This is the next blog in the continuing series of interviews with top-echelon and renowned professionals. In this blog, I have an interview with Mark Mueller-Eberstein. Mark’s most recent book has the endorsement of top leaders worldwide and his no-fear community engages 100,000 executives and interested IT professionals.
MARK MUELLER-EBERSTEIN is founder and CEO of Adgetec Corporation, whose mission is to help organizations and their leaders realize value globally.
Mueller-Eberstein is a recognized thought leader, speaker, mentor, and coach for topics as:
- Leveraging IT for business success
- Global consumerization of IT
- Connecting people
- Reducing ambiguity
- Organizational culture for the next generation
- Organizational leadership values
In addition to blogs, whitepapers and research papers, Mark Mueller-Eberstein is the author of "Agility - Competing and Winning in a Tech-Savvy Marketplace" and co-author of "No Fear: Business Leadership in the Age of Digital Cowboys". Mueller-Eberstein's books are written based on his over fifteen years of global experience in the IT industry, working with companies and governments to choose, adopt, roll out, and measure the impact of new technologies.
At Microsoft, he was responsible for the customers' value realization and deployment experience of Microsoft's Office and collaboration products, the customer and partner engagement during Microsoft's software development process, and joint research with leading academic institutions on technology adoption and its impact on business results.
He is coaching organizations' employees, customers and partners across the globe on this and other topics.
Prior to joining Microsoft, Mueller-Eberstein was at Hewlett-Packard in leadership positions in business development, marketing, and product management.
Mark Mueller-Eberstein received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Technology Berlin and studied at the University of Marburg, both in his native country of Germany. Over the last years, he worked closely and published with the researchers from Boston University.
Mark Meuller-Eberstein - Author & Consultant
"Agility: Competing and Winning in a Tech-Savvy Marketplace"
"No Fear: Business Leadership In the Age of Digital Cowboys"
To listen to the interview, click on this MP3 file link
Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic
Mark, you have a long career in many areas with considerable successes. Thank you for sharing your considerable expertise, deep accumulated insights and wisdom with our audience.
"....I'm really looking forward to the interview today and the follow-up questions from your audience as well...."
You expressed an interest in the IFIP World CIO Forum or WCF. Why should CIOs, senior executives, government, industry and academic leaders participate in the World CIO Forum? [Editor's note: For more information go to: www.worldcioforum.com; Call for papers; WCF news in the IFIP Newsletter].
"....Events like the World CIO forum are directly in line with what my team and I are trying to do, which is reducing the ambiguity by really explaining what is happening and developing actionable plans....Leveraging synergies, sharing ideas and eventually developing an impact that is changing organizational cultures, leadership and technology adoption makes the individuals who are participating, the organizations they are representing and societies at large more successful and more prepared for the changes that are coming and to turn those changes into opportunities...."
How do you feel the WCF will take its participants, IT executives, and the industry in general to the next level?
"....It goes beyond purely IT and really looks at the broader impact of organizational changes and the change in organizational values and brings together representatives of a vast variety of backgrounds. That's the key of what I have seen in my work over the years - the more different and diverse perspectives that you bring together, the more viewpoints you are incorporating, the more knowledge you can generate, the more effective network end results you can generate...."
Can you overview some prior roles and leadership lessons you wish to share?
"....Bringing the right people together who knew where the information was, what the business looked like and what the key concerns were, and allowing them to connect and to work with their network to drive the best plan and the best execution for the client....In our book, we call the most connected and the most energetic drivers the "digital cowboys". If they decide they own something, they are signing up to it - they are going to deliver and they will utilize the resources, find within their research environment to do what it takes to deliver the results they have committed to....We see the attitude more and more in the workplace - especially in Gen Y...."
Can you profile your last book, key tips from the book, and the success of this book?
"...."Agility: Competing and Winning in a Tech Savvy Marketplace" is based on the opportunity we had to look at IT capability data for over 15,000 different organizations, and analyze it together with universities (like MIT and Boston University) for interesting insights especially insights which would provide a direct business impact for those organizations....What was personally very gratifying was the feedback from the readers themselves. First through the website www.mueller-eberstein.com where people can engage directly with me but also on Amazon where people have the opportunity to provide reviews (we got a lot of five star reviews there). Amazon ranked: "Agility: Competing and Winning in a Tech Savvy Marketplace" as the top 20 book for business decision making...."
What led you to write your current book and the reason behind its title, "No Fear: Business Leadership In the Age of Digital Cowboys"?
"....We find that a lot of change is going on, and people at all levels are facing this change and that change is unsettling for nearly everybody. The question was how to deal with the change and often the fear....The book is not only about IT but it's really about managing an organization. It is written from the viewpoint of executives. The contributors are usually either CEOs or CIOs of large organizations, or academics who are working in that environment on a very regular basis, so it helps the current business leaders but also the people who want to be business leaders in the future to understand how to address fears, how to overcome them and how to turn them into opportunities, and also how to develop the next generation of leaders...."
Why did you write this book with your co-author, Pekka Viljakainen?
"....We realized that there was a very clear alignment on how we think and what this means for the cultures of organizations, and we share a lot of the experiences...."
Can you describe the format of the book and the target audience for the book?
"....The focus audience is business leaders of all levels that are thinking about the future of their organization. They are thinking about not only how to maintain their organization but how to expand both domestically as well as internationally, how to leverage a very changing labour market...."
Why would readers find relevance in the book?
"....By utilizing our networks, by being able to tap into thought leadership of business leaders from Russia to China to Europe and California, we have a unique perspective directly from the frontlines of leadership that usually you cannot find in any other publication I've seen so far. The ideas, thoughts and concepts are definitely relevant to the leaders of today and definitely the leaders of tomorrow (that is what we are hearing). We are seeing the excitement around this project building more and more. The book itself is the starting point but we’ve moved beyond that. We’ve created a community online. It's called www.nofear-community.com where we are building on top of the book...."
You invited global leaders to participate in the book. Why did you do this? Who are the leaders and what lessons did they provide?
"....We have eight (we call them our friends and contributing authors) from a vast variety of geographies as well as backgrounds, and they all have in common that they are true leaders in the new world, who are influencing the direct environment but also the far larger ecosystem itself as well....Arkady Dvorkovich, Victor Orlovsky, Bill Fischer, Mårten Mickos, Birger Steen, Kari Hakola, Philipp Rosenthal, Alex Lin....It makes the book a much richer experience than just Pekka and me talking about our thoughts. Having this opportunity to validate, get them challenged, then having them share their personal stories and insights contributed by those leaders make a huge difference...."
You have this tremendous community and a lot of passion, excitement and discussion occurring at www.nofear-community.com. How are other leaders contributing to a discussion on the book and why are they doing this? Who are these leaders and what lessons are they providing?
"....When we started to reach out to the people we were working within our network we got a lot of additional feedback beyond what I was able to write in the section. We got people who said, 'Yes I really want to participate in the discussion on the No Fear community site.'...We have professors from different universities, people from large mobile device manufacturers and even people from the analyst community who are traditionally try to be very neutral. They are seeing the opportunity and the insights that are delivered here in such a unique way...."
You mentioned that you are engaging leaders around the world using videos and recording them using video technology. What kinds of ways are you doing that?
"....The topic of videos has been changed dramatically over the last years and I think the two key influencers are YouTube and the next one coming is mobile technology....People are now used to getting shorter snippets of key information in a video format....So for the leaders we are using different kinds of approaches....We think it is far more important to get the message out than having a glossy video itself...."
Are you using things like Skype technology as well?
"....Skype was absolutely essential in making this book happen...."
Can you describe what you discovered in researching and then writing the book?
"....It was a hot topic for everybody. It didn't matter if you were in HR, facilities environment or if you were driving to define marketing strategies, the topics of the generational shift, the shift in work styles and communication culture was top of mind for many, many people...."
Please share some lessons from your book that have direct value to the audience?
"....The role of the leader is really changing - the leader is becoming more of a producer of a specific result than what the traditional line manager was expected to do....Being authentic and having an understanding of who you are, and then living up to that experience and being clear in your communication will be a big expectation for people and organizations to be successful in the future....The traditional leadership models will not be the roles for success. The role that will make leaders successful is what we call the helicopter style....The professional services firm culture is a good model....Technology is a key enabler of a lot of the change we are seeing and the key provider for a lot of the opportunities...."
How do you plan to further build the audience for the book and at what specific events do you have in mind?
"....Launch events in Helsinki, Moscow, New York, Beijing and London....Economic Forum in St. Petersburg....Frankfurt Book Trade show....Universities and Corporations for presentations and workshops....World CIO Forum....Harvard Business Review....LinkedIn....ChinaValue....Online community...."
You've had a chance to do additional research, especially with this book, and to engage with some of the top leaders and thinkers around the world. Has that adjusted your predictions for the future and what are your predictions now about what's going to happen?
"....Moore's Law - it has been correct for the past 40 years and there is no reason to doubt that it will not be correct for the future. What does this actually mean and in practical applications....Wireless access to information will become absolutely essential....Internet itself is transforming....Consumerization of IT....The networking effect...."
What are the most interesting questions you get asked related to the book and what are your answers?
"....I understand that this is important for the developing world in the emerging market, but it is it really relevant for me in the Western world?...."
Mark, with your extensive history of successes, we are indeed fortunate to have you come in and do this interview. Thank you.
"....I'm looking very forward to the continued feedback from the communities both from "Agility: Competing and Winning in a Tech-Savvy Marketplace" as well as the upcoming book, "No Fear: Business Leadership in the Age of Digital Cowboys" and the No Fear community at www.nofear-community.com...."