we have seen
in the case of Netflix and Blockbuster. In the initial stages, Netflix and
Blockbuster weren’t competing for the same customers, with Blockbuster

even refusing to acquire Netflix for US$50 million in 2000 (Antonoff

2015). Video streaming wasn’t a new idea when Netflix embraced it,
but it was their existing customer base that got them over the line. In
Blockbuster’s case, they were too late. Today, streaming services continue
to attract more and more customers owing to the key selling points of
the service. In addition to being more affordable, services such as Netflix
allow their members to watch when they want, rather than having to plan
ahead of time to view or schedule a recording.
Perhaps the critical point of difference that Netflix boasts as a digital
disruptor is a fact that it has started to create its content—demonstrating
the company’s extraordinary reach. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings considers
the Internet as the first global distribution channel for movies and TV.
“It allows a company like Netflix to produce shows locally and distribute
them around the world,” he said. In pitching to producers around the
world, Netflix can offer “the chance to launch a show simultaneously in
190 countries to 81 million viewers”—something that cable TV providers
and movie stores could never offer in view of constraints in both budget
and technology (O’Brien 2016).
In 2019, Netflix released 2,701 hours of original programming, com-
pared with just 314 hours for Amazon Prime Video, according to the
Omdia’s “Original Online Production Report—2020.” Netflix offered a
total of 657 first-run original titles in 2019, outstripping the 70 new titles
from Amazon Prime Video (Prange 2020).
As a company, it is focused on developing content in as many local
languages as possible, attracting users from around the world. Hastings
and Netflix believe this strategy is one of the keys to its future, although
the plan doesn’t come without its critics.

Netflix’s Mass Customization Strategy Based on Algorithms

Leveraging digital technology and delivery has always been part of the
company strategy. Netflix’s positioning is that it is a great place to find
movies that their members love. That’s a customer proposition that’s
delivery agnostic. What this means is that members can stream Netflix
from any Internet-connected device that offers a Netflix app, such as
gaming consoles, DVD and Blu-ray players, smart TVs, set-top boxes,
home theater systems, and mobile phones and tablets.
Leading in the Age of Disruption 13

Netflix can ensure that a particular member will be informed of

similar titles he or she might like owing to the company-perfected algo-
rithms that evolved into the Cinematch recommendation engine, which
matched a consumer’s tastes to other titles. So when a returning member
lands on the Netflix site, he or she might see recommendations that are
entirely different from those of another member (Antonoff 2015).
The Cinematch recommendation engine drives Netflix’s mass cus-
tomization strategy. Cinematch algorithm is a powerful tool that the
company uses to convince members to consume the vast library of ori-
ginal programming and ensure that the right content is surfaced to the
right person at the right time. This customer-centric personalization
approach enables Netflix to create more than 167 million tailored experi-
ences to delight each member every time they enter the platform. Netflix’s
167 million paid memberships worldwide include more than 100 million
outside the United States (Ha 2020).
In the foreseeable future, Netflix, along with the other players in the
video streaming industry, is expected to face intense competition as the
escalating war for original content heats up with new players that straddle
the media, tech, and entertainment domains occupied by Apple, Disney,
NBCUniversal, Paramount, Sony, 21st Century Fox, and Warner Bros
(Marvin 2019).

Disruption is everywhere and in every aspect of our lives. In whichever part
of the world we live, the radical changes affecting social, political, techno-
logical, digital, or corporate entities can be profound in many instances.
One of the roles of leaders is to anticipate these disruptions and
develop the capabilities to navigate in today’s increasingly volatile,
uncertain, complex, ambiguous (VUCA)-driven and digital-driven busi-
ness environment and workplace. To do so, it will require some radical
rethinking on the part of the leaders by leveraging on a suite of cognitive
readiness competencies, including metacognition, “connecting the dots,”
critical thinking skills, resilience, and emotional and social intelligence,
among others (Bawany 2019a).
In recent times, we have seen or experienced several of these power-
ful global forces that are changing how we live and work. They include,

but are not limited to, the devastating and disruptive impact of the
COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 (see Chapter 3) and the digital disruption
of Industry 4.0 through the rapid spread of digital technologies at the
workplace and industry.
These disruptive trends offer considerable new opportunities to com-
panies, industries, countries, and individuals that embrace them success-
fully. They are bringing forth dynamic and innovative new players on the
world stage and could provide a much-needed boost to productivity and
prosperity in many countries.
Advances in technology, from artificial intelligence, robotics, quantum-
based technologies, and so forth, are enabling disruption. But disruption
requires more than technology. Everyone needs to be aware of the trans-
formational changes coming their way; they need to understand what it
means for them, and the impact on their careers and businesses.
There are two things we can say with certainty about the future: it will
be different, and it will surprise. As digital disruption continues to trans-
form the workplace, organizations need to develop a sustainable leader-
ship pipeline of future leaders so that new, capable leaders are ready and
in place just as and when the situation arises.
Now, more than ever, these leaders have to navigate unfamiliar, chal-
lenging times, a quickening pace of change, increasing expectations, and a
rising tide of rapidly evolving conditions. This new and different environ-
ment (highly disruptive, digital, and VUCA-driven) is challenging leaders
to find new ways to lead their organizations and achieve sustained success.
Conventional leadership development practices are no longer adequate.
Organizations globally need to incorporate the next generation leadership
competencies to address the development needs of their rising leaders
(Bawany 2019a).
ADAM coaching methodology, CEE. See Centre for Executive
190–193 Education (CEE)
Agile, 77, 80, 81, 93, 94, 99, 109, Centre for Executive Education
110, 117 (CEE), 44, 54, 76, 125
AI. See Artificial intelligence (AI) Challenges, 81–83
Alibaba, 9, 88, 89, 91 Chamorro-Premuzic, Adler, 104
Amazon, 12, 81, 91, 92, 148 Charan, Ram, 104
Amazon Prime Video, 12 Christensen, Clayton, 2, 3, 4, 58
Antioco, John, 11 Church, A. H., 103
Apple Inc., 13, 53, 92, 100, 148 Cloud computing, 49, 53, 70, 76,
Artificial intelligence (AI), 49, 53, 54, 135, 227
57, 59, 60–62, 65, 66, 70, Coaching culture, 173–176
76, 112, 134, 135, 145, 227 Coaching for Performance, 177
Attracting/retaining right talent, Cognitive readiness and critical
74–75 thinking, 107–108
Attributes, disruptive digital leader, Cognitive systems, 112
105–114 Cold War, 16
Automation, 60, 62–63, 65, 66 Collaboration
Aviation industry, 39 cross-functional teamwork, 72, 83
Azevêdo, Roberto, 36, 37 decision making, 73–74
learning, 117
Baculard, Laurent-Pierre, 77 Collins, Jim, 201–202
BCPs. See Business continuity plans Communication skills, 114–116
(BCPs) Competencies, 135–137
Best-practice toolkit, 216–218 Compound annual growth rate
Bezos, Jeff, 148 (CAGR), 88
Big data, 57, 69, 74, 112, 226, 230 Conger, J. A., 103
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 32 Cook, Tim, 148
Bitcoin, 53, 133 Coronavirus. See COVID-19
Black swan, 43 Corporate leadership council,
Blockchain technology, 53, 135, 228 103, 152
Boyatzis, R. E., 163 Corporatewide coaching culture,
Branded customer experience, 81 172–173
Branson, Sir Richard, 99 Cost efficiency/revenue
Built to Last, 119 optimization, 74
Business continuity plans (BCPs), COVID-19
43–44, 45 business operations, 43–46
Business operations, 43–46 crisis leadership, 224–227
Business strategy, 165 digital transformation, 233–235
GFC, 3537
CAGR. See Compound annual global economy, 35–36
growth rate (CAGR) global supply chain, 46–49

COVID-19 (contd.) Digital Transformation (DT/DX)

IMF, 37–38 case study, 86–94
introduction to, 31 challenges, 81–83
lockdown, 35, 38, 39, 43, 45, 233, culture, 76–79
235 digital-driven culture, 72–76
society, 41–43 digital-driven organization culture,
VUCA impact of, 22–25 71–72
WHO, 31 introduction to, 69–71
workers and jobs, 38–41 key success factors, 83–86
WTO, 36–37 New “Digital DNA”, 79–80
Crisis leadership, 224–227 Digital Transformation Office
Critical thinking skills, 22, 27, 29, 56, (DTO), 84
96, 136, 145, 163, 208, 230 Digital video recorder (DVR), 9
C-suite leaders, 93 Digital-driven
Customer experience, 72–73 culture, 72–76
Customer-centricity, 72 organization culture, 71–72
Cyber-physical systems, 54 workplace, 112, 201–202
Cybersecurity, 78, 225, 227 Digitally minded culture, 80
Disney, 13, 53
Data analytics, 70 Disruptive business environment,
Data science, 76 229–230
Data-driven decision-making, 72 Disruptive digital leaders
DBS Bank, 85–87, 96 assessment and development of
de Waal, A. A., 119 ADAM coaching methodology,
Decision making, 18, 19, 22, 73, 74, 190–193
77, 100, 126, 200, 218 coaching culture, 173–176
DecisionTech’s, 208 corporatewide coaching culture,
Deloitte, 25, 80 172–173
Democratizing, 80 disruptive digital leaders,
DESA. See United Nations, 164–165, 187–189,
Department of Economics 193–196
and Social Affairs (DESA) executive coaching versus
Development of new technologies, 78 transition coaching, 183–185
Digital future disruptive digital leaders,
flywheel, 132 181–183
leadership, 99, 105 future leaders, 155–156,
organization, 73, 78, 80 161–164, 189–190
revolution and Industry 4.0, 53–54 GROW Model, 176–181
technology, 1–2, 12, 35, 49, 52, 58, high-potential identification,
69, 71, 73, 75, 77, 88 158–161
transformation, 52, 58, 66, 95, 96, introduction, to, 151–152
102, 106, 107, 109, 111, leadership developmental tool,
112, 113, 115, 117, 129, 165–166, 168–171
130, 133, 145, 146, 163, leadership pipeline, 152–155
168, 172, 180, 185, 188, leadership transitions, 185–186
195, 196, 199, 200, 201, leveraging on, 157–158
202, 223, 228, 229, 231, managing, coaching, mentoring,
233–235 consulting, and training,
workplace, 92–94 167–168

multigenerational workplace, The New York Times (NYT), 7

171–172 Fog of war, 17
new digital disruptive leaders, Forbes Asia, 90
186–187 Ford, Henry, 104
facet of management, 96–98 Foster innovation/creativity, 75–76
identifying future, 98–104 Foster, J., 102
attributes, 105–114 4-Ds-type environment, 61
communication skills, 114–116 Fourth Industrial Revolution, 51,
Driver apps, 5–6 54–58, 69, 96–97, 135
Driving for Success, 113–114 2016 Future of Jobs report, 56
DT/DX. See Digital Transformation 2018 Future of Jobs report,
(DT/DX) 57–58
DTO. See Digital Transformation Future disruptive digital leaders,
Office (DTO) 181–183
DVDs, 10–11 Future leaders, 155–156, 161–164,
DVR. See Digital video recorder 189–190
(DVR) Future of work, 62–63

Ebola, 31–32 Gallwey, Tim, 177

EDA. See Executive Development “GANDALF” Philosophy, 91–92
Associates (EDA) Gates, Bill, 31–32
Effective teams, 203–208 GDP, 24, 35, 36, 40, 41, 47
Embrace and encourage innovation, Georgieva, Kristalina, 38
230–232 GFC. See Global financial crisis
Emotional and social intelligence (GFC)
(ESI), 102 Ghebreyesus, Tedros Adhanom Dr., 34
Emotional resilience, empathy/social Gledhill, David, 88
skills, 111–113 Global economy, 35–36, 38, 40
Employee first philosophy, 99–100 Global financial crisis (GFC), 16,
ESI competencies, 141–142 35, 37
ESI leadership competency Global supply chain, 46–49
framework, 142–145 Goleman, Daniel, 111
ESI. See Emotional and social Good to Great, 202
intelligence (ESI) Google, 92, 148
Executive coaching versus transition Grab, 7–9, 88
coaching, 183–185 Greece, Ancient, 168
Executive Development Associates GROW Model, 176–181
(EDA), 54, 137–138 Gupta, Piyush, 87, 89

Facebook, 1, 91, 148, 237 Harvard Business Review, 3, 63, 77,

Facet of management, 96–98 90, 104, 119, 188
Familiarity breeds contempt, 147 Helicopter drops, 36
Farber, Henry, 5 High-performance digital framework,
Fauci, Anthony Dr., 25 124–125
Federal Trade Commission, 5 High-Performance Organizations
Ferry, Korn, 100 (HPOs), 119–124
The First 90 Days, 164 competencies, 135–137
5G, 49 disruptive digital leaders, 145–147

High-Performance Organizations The Inner Game, 177

(contd.) The Innovator’s Solution, 4
disruptive digital leadership, Innosight, 91
147–150 Innovation-driven mindset and
competencies, 137–139 experimentation, 105–107
ESI competencies, 141–142 Intel, 3
ESI leadership competency International Labour Organization
framework, 142–145 (ILO), 39
high-performance digital International Monetary Fund (IMF),
framework, 124–125 37–38
HPOs, 119–124 International public health, 33
introduction to, 117–118 Internet of systems, 54, 69, 228
paragon7 cognitive readiness Internet of Things (IoT), 49, 53, 54,
competencies, 139–141 61, 131, 135, 228
RBL framework, 125–129 IoT. See Internet of Things (IoT)
Starbucks Corp., 129–135
High-potential (HiPo), 104, 153, Jobs, Steve, 1, 100
154, 159, 160–161, 163, Johansen, Robert, 26
165, 182 JoySpace, 94
High-Potential Identification,
158–161 Katzenbach, J. R., 200, 203, 207
Hill, L. A., 103 Key success factors, 83–86
HiPo. See High-potential (HiPo) Khosrowshahi, Dara, 8
Hospitality industry, 39 Kirby, J., 119
HPOs. See High-Performance Knowing–doing gap, 70
Organizations (HPOs), Konczak, L., 102
Human Resources (HR), 65–66 Lazada’s HelloPay, 88
Human-centered design, 78 Leadership
challenges, 25–27
Identifying future, 98–104 development strategy, 165
IIoT. See Industrial Internet of Things developmental tool, 165–166,
(IIoT) 168–171
ILO. See International Labour pipeline, 152–155
Organization (ILO) strategy, 165
IMF. See International Monetary trade, 102
Fund (IMF) transitions, 185–186
In Search of Excellence, 119 versus management, 96
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), 61 Leading/engaging high-performance
Industry 4.0, digital disruption of teams, 210–212
businesses, 58–62 best-practice toolkit, 216–218
digital revolution and, 53–54 case study, 213–216, 219–222
disruptive business environment, digital-driven workplace,
229–230 201–202
Fourth Industrial Revolution, effective teams, 203–208
54–58 introduction to, 199–200
future of work, 62–63 leading high-performing teams,
introduction to, 51–53 210–212
workforce of tomorrow, 63–66 SCORE™ framework, 212

teams versus working groups, Page, Larry,

7 148
200–201 Paragon cognitive readiness
LEAP framework, 27–30 competencies, 139–141
Levitt, Theodore, 4 Paramount, 13, 53
LinkedIn, 92 Pareto’s principle, 104
Lockdown, 35, 38, 39, 43, 45, 233, Parsloe, E., 166
235 Pence, Mike, 25
Lyft, 7, 133 People, process, and technology
(PPT), 69, 70, 77
Machine learning, 57, 70, 76, 227 Peters, Tom, 119
Make Banking Joyful, 89 Petersen, Kathryn, 208
Management function, 97–98 POSB. See Post Office Savings Bank
Managing, coaching, mentoring, (POSB)
consulting, and training, Post Office Savings Bank (POSB), 87
167–168 PPT. See People, process, and
Marriott International Inc., 46 technology (PPT)
McCall, Morgan W., 163–164 Pulse check, 189–190
McClelland, David, 161–162 PUTTING EMPLOYEE FIRST, 44
Mental and learning agility, 27 PwC’s “Digital IQ” Survey, 79
MERS. See Middle East Respiratory
Syndrome (MERS) QR-code-based mobile payments
Microsoft Corporation, 91, service, 9
147–150 Quality employees, 82
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Quantum computing, 62
(MERS), 33
Monetary and fiscal policies, 37 Raynor, Michael, 4
Multigenerational workplace, RBL. See Results-based Leadership
171–172 (RBL)
Ready, D. A., 103
Nadella, Satya, 147–150 Redbox, 11
Nanotechnology, 61, 228 Resilience and adaptability,
Nature of disruption, 1–3 1089–111
NBCUniversal, 13, 53 Results-based Leadership (RBL), 81,
Netflix, 9–13, 53, 91 125–129
New “Digital DNA”, 79–80 Robotics, 49, 53, 54, 59–60, 62, 70,
New digital disruptive leaders, 112, 135, 145, 228
186–187 Robust human resources processes,
“New normal” workplace, 16, 28, 117
136, 238–241 Roubini, Nouriel, 35
Next-generation leaders, 56, 67
Nikkei Asian Review, 9, 3
Nuclear war, 32 SARS. See Severe Acute Respiratory
NYT. See The New York Times (NYT) Syndrome (SARS)
Schumpeter, Joseph, 2
O’Shaughnessy, S., 166 Schwab, Klaus, 54
O2O. See Online-to-offline (O2O) SCORE™ Framework, 212
Online-to-offline (O2O), 7–8 Self-disruptive digital leaders, 100
Open and trust-based partnership, 72 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
Oxford Economics, 76 (SARS), 33, 43, 47

Sharing platforms, 135 UX. See User experience (UX)

Silzer, R., 103
Sloan Management Review, 80 Video-on-demand (VoD), 9–11
Small and medium enterprises Virgin Group, 99–100
(SMEs), 39, 43, 87 Visionary and entrepreneurial skills,
SMEs. See Small and medium 107
enterprises (SMEs) VoD. See Video-on-demand (VoD)
Smith, D. K., 200, 203, 207 Volatility, uncertainty, complexity,
Social groups, 41 and ambiguity (VUCA), 13,
Social media, 16, 76 15–30, 54, 93, 95, 97, 99,
Social skills, 96 117, 124, 136, 137, 223, 230
Society, 41–43 VUCA. See Volatile, uncertain,
Sony, 13, 53 complex, ambiguous (VUCA)
Sorenson, Arne, 45
Southern New Hampshire University, Walmart, 20
3 Warner Bros, 13, 53
Spanish flu, 32 Waterman, Bob, 119
Spotify, 133 Watkins, M., 164
Stakeholders, 44, 46, 56, 83, 96–97, Welch, Jack, 97, 171–172
101–102, 145, 180, Wenliang, Li Dr., 24
187–190, 194–196, 220– WFM. See Work-from-home (WFM)
222, 225, 229 Whitmore’s, Sir John, 177–181
Starbucks corp., 129–135 WHO. See World Health
Surge-pricing, 6 Organization (WHO)
Synthetic biology, 61 Wi-Fi, 130
Wipro Digital, 77
Taking charge, 185 Way forward
Taxi industry, 4–7 crisis leadership, 224–227
Teams versus working groups, digital transformation, 233–235
200–201 embrace and encourage innovation,
Technological innovation, 4–13 230–232
Television industry, 9–13 industry 4.0, 227–229
Tencent, 89, 91 disruptive business environment,
Tencent’s WeChat, 9 229–230
3D printing, 49 introduction to, 223–224
Tomorrow, workforce of, 63–66 “new normal” workplace, 238–241
Tourism industry, 39, 40 trust-based partnership, 232–233
Transition Readiness Assessment, 189 WFM, 235–238
Trump, Donald, 25 Workers and Jobs, 38–41
Trust-based partnership, 232–233 Work-from-home (WFM), 43, 44,
21st Century Fox, 13, 53 235–238
World Economic Forum (WEF), 54
Uber, 4–9, 52, 90 World Health Organization (WHO),
United Nations, Department of 22, 23, 25, 31, 33–35, 224
Economics and Social Affairs World Trade and Tourism Council
(DESA), 42 (WTTC), 24, 40
User experience (UX), 78 World Trade Organization (WTO),
User-rating systems, 5–6 36–37

Wray, M., 166 Zappos, 81

WTO. See World Trade Organization Zuckerberg, Mark, 1, 148, 237
WTTC. See World Trade and Tourism
Council (WTTC)
Wuhan’s Institute of Virology, 24
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