People often ask us how we had time to write a book and conduct all of the research that supports our findings. The reality is that we are very fortunate to have brilliant and unbelievably supportive colleagues here at PwC and Strategy& who make this easier and who are integral to our ability to provide meaningful and pragmatic advice to leaders.

We are also incredibly fortunate to have worked with so many great clients over the years—companies and individuals who have inspired us through the brave decisions they have taken and the ambitious transformation journeys they have pursued, and who have always dared us to dig deeper to find better solutions to some of their most pressing opportunities and challenges.

This book wouldn’t have been possible without the twelve companies that agreed to be part of the research effort. Thank you to the leadership teams (and the many helping hands in the background) at Adobe, Citigroup, Cleveland Clinic, Eli Lilly, Hitachi, Honeywell, Inditex, Komatsu, Microsoft, Philips, STC Pay, and Titan for allowing us to learn from what they have done—their successes and setbacks—so that we can share those lessons with others. One might wonder why they are willing to share their secrets to success. We believe that, among many reasons, they see the many challenges the world is facing and the problems waiting to be solved—and want to make a contribution this way. After all, success isn’t a zero-sum game.

While these companies provided incredible learnings, one particular individual led all this research—maintaining a very high bar for the quality of our methodology—and ensured that this book and the related article series met that standard: our colleague and PwC Director Nadia Kubis. Nadia is both brilliant and incredibly collaborative, and she is deeply committed to representing the research accurately and powerfully—a combination of skills not found in many. Her expertise in producing high-impact thought leadership is unmatched in our experience. We were extremely fortunate to have her drive the program, and it made a challenging experience highly rewarding and fun. Thank you, Nadia.

The book also benefited from many other great individuals along the way. Thanks to Rob Norton, who conducted the early research, identifying important learnings, and supported many of the first drafts of this book, and to Paul Carroll, who helped pull together the final manuscript with great stories and a wonderful ability to help sharpen the language, logic, and impact. Early in the process, we had fantastic guidance from our friend Art Kleiner, who shepherded many of the previous Harvard Business Review articles and books in this series, and we always received great advice and counsel from Tom Stewart, whose wonderful guest appearances made the content richer and our working sessions more fun.

One person is responsible for getting us started with this project: our colleague Mike Connolly. One year after the publication of our previous book, Strategy That Works, Mike said something like, “OK, that was awesome; what’s next?” and pushed us to focus on providing much-needed advice for companies navigating the changes on the horizon. This launched what we called back then the “Leadership in a Digital Age” research project. Thank you, Mike, for not letting us rest.

We are grateful for support from Bob Pethick, who led the program that brought this thought leadership to life, and who together with Joachim Rotering, Allen Webb, and Martina Sangin helped shape this effort. They deserve credit for urging us to adopt a new thought leadership model, moving from “write a book, follow up with a series of articles” to “write a series of articles that lead to a book so that you get your findings to executives as soon as possible”—an approach that has worked really well with already highly read HBR articles including “Digitizing Isn’t the Same as Digital Transformation” and “6 Leadership Paradoxes for the Post-Pandemic Era.” They each pushed us in different ways to improve the quality and relevance of our ideas.

We are indebted to PwC leadership for supporting this project and seeing its potential. We particularly want to thank Kevin Burrowes, Mohamed Kande, Bob Moritz, Tim Ryan, Martin Scholich, and Blair Sheppard, who championed this effort to be true to our commitment to making a difference in society.

The PwC partnership is incredibly powerful, and that is seen in the tremendous engagement of partners who read the manuscript (some of them several times) and provided great perspective (and often tough feedback, which is exactly what we had hoped for and needed)—thank you, Nithin Bendore, Ian Kahn, Dan Priest, and Blair Sheppard. Thank you, Ann-Denise Grech, for your invaluable feedback about both big picture items and the smallest details. And thank you, Olaf Acker, Deniz Caglar, Vinay Couto, Carrie Duarte, Peter Gassmann, Paul Gaynor, Ann Johnston, Mohamed Kande, Colm Kelly, Colin Light, Scott Likens, Cornel Nolte, Bhushan Sethi, Matt Siegel, and Carol Stubbings, for the inspiring discussions and for letting us build on your expertise and wisdom around some of the important topics covered in this book.

We are highly appreciative to Gerald Adolph and DeAnne Aguirre—these two have a deep history in client work and are now retired from the firm, but they took the time not only to go through the manuscript in great detail but to provide highly impactful guidance that holistically made this a better book. It also helped that both have been our mentors for many years and knew just how to give us the right feedback. You hopefully know this already, but it has to be said again: you both are awesome.

Many of our colleagues played critical roles in helping us research and reflect on the companies we studied. Gary Ahlquist, Scott Brown, Siddharth Doshi, Dan Elisha, Jad Hajj, Dave Hoffman, Taizo Iwashima, Yoshiyuki Kishimoto, Bob Long, Chuck Marx, Alison McNerney, Alison Millar, Patrick Pugh, Nissa Mohomed Shariff, Gurpreet Singh, Ayumi Suda, and Andrew Tipping: this body of research wouldn’t exist without you.

We also had support from a great marketing team to ensure these ideas would reach the market. Thank you to the global marketing team and the many talented people in countries around the globe for all the helping hands. We would like to thank Geri Gibson in particular, who’s been the spider in the web for everything related to marketing these ideas.

Our relationship with Harvard Business Review Press started more than 13 years ago, when they saw the potential of our ideas around capabilities. They have been a wonderful partner through all four books and the many articles and events we have worked on together. Melinda Merino has been there from the beginning, always asking the right questions to focus the work. Joining Melinda this time was editor Kevin Evers. Both were incredibly positive, thoughtful, constructive, and excellent collaborators. This book also benefited from the quality of attention of Sally Ashworth, Akila Balasubramaniyan, Julie Devoll, Lindsey Dietrich, Stephani Finks, Brian Galvin, Erika Heilman, Alexandra Kephart, Julia Magnuson, Ella Morrish, Allison Peter, Jon Shipley, and Felicia Sinusas. Thank you also to Amy Bernstein and Sarah Moughty for helping us get some of our ideas to the world ahead of the book.

It must not go without saying that this book builds on our previous three with HBR Press, all coauthored with Cesare Mainardi. His vision for the realm of strategic thinking—and indeed the practice of strategy consulting—helped build a solid foundation for Beyond Digital. Thank you for your great partnership over the years.

Nothing much would get done without the people who support us at the “office” and have helped in many ways: Cindy Funk, Yvonne Lauppe, and Marlo McMillan-Okuadido. Thank you for scheduling the meetings, and rescheduling them, and rescheduling them again. We would be lost without you.

The most thanks, however, go to our respective families, who were so incredibly patient with the late nights and weekend calls needed to complete this work. Their support wasn’t just in helping find the space for us to do this but in doing gymnastics to make schedules work and most importantly for constantly encouraging and championing us on this journey. Thank you: Te, Cia, and G. G.; Meredith, Priyanka, Alik, and Amma.

—Paul Leinwand, Mahadeva Matt Mani

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