Jacky Wright, Microsoft’s Chief Digital Officer US, Talks Transformation

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Jacky Wright, Chief Digital Officer US at Microsoft, Unscripted at NI

As Chief Digital Officer and Corporate Vice President of Microsoft US, Jacky Wright inspires and leads teams to help businesses leverage technology to drive innovation, adopt sustainable and accessible business models, and digitally transform. She uses her broad platform to drive thought leadership not just for the positive impact of digital transformation for business, but also for social, economic, and environmental change. As a woman of color, her passion, advocacy, and influence to create a truly inclusive world is demonstrated in the various forums where she regularly speaks on diversity, digital inclusion, and the power of inclusive leadership.

Dive in to hear Jacky’s candid and unrehearsed reflections on what it takes to drive digital transformation and her hopes for our society. 

If you're not listening, if you're not having out-of-the-box thinking, if you're not being inclusive in terms of getting all the inputs, you really can't innovate.

–Jacky Wright
Video transcript:
What is your name and title?

My name is Jacky Wright and I am the chief digital officer, Microsoft, U.S.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in North London.

What is your favorite vacation spot?

Favorite vacation spot? The Maldives.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Originally I wanted to be a politician.

What is your favorite piece of technology?

Well, my favorite piece is a turntable. I'm nostalgic that way. So I like it. I like the records.

What do you do as the Chief Digital Officer?

Some of the top responsibilities I have as a chief digital officer is really engaging with our customers to help them digitally transform who they are and what they do.

What is digital transformation?

What is digital transformation? For me, it is about transforming outcomes. How we work, how we live, the services we provide, operations, healthcare, you name it. Transforming how those things are delivered with technology at the core.

What do companies need to do to drive digital transformation?

The top things that are needed to drive digital transformation include having the right culture. Having the right leadership. Really having empathy. Understanding your customers. Understanding your outcomes and then really thinking about changing your business models and outcomes.

What can leaders do to help create digital transformation?

So number one, it's about engendering the culture because without engendering the right culture, you can't create a system. A system of thinking and system of processes and the system of outcome. And so creating a culture that can engender that is key for a leader.

What are things that inhibit digital transformation?

It is not having the right culture and environment for that. Having an environment that doesn't allow you to fail fast and move forward. Doesn't allow innovation, is not inclusive, and doesn't have a "speak up" culture. Those are some of the things that inhibit any type of innovation, and even more so transformation. where if you're not listening, if you're not having out-of-the-box thinking, if you're not being inclusive in terms of getting all the inputs, you really can't innovate. You really can't think differently, really can't transform.

What do you hope for the future?

I hope for our society that we start to care more. And what we're seeing right now is an inflection point and identification of our moral compass. And so I would hope that what's going to happen is somewhat of an implosion of morality that we all start to care about each other in ways that we should have cared all along.