Breakout: Digital Strategy and Disruption

The digital revolution has dramatically transformed the future of the retail industry, but the reality is that all industries need to be proactive about developing a digital strategy and anticipating potential disruption to their business models. The challenges that brick-and-mortar retailers face in responding to the threat of online competition are emblematic of the difficulties that many firms are likely to face as technologies such as big data and artificial intelligence reshape the competitive landscape throughout our economy. How should boards be discussing the implications of technological progress for competitive strategy? What can boards that lack deep experience in big data or AI do to develop the judgment and digital fluency necessary to assess whether the corporation’s approach to these technologies is appropriate and sufficient? How can directors attempt to foresee some of the unexpected mechanisms through which these technologies may disrupt major industries? How can public companies balance the need to anticipate disruption and foster innovation with the demands of responding to short-term pressures of quarterly reporting and investor expectations? This session will discuss ways in which the board can challenge management to rethink its strategy and underlying business assumptions to recognize where the company is vulnerable and what it can learn from emerging players in the field.

Location: Stanford Law School Classroom Building Date: June 26, 2018 Time: 11:00 am - 12:15 pm Kate Mitchell Anita M. Sands Bob Dye Kristine Di Bacco