Digital|K Leaders invites key speakers to share their thoughts on digital transformation. Today our questions answers Stephanie Peterson - VP Digital Planning & Activation, Adidas. Adidas AG is a multinational corporation, founded and headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, that designs and manufactures shoes, clothing and accessories. It is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe, and the second largest in the world.
How do you see the world in 5 years?
Tough question. In our digital world, it’s generally not even possible to say what the world will look like in one year – that’s a big part of the challenge and fun. What I sincerely hope? That in five years, we’ve successfully found a way to allow tech and “digital” to simplify and enrich our lives, but we’ve also found our way back to being more present and having quality face-to-face connections with one another in the real world. I love digital, but think that like anything in life – there is such a thing as too much of a good thing – and we need to be mindful and intentional in how we let ourselves and our societies evolve in the coming years and decades.
How much “digital” is there in your daily life?
From a business and intellectual standpoint, I love digital and all things new and future-leaning. I am curious by nature and have always loved learning… which is how I stumbled into digital about a decade ago. With that being said, I am actually (and intentionally) quite a laggard in my personal/private life. I have a smartphone, but try to use it for mostly “the basics”. I don’t have any other smart devices and even though I do own a TV, it hasn’t been plugged in or used in over two years. I am so in love with the real world, the people I love, nature, traveling, good food and drink – you name it. I am not against people drowning themselves in digital everyday; however, I would contend that we do all have limited time and attention in a given day or week and we should all be conscious of not getting so sucked into the digital world that we miss out on the beauty of the reality that’s all around us. Balance is key.
Is “digital” a threat or an opportunity? Why?
Like any innovation in the history of the world/humanity, it’s absolutely both. I believe that anything brilliant and offering true value can be used for immense good or immense bad/evil. The question is: Who owns the innovation and who is driving it – and in what direction or to what end? As mentioned above, I believe that those of us that are part of this revolution and transformation have an exciting opportunity to help shape the future. But, this also carries the burden or pressure of taking this responsibility very seriously. Not all companies and governments have done a good job of respecting this responsibility in recent years. I hope that common sense and an interest in the common good prevail in upcoming years – if the wrong people or entities allow themselves to become/stay money or power hungry, digital can/could absolutely be used in inappropriate fashions.
Where does the digital transformation for a company begin?
I think the awareness that a change is needed is always step one. Then, amongst all of the changes that will need to come in the months and years to follow, shifting the mindset and attitude of the people will be the most critical element to a successful transformation – every time.
What do you plan to transform at DigitalK Conference 2019?
I hope to provide a unique perspective (American, based in Europe, woman in leadership, start up background, current corporate VP) to a new audience in a new city/country. I want to share real and authentic learnings, best practices and musings about the future to an engaged and motivated crowd. I want to inspire folks and help them see that anything is possible in digital – it’s really just a question of focus, priority and timing! We are – individually and collectively – so much more powerful than we think… it’s time to harness that power and get to work, making the world a better place.