Twelve Things I Learned from One Year After Publishing Driving Digital

Driving Digital
I'm celebrating the one year anniversary of Driving Digital: The Leader's Guide to Business Transformation Through Technology. Since then, it's been a wonderful year of speaking, writing, advising and consulting on everything tied to digital transformation from strategy to agile, devops, data governance, low code, AI, product development and other related topics.

To commemorate this anniversary with you, I thought I'd share some of the things I learned this last year as an author, speaker, consultant, teacher, and president of StarCIO.

1. More companies are developing proprietary software

When I took the drop as head of technology at BusinessWeek in 2007, I was surprised that they wanted to develop the kind of customer facing applications, search technologies, and mobile applications that startups were developing.

Now, a decade later, the same is holding true for other businesses that are in the midst of digital transformation programs. Software is truly eating the world.

2. A one day workshop can dramatically improve team culture

StarCIO now offers five different workshops in agile transformation practices, devops, product management, becoming a data driven organization, and digital transformation.

All these workshops are designed to bring a mix of leaders, middle managers, and contributors to develop one or more practices that require new forms of collaboration. What's amazing is to watch how fast organizations break siloed thinking and come out with new perspectives and steps to practices that make them a smarter and faster organization.

3. Meeting new people on social media is highly rewarding

It's hard to get out of the office, but you can make lifelong friends, mentors, and collaborators online by actively participating in social media. My favorite activities include #CIOChat at 2pm ET on Thursdays and 10:30am ET on Saturdays and #IDGTechTalk at 12pm ET on Thursdays. Another great opportunity is to participate in CXOTalk's live broadcast and twitter stream that runs on Friday at 1pm ET. You can watch the episodes where I was the guest; CIO Value, Advice for Chief Information Officers and CIO Playbook: Practical Advice for Managing Change.

One other option. LinkedIn has also become more valuable between its newsfeed and groups where there is active participation such as DevOps and the Big Data and Analytics

Isaac Sacolick Driving Digital
4. Technologists read books in print!

I expected that Driving Digital would have higher ebook and Kindle sales, but it turns out that digital leaders and technologists still want their books in print. I also found out that people still like signed books and speaking to the author - a real treat for me!

Here's the thing about books. It's hard to get feedback. I've received a lot at conferences and there's been a number of good reviews. Forgive me, but I want more! Let me know what you think!

5. Attend the right conferences to grow and learn

Over the last year I keynotes, spoke, and moderated panels at over twenty events. Three things I can tell you about the better events: (1) I always meet at least a couple of people that evolve into long term relationships, (2) I always learn something new and worth following up on after the conference, and (3) There is always at least one vendor presentation that's something I would consider buying.

If you have a leadership role, attending the right conferences can be a cost effective use of your time to do these things - and staying locked in your office limits your ability to network, learn and grow.

6. Leaders are still learning how to execute digital transformation programs

The one major takeaway I've had over the last year is that leaders are still learning what it means to run digital transformation programs. That's good because learning is critical to evolving the strategy and changing the culture. It's good because key practices like product management, agile, devops, and data practices can't be established overnight and must be developed over time. It's good because markets are changing, technologies are becoming more easier and more sophisticated, and customer needs are evolving.

So beyond conferences, social media, books, and workshops - what else are you doing to learn more? Even more important, how are you driving a learning organization? (Shameless plug - ask me for help!)

Wait, where is 7-12???

Like I said, I want feedback and hope we can get to know each other. If you want the next six, please sign up for my newsletter. You'll get an email with the other six once you sign up and then get my monthly newsletter afterward. The next six are critical to your job covering key practices in data, devops, prioritization, AI and culture. Hope to hear from you!

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Note: The second part of the series is now published. See Part 2 of the Twelve Things I Learned from One Year After Publishing Driving Digital.

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About Isaac Sacolick

Isaac Sacolick is President of StarCIO, a technology leadership company that guides organizations on building digital transformation core competencies. He is the author of Digital Trailblazer and the Amazon bestseller Driving Digital and speaks about agile planning, devops, data science, product management, and other digital transformation best practices. Sacolick is a recognized top social CIO, a digital transformation influencer, and has over 900 articles published at InfoWorld,, his blog Social, Agile, and Transformation, and other sites. You can find him sharing new insights @NYIke on Twitter, his Driving Digital Standup YouTube channel, or during the Coffee with Digital Trailblazers.