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I’m in San Francisco, where I moderated a panel on digital transformation yesterday afternoon at the annual Salesforce extravaganza, with McKinsey’s Vivian Hunt, MediaLink CEO Michael Kassan, and Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst.
Whitehurst did a particularly good job explaining why the best companies pursuing technological transformations also are putting purpose at the center of their business. In a 20th century business model, he said, where workers perform tasks prescribed by their managers, money may have been a sufficient motivator. But in the 21st century, the prescribed tasks are increasingly automated, and workers are being called on to innovate and exercise judgement and creativity. To get the best from them, it helps to provide an aspirational goal—a “North Star”—that can guide and inspire their efforts.