Alex Fleming is currently a Senior Manager for Ernst & Young Advisory, Operations and Supply Chain Performance Improvement. Alex previously worked for Accenture’s Resources and Operations Consulting Practices in Houston and New York; McKinsey & Company in the Moscow, Russia office; and the US State Department in the Vladivostok Consulate. Alex served for 5 years as a Nuclear Submarine Officer in the US Navy.
Career Goal: Be the most impactful Chief Operations Officer (COO) and/or Chief Digital Officer (CDO) in the Digital Revolution.
My career has walked the line between two worlds – strategy and execution; urban and rural; headquarters and the field; crossing over generations. My strength is in my ability to work with people from every walk of life to get things done, and break down complex problems into manageable tasks for the people who make revenue happen every day.
The roles I have most enjoyed and excelled in during my career: Combat Officer of the Deck, Drydock Duty Officer, Production Stage Manager, Operations Project Manager, Digital Mobility Innovation Leader, Training Officer, Core Consulting Instructor, and many others where I have had the privilege to be a trusted advisor to C-Suite and Operational leaders. My broad and diverse education in Physics, Nuclear Engineering, Data Science, Finance, and International Relations equip me with the tools to be at the helm of any enterprise. I am a digital evangelist who is not afraid to get my hands dirty and my fingers on the keyboard (I am have completed a certificate in Machine Learning, and I can work directly in Matlab/Octave, R, and Python), and I believe that businesses must embrace the disruption that technological tools will have on their operating model. Leaders must not be afraid to release paradigms and tear down and re-frame their entire value chain; data science and machine intelligence will be the future core competencies in business operations. Businesses will look drastically different 15 years from now, and I want to lead those transitions and support my CEOs and boards in their work.
I do not aspire to the CEO or Founder role – I love being the ‘Executive Officer;’ the strong right hand; and a steady ‘get it done’ leader. I look forward to bringing my experience to roles in the future.
A note on the role of the Chief Digital Officer – an excerpt from Digital@Scale – McKinsey & Co. – 2017
“CDOs must be multitalented. They need to be strategists and digital natives, and have a strong understanding of customers and employees. Developing a digital strategy is just one part of the job description; above all, the CDO must also be a skilled networker, both internally and externally. At an external level, he or she will identify the most exciting technological developments and most promising start-ups, and at an internal level, the CDO will convince the entire organization of the merits of the digital transformation. Just as important as knowing what can be expected of employees in all things digital, the CDO must also understand what customers expect from the company, and what technology they will feel comfortable using. The chief digital officer is responsible for the overarching digital agenda of the company… Chief digital officers with the necessary powers are becoming increasingly prevalent, and renowned companies of all sizes and across all industries are adding the role to their management boards. From tech giants like Cisco and IBM continuing through Volkswagen, CVS Health, L’Oréal, Starbucks, Williams Sonoma, and all the way to the city of New York, organizations worldwide are adopting this function.
A CDO with reach and authority—a Steve Jobs for every company—can help to break down the functional silos, and shape the journey toward digitization as a permanent disruptor.
‘Leaving digital in a silo is setting up for failure,’ – Sean Cornwell. “