Menu Close

Kamales Lardi reveals how to leverage emerging technologies to succeed in business

A strategic thinker in the business of digital transformation, Kamales Lardi believes that when emerging technology solutions are tied to an organization’s value proposition, the results speak for themselves.

Experiencing firsthand the lack of support for career acceleration as a new parent is what inspired Switzerland-based Kamales Lardi to launch her own company – the eponymously named Lardi & Partner Consulting – and forge a unique path as a keynote speaker, author and consultant.

Not only does this enable her to travel the world and speak at events, but also create new sources of revenue and cross paths with some of the world’s brightest minds.

It was during her time at university that Lardi first became acquainted with technology development and coding, which she quickly developed a talent for, scoring A grades. This subsequently landed her a job with Accenture where she uncovered a passion for engaging with people across multiple sectors.

“I always knew that I wanted to, at some point, be a business leader,” she reflects. “I wanted to be recognized for tech solutions and application of tech in business. I knew that the experiences I was gaining were going to contribute to that.”

With a career trajectory that spans across various industries, Lardi has an edge to the way she delivers technology solutions, which is paired with a deep understanding of how these solutions can be applied to a business.

“I realized it’s not just about technology, coding and developing tech solutions, but it’s about how you apply them to business.”

“I realized it’s not just about technology, coding and developing tech solutions, but it’s about how you apply them to business,” she explains. “I had this nice mix of technology and business engagement, and it basically started from there, getting into the management consulting industry and working with organizations across the globe, across industries.”

While Lardi says she’s not your typical ‘tech person’, her insights into emerging technologies – blockchain, AI, 3D printing, robotics and the like – have led her to being named in the ‘Top 10 Global Influencers & Thought Leaders in Digital Transformation’ by Thinkers360 and in the ‘Top 50 Women in Tech Influencers 2021’ by The Awards Magazine.

Despite her strong track record for producing high-quality work at consultancies such as Deloitte and Accenture, the transition to self-employment in 2012 required Lardi to acquire a whole new skillset – winning new clients who weren’t familiar with her company.

“It was also a challenge to find a balance between generating leads, delivering projects, as well as managing teams and clients, not to mention family and personal needs. At times, I had considered giving up and going back into employment,” Lardi admitted in an interview with The Project Manager.

Tech considerations for business leaders

Kamales Lardi

One of the biggest challenges for companies around the world today is keeping up with the consumer and their expectations for brands to deliver a seamless, interactive experience.

“People have adopted technology a lot quicker than organizations have been able to,” Lardi says. “The demand has increased significantly and companies have struggled to adopt this and meet those demands. And we’re seeing this across sectors as well.”

At the same time, the rapid rate of technology development and accompanying trends force leaders to ask themselves which technologies are worth their investment.

“We’re seeing breakthrough tech coming out almost on a daily basis. And you see this cycle. A couple of years ago, it was blockchain and crypto, last year it was all about the metaverse. This year, it’s all about ChatGPT and generative AI. It’s hard to know where to put your money and limited resources, to know which is the tech that you need to be focusing on,” she says.

“There comes a point where trying to keep up with trends is not enough. You need to take that to the next level and ask, ‘how does this trend impact my business?’”

While it can be easy to get caught up in the tech frenzy, Lardi believes the best way to leverage tech for business growth is to invest in solutions that meet your organization’s needs and value proposition.

“There has to be this conscious, purposeful effort to stay in touch with trends. The key is then how do you analyze this information and make it relevant for your company?“ Lardi poses.

“There comes a point where trying to keep up with trends is not enough. You need to take that to the next level and ask, ‘how does this trend impact my business?’”

In her book The Human Side of Digital Business Transformation, Lardi goes one step further by examining the human side of digital transformation.

It’s one of many elements that companies often fail to address when focusing too narrowly on technology alone. Customer engagement, business operations and processes, your staff and your business model are some of the key elements Lardi believes are paramount to thriving in the digital economy.

“I think the right question for business leaders would be to look at is, ‘how can we leverage these technologies to accelerate what we do better and offer more with our organization’, but at the same time, ‘how do we create these human interactions and emotional connections with our customer base through these human interactions that keep customers loyal and engaged with our brand?’”

Lardi’s five digital transformation tips for leaders

Kamales Lardi

1. Building your tech literacy

Whether you decide to sign up to a newsletter or follow an organization on LinkedIn, developing your tech literacy can go a long way toward having an understanding of current developments in the tech space.

“This doesn’t have to be technical skills, but really an understanding of how these new technologies and emerging technologies could be leveraged for business,” Lardi says. “You’ll be surprised, I’m still having conversations with business leaders about blockchain and how blockchain is not Bitcoin.

“There’s still a long way for these technologies to go, but I think it’s exciting and it’s important for business leaders to keep abreast of what’s happening in the market.”

2. Getting your organization onboard

Lardi explains how human error can sometimes work against the very solution an organization is looking to improve through technology.

“People are so important when you are looking at tech implementation. You have to take people on the journey, they have to buy into the whole process and they have to become advocates for the tech. Otherwise, they find workarounds on how they deal with the solutions,” she explains.

3. Leading with empathy

Lardi urges leadership teams to make an effort to connect with their customers, as this will uncover insights needed to determine how the company is perceived externally.

“This engagement or touchpoint is often completely missing. So another key element would be leadership teams need to make an effort to connect closer to their customers and gain firsthand insight into how the brand performs in the market,” she emphasizes.

On a different note, leaders additionally need to understand how to lead digitally savvy employees with an entirely new set of values and skillsets. “If you think about the average 25 year old that comes into the workplace today, who grew up with tech, who is inherently digitally savvy, how do you lead an organization of these types of people?” she questions.

“They’re looking for more meaningful work, they’re looking for a higher purpose. And leadership teams need to demonstrate more empathy and more vulnerability in the way they lead this new generation of people.

4. Adopting an abundance mindset

From companies that transcend industry limitations to startups that aren’t bound to physical location, an abundance mindset is critical to staying ahead of the game.

“An abundance mindset really refers to thinking beyond your existing physical limitations. This could be your industry limitations, your organization’s limitations or regional limitations.”

5. Doing your research first

For AI-based systems that are being leveraged to make critical decisions around loan applications, healthcare solutions and hiring, Lardi believes there’s still a lot of questions that need to be answered regarding how these systems generate decisions.

“It’s alarming when you are utilizing a system, but you don’t know how that system uses data, if there’s bias built into the system,” she says.

“So I’m an optimist around technology. I think it’s going to be very exciting and there’s going to be a bright new future. But I’m also a realist in the sense that I understand the challenges and I urge companies to think through those challenges before blindly applying tech.”

Moving businesses into the digital age raises all sorts of questions and red flags, particularly around how technologies, like the metaverse, are being implemented to deliver value for customers as well as what the future has in store for us.

“I’d like to see us go into a decentralized autonomous organization type structure where the administrative tasks and the redundant, repetitive work gets automated and where we focus a lot more on the human interactions and creating value for each other.”

Leave a Reply