Lindsay Herbert

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Digital Transformation Leader & Inventor, IBM

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With a focus on the real-world of customers and workforces, Lindsay examines the five critical stages of digital transformation. Dealing with and embracing innovation and disruption are as much a matter of strategy and culture as they are about understanding what technology can achieve. Lindsay delivers examples and cautionary lessons in how the digital can add customer value and free up people to collaborate, innovate and focus on the human aspects of their job, but only when allowed to by internal structures.


Lindsay Herbert is the Digital Transformation Leader and an Inventor at IBM iX, the global technology and consulting company’s business solutions division. She is also the author of Digital Transformation, a look at how businesses innovate – from structuring a company in the right way to encourage innovation to where ideas come from to realising and implementing them.

In a career that started in journalism in her native Canada, Lindsay moved to marketing and then into web design and digital strategy. At IBM she both works with companies to help them embrace the digital world and change their business, and also to create technological solutions to real-world problems.

Amongst Lindsay’s projects and inventions for IBM has been the Instant Checkout, a groundbreaking system which reads what items have been bought without individually scanning them, and then enables quick, secure payment. It is an example of how technology, rather than potentially replacing workers, frees them to interact with customers and react quickly to issues such as fluctuations in stock and footfall.

Having led transformation programmes with organisations from Shell to the UN to the NHS, Lindsay addresses both the human and technical sides to disruption in an engaging style and with accessible, real examples. She considers the customer experience, whether that’s a consumer or another business, and asks how technology can improve it. She looks at how digital transformation is a matter of adapting to change rather than imposing complex solutions. Lindsay outlines what companies need to do to realise change, with five critical stages of transformation, and examples of when it worked, and lessons from when it went wrong.

With revealing insights into the commercial applications, myths and limitations of technologies such as AI and blockchain, Lindsay looks at how they can radically change the world for work. Digital transformation can enable staff to drive change and free them up to have more ideas and focus on the human aspects to their jobs. However it can also mislead and be imposed because businesses believe they need to be seen to be innovative, rather than understanding what it really means.

Lindsay also speaks about her personal experiences, from being a woman in the male-dominated tech world, to what being a ‘real’ inventor means, to how leaders need to create a more diverse and inclusive culture.

Alongside her work at IBM, Lindsay is also a Governor at the Museum of London.

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