Digital Leadership in a Disruptive Time: Q&A with Claudia Olsson

Insights from keynote speaker on digital transformation, leadership and innovation



We are thrilled to have Claudia Olsson, founder and chairman of Stellar Capacity, a global education company specialized in providing strategic advice, analysis, and professional development related to digital transformation. She is a keynote speaker at #PIMpoint Digital next week. Register for the session to learn more!

Q: Can you please tell us a little about how you got your start?

Claudia Olsson: I’ve always been passionate about the impact of technological development on society and business. That led me to an engineering degree as well as an early engagement with the Federation of Young Scientists and the Nobel Foundation, where I had the opportunity to
collaborate with young scientists from all over the world. Learning about the potential of exponential technologies, I realized what a fundamental change we’re experiencing as our world is being transformed through digital developments and breakthrough ideas.

I started my career working in India and Singapore where I learned about innovation in emerging markets. Combining that background with my experiences as an Associate Faculty at Singularity University, I reached the realization that with the power that accelerated technological development brings, we also need to be very mindful of our ethical and moral responsibilities and leadership.

Q: If you had to sum up what you do in three words, what would they be?

Claudia Olsson: Technology, Governance, Education

Q: What are the most important things to think about when considering a digital transformation?

Claudia Olsson: Many people think that digital transformation is mainly about technology. But digital transformation is very much driven and enabled by people. Many organizations might already have in place the most advanced technological systems, but the ability to use them to their
full potential, drive innovation an succeed in the digital world requires new ways of leading and working, as well as equipping the workforce with new skill sets and a digital mindset.

Q: Are there any industries not ripe for transformation – during/after COVID? Do you have any examples of industries or organizations that could be the shining example of excellent digital transformation?

Claudia Olsson: The outbreak of COVID-19 has definitely accelerated the pace of digital transformation in many organisations. Technology enabled people to stay connected, work from home, and continue driving business and value creation. The organizations that were slow or even behind before COVID-19 made its impact, had no choice than to pick up the pace.

Hopefully, the rapid learning, adaptation, and innovation will now continue. However, we can’t expect it to happen automatically, but through active digital leadership, more organizations can progress faster. There are many organizations that have also been role models not only in their ability to adjust to new conditions but who also have chosen to rethink the way they work more long-term. It takes courage to question established structures and work methodologies, and
the organizations that choose this path will also benefit long-term, I’m sure!

Q: What advice would you give young leaders today to make an impact in
their roles?

Claudia Olsson: My advice would be to make continuous learning a priority and to follow your passion and curiosity. Seek out opportunities that will give you the greatest chances to learn and be challenged, and do not settle comfortably but keep pushing the boundaries of your understanding, your creativity, and your ability to innovate.

Q: Where do you look for inspiration? In work, life, or other?

Claudia Olsson: I’m very inspired by the faculty and my colleagues at Stellar Capacity. They’re always at the forefront of technological development, building, monitoring and enabling new solutions. I find it tremendously energizing to speak to smart and passionate people about ideas that could change the world.

To hear more from Claudia, don’t miss her keynote, “Digital leadership in a disruptive time” at #PIMpoint Digital on Wednesday, October 11th. Register here and we”ll see you soon.

Written by

Erika Goldwater, CIPP


Erika Goldwater is the director of global communications for inRiver. An industry veteran, Erika lives and breathes B2B marketing, content, public relations, and data privacy. She's a Boston marketer who hails from Baltimore.