In today’s competitive environment, industry leaders combine physical innovation — like logistics, manufacturing, customer service, and quality control — with the digital. Rob Siegel’s new book, The Brains and Brawn Company, explores how teams can leverage both types of capabilities to avoid disruption.
“Companies have to master five digital and five physical attributes,” Siegel says. Each of those attributes relates to a different part of the metaphorical body. “The left hemisphere, how well do you handle analytics? The right hemisphere, how well do you handle creativity? … The inner ear, how do you balance what you do internally and where do you partner?”
Siegel teaches at Stanford Graduate School of Business, and is also a veteran Silicon Valley venture capitalist, former GE and Intel exec, and many-time entrepreneur. During the conversation, he discusses companies that leverage the best of the digital and physical, like 23andMe. He also shared one piece of advice for corporate innovators at large companies.
“Leaders inside of companies need to actually have a very clear minded objective look at their organization…and figure out where the company is succeeding and where it might be struggling and then take specific actions to improve in those areas,” he says. “That includes also understanding how functions inside of a company interact with each other, and how well the organization acts with other organizations.”