New book on managerial mindsets as a mental cage


Big data strategies often fizzle out because the senior management are unaware that their mindsets cognitively limit their vision and consequently their options available for action.


Photo: Djøf

A report published by the journal Sloan Management Review shows that companies that industriously apply big data technology are 26 percent  more profitable, but that a dedicated effort is required.

A great deal of companies invest in big data technology, but that alone does not change the existing managerial mindset on interaction with customers, which is problematic at a time when many markets are undergoing radical changes.  Scores of companies use big data technology as an extension of paths they are already pursuing.   

Research shows that companies who work seriously and successfully with big data technology often end up fundamentally changing their interaction with stakeholders, consequently disrupting the competition. The prerequisite for doing so, however, is their ability to change their mindset, which is something that exceptionally many companies are unable to do. This represents the next major challenge for business and industry, according to the authors of the book Disrupt Your Mindset, by Pernille Rydén, PhD from CBS and an associate professor at DTU; Professor Torsten Ringberg, CBS, Department of Marketing; and Per Østergaard Jacobsen, the director of Efficiens and part-time associate professor at CBS, Department of Marketing.

Their book addresses issues such as how senior management can identify and work with their strategic mindset in new ways, allowing them to create the right organisational framework for a successful big data strategy.

Four typological mindsets
According to the book and the underlying research, there are four prevailing managerial mindsets, where managers favour either a promote and sell; listen and learn; connect and collaborate; or empower and  engage approach. But remembering to extricate oneself from these mindsets is essential when working with big data.

“One mindset is not necessarily better than the others. All mindsets can be utilised depending on the company’s strategic situation. The important thing is that senior managers are aware of their mindset and that it is in line with the rest of the management team, company strategy and especially consumer expectations. And that’s where we see problems,” explains Ringberg.

Self-help and online test
Designed to aid senior management in breaking down or disrupting their own dominant mindset in relation to working with big data, the book, also available in English, is largely a self-help book that managers and also business school students can find useful.

The book provides access to an online test to help determine which managerial mindset is dominant, making it possible to compare with the other members of the management team.

Østergaard Jacobsen and Ringberg both teach about the strategic use of big data at CBS. In this regard they fortunately also see examples of companies that actually have the necessary mental resources in relation to the market, which is why they are able to see the world in a new way and disrupt themselves.

At present, especially within the banking and insurance industries, disruption is seen as vital to future development as is the use of new big data-based strategies is essential. One can say that it is the banks and the insurance companies that must disrupt themselves in order to avoid being obliterated by new online, data-driven competitors offering much more flexible, cheaper and personalised solutions.  

“The biggest challenge these companies face is rethinking what they offer customers. Big data technology should be used to create interaction that is relevant and valuable to the customer to ensure a meaningful affiliation,” says Ringberg.

The page was last edited by: Communications // 09/02/2020