Aug 25, 2020
EP3: Succeeding in a World of Risk -- Bob Zukis
Play • 41 min

Succeeding in a World of Risk with Bob Zukis

Podcast Episode 03: Show Notes

Welcome to the third episode of our LIFT podcast! Allison discusses problem-solving our way through this pressing global situation, as systems have failed us and we need to reinvent at scale. She is joined by Bob Zukis, co-author of The Great Reboot and a former PwC Advisory Partner, who shares pragmatic models for this important work ahead of us. We’re all born into a world that already has many systems in place but, frankly, they could all use an overhaul. The year 2020 offers that reinvention moment, but how? In this episode, we face head-on the simultaneous global change at scale and speak with co-author of a book that is aptly titled THE GREAT REBOOT: Succeeding in a World of Catastrophic Risk and Opportunity.  We discuss the optimistic focus on a typically negative topic like risk, systems, and digital transformation during COVID, as well as cybersecurity, and practical frameworks to serve as digitally savvy board members. Bob shares his perspective on diversity, shaping the digital agenda in the corporate boardroom, and the role that CIOs and CISOs play in preserving and protecting value. Tune in today! 

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Bob shares a quick summary of his background.
  • What led Bob and his co-authors to write THE GREAT REBOOTduring the pandemic.
  • Allison’s views that we can have an optimistic focus on opportunity within a typically negative topic like risk.
  • How Bob views systems and the need to understand the complexity within those systems.
  • The DIRECTOR model, how it relates to understanding the complex digital business system.
  • A universal model for how a company uses their IT environment to create and protect value.
  • How COVID is driving digital transformation, and technology as operational excellence.
  • The long-overdue appreciation for digital systems and IT professionals during the pandemic.
  • RISCX fits within the DIRECTOR framework as the identifiers of risk within that framework.
  • Advice for those looking to rebuild their companies with systems in mind – be a systems thinker, understand the risk, and capitalize on systemic change.
  • The importance of embedding a systems thinking mindset at the leadership level.
  • Cybersecurity from the perspective of systems thinkers and board members.
  • What skill sets boards need to understand the complexity of the digital world they oversee.
  • How the Digital Directors Network is training CIOs and CISOs to take board seats, because companies need digitally savvy directors.
  • The need for more women technology leaders in the corporate boardroom.
  • Bob’s recommendation for executives running a technology company – be actively involved in shaping the digital agenda in the corporate boardroom.
  • CIOs and CISOs need to talk about value and understand their board’s view on value.

Succeeding in a World of Risk – Bob Zukis

Guest Biography:

Bob Zukis is the CEO of Digital Directors Network and a leading advocate for digital diversity in the corporate boardroom. Bob is also passionate about strategic thinking, cybersecurity and managing risk with diverse board advisors. In addition, Bob is an Adjunct Professor at the USC Marshall School of Business, where he teaches strategy, structured problem-solving, as well as corporate governance. 


“The system, the world has become very complex, and we've made it complex because it needs to serve a very diverse collection of needs and wants. That complexity isn't necessarily bad, but we haven't done a good enough job to understand the complexity within the system that we've built.” — @BobZukis [0:07:28]


“Great systems thinkers naturally see the world as a collection of component parts that they have to manage, and understand, and optimize to create a value proposition.” — @BobZukis [0:22:51]


“If we want to change the world, we need to get more women technology leaders, specifically more women who are technology leaders, into the corporate boardroom. If you want to reboot the world, that’s how we’re going to do it.” — @BobZukis [0:34:24]


No matter your circumstance, there’s always something you can do with the right mindset. — @allisonthought [0:5:58]


There’s been so much conversation around the term digital transformation, which is unfortunate, because it is a thing. It is real. It does drive value. It’s just that it’s been over-marketed. — @allisonthought [0:14:25]


At the end of the day, you need a process and organizational change to adapt technology. — @allisonthought [0:18:19]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Thought Marketing —

Thought Marketing email —

Santa Clara University Women’s Corporate Board Readiness Program

Digital Directors Network


The Great Reboot

Blue Ocean Strategy

How Women Will Save The Future, One Corporate Board at a Time



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