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From stagnation to success: Unleashing the power of technology and business transformation
From stagnation to success: Unleashing the power of technology and business transformation

From stagnation to success

Unleashing the power of technology and business transformation
Podcast host Kimberly Boyd | Podcast guest Knut Talman and Matthias Wlaka
November 27, 2023 | 25 min 49 sec

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Brief summary

How does an industry titan like OTTO, spanning retail, logistics, and online marketplaces, embark on a transformation journey that ensures relentless competitiveness? Knut Talman and Matthias Wlaka, share the strategies that empowered OTTO to pivot with agility, craft innovative business models, and leverage technology to achieve seamless, uninterrupted growth. If you are a leader embarking on a transformation journey, this is the podcast for you.

Episode Highlights


Knut and Matthias shared their learnings from leading OTTO through a large scale transformation:


  • Start Small, Iterate Quickly: Begin with Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) to rapidly roll out basic functionalities. Gather feedback early and often to refine and improve offerings based on real-world usage.


  • Embrace Agile Methods: Move away from traditional, lengthy planning phases towards agile methodologies. This shift allows for flexibility, quick adjustments, and iterative development, crucial for adapting to changing market demands.


  • Involve Senior Leadership: Secure buy-in and active participation from senior leadership and board members. Their support is critical for providing resources, guidance, and ensuring alignment with the overall vision.


  • Customer-Centric Approach: Continuously engage and involve customers in the transformation process. Collect feedback, iterate on designs, and focus on creating a seamless and satisfying customer experience.


  • Bridge Business and Tech: Ensure a strong collaboration between business and technology teams. Having business-oriented product owners who understand existing processes while being open to innovation is essential.


  • Transform Mindset: Encourage a cultural shift towards a more adaptive and open mindset. Embrace change, encourage risk-taking, and foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement.


  • Utilize Cloud Services: Leverage the benefits of cloud platforms for scalability, flexibility, and enhanced technological capabilities. Consider a multi-cloud approach to diversify and optimize services.


  • Endurance and Patience: Understand that transformation is a challenging and continuous process. It requires patience, endurance, and the ability to learn from setbacks and challenges.


  • Feedback Is Key: Establish mechanisms to collect and act upon feedback regularly. Customer, partner, and internal team feedback is invaluable in shaping and refining products and services.


  • Collaborate and Learn: Collaborate with partners, learn from their experiences, and be open to adapting your strategies based on market dynamics. Continuous learning and adaptation are vital for long-term success.

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