Ryan C Weiss On How To Use Digital Transformation To Take Your Company To The Next Level

An Interview With Cynthia Corsetti

Data analytics to drive improvements in results — Create a robust dashboard that evaluates the 3 key elements of performance: QVS™ or Quality, Value, & Speed! These 3 elements must remain in balance as organizations and teams evolve.

Digital transformation has become a crucial component for businesses striving to stay competitive and relevant in today’s rapidly evolving landscape. As technology continues to shape industries and redefine business models, companies must adapt and leverage digital tools and strategies to unlock new opportunities for growth and innovation. In this interview series, we aim to explore various aspects of digital transformation, including best practices, challenges, success stories, and expert insights. We are talking to thought leaders, industry experts, entrepreneurs, technology innovators, and executives who have firsthand experience in driving digital transformation initiatives within their organizations. As part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Ryan C Weiss.

Ryan Weiss is passionate about engaging with business leaders who are interested in influencing the world in a positive way with over 2 decades of success leading teams, programs, and operations to drive business results and profitability. His strong appreciation for diverse cultures was gained through extensive international work experience living in 3 countries, and leading global teams of 200+ employees across more than 20 countries.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

Of course! I started my first company at 15 years old, and my youngest brother has continued growing that business into a thriving success. I took a different path of getting degrees in chemistry & finance, prior to embarking on an international career. About 8 years ago, I was drawn back to the entrepreneurial world, and founded EPS to help smaller growth companies to align people & process for accelerated performance!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

I learned at a young age the importance of saying “yes” and then figuring out the details. In my first entrepreneurial venture, I was asked by a client if we could install “visqueen”. My answer was “Yes! What is visqueen?” The client laughed and told that story a number of times to people in my network, but always shared that he respected my willingness to take initiative to figure it out at 16 years old! One of my key takeaway lessons was to be bold and stretch beyond my comfort zone!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

Wow! There are so many. One particular person is my father. He provided me some of the initial opportunities to learn about being a successful entrepreneur. The impact he made in my early life challenged me to make wise decisions which laid an outstanding foundation for the business I have created today!

A second person was a doctor in the Philippines. I only wish that I could remember his name. I visited his office when I was having chest pains, and he asked 4 questions that woke me up to a new reality. He asked:

  1. What do you do for work — is it stressful?
  2. How much coffee do you drink?
  3. How much sleep do you get?
  4. How much exercise do you get?

Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Steven Covey’s 7 Habits book made a significant impact on me early on in my life. Specifically, I remember the 3 circles of concern, influence, and control. I have referred back to it many times as I evaluate which circle a problem that I am faced with is in.

Are you working on any new, exciting projects now? How do you think that might help people?

Yes! We have recently launched OPTICS™ 2.0 platform which enables businesses and teams to dramatically improve alignment between people & processes. The concept is quite simple:

People without process get frustrated.

Process without people is wasted.

Many organizations fail at creating good processes because they try to create them within departments.

The OPTICS™ system enables the evaluation of workstreams that flow through departments first before creating SOPs or Work Instructions to ensure they are relevant in solving problems!

Thank you for all that. Let’s now turn to the main focus of our discussion about Digital Transformation. Digital transformation can mean many things to many people, from your perspective, how do you define digital transformation in your industry?

Digital transformation requires evolving processes from manual or hybrid to more fully integrated. This integration enables the ongoing collection & evaluation of data to tranform the organization as it evolves with decreasing interventions by humans.

Which companies can most benefit from a Digital Transformation?

Almost all organizations can benefit from various levels of digital transformation. The OPTICS™ assessment enables companies to first assess their current state & build out a roadmap for their future state evolution!

Has integrating Digital Transformation been a challenging process for some companies? What are the challenges? How do you help resolve them?

Absolutely! There are 3 challenges that I see as most common.

  1. Resistance to change — Our core approach to this is engagement of people at all levels through the transformation process. When people understand why, they are dramatically more likely to implement the what.
  2. Cultural readiness — As mentioned previously, we have worked with organizations from very basic paper related processes to much more advanced technology companies which required a next level of digitalization. We must first start by understanding current state of the organization’s culture in order to help them evolve to the next level.
  3. Digital awareness — Some organizations are simply not aware of the rapid changes and opportunities with new technologies, especially the opportunities for integration of generative AI into their systems!


Based on your experience and success, what are “Five Ways a Company Can Use Digital Transformation To Take It To The Next Level”?

1 . Data analytics to drive improvements in results — Create a robust dashboard that evaluates the 3 key elements of performance: QVS™ or Quality, Value, & Speed! These 3 elements must remain in balance as organizations and teams evolve.

2 . Closed loop feedback for ongoing improvements — I have observed too many data collection plans that have been wasted due to lack of action based on the results. Any time you are building data analytics capabilities, it is essential to drive it through to key actions based on outcomes.

3 . Integration of generative AI to solve problems — The world of AI is evolving so rapidly, that anything I might include here may be outdated in days or weeks. Success in this area will take some risks, but the learning experience is worth it!

4 . Evaluate systems through the intersection of people & process — Many organizations fail in digitalization to consider how the transformation will require their teams to change habits for success. This is one of the most common failure points I have observed. There is a simple framework called a SIPOC (acronym: Suppliers, Inputs, Process, Outputs, Customers) which enables teams to evaluate the process in the context of people, inputs, and outputs.

5 . Clearly define you ARM™ or Accountability Responsibility Matrix. As organizations evolve, it is essential to consider the changing roles and dynamics of key stakeholders.

In your opinion, how can companies best create a “culture of innovation” in order to create new competitive advantages?

One of the key elements here is a cultural acceptance of failure & risk. Many companies talk about innovation, but slap the hands of people who take risks and fail. Experiments should be celebrated, evaluated, and learned from!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Alice: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” The Cheshire Cat: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” Alice: “I don’t much care where.” The Cheshire Cat: “Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.”

If you don’t know where you are going & why, you are sure to end up somewhere… I often reflect on the quote from Alice in Wonderland as I contemplate strategic decisions!

How can our readers further follow your work?

Connect on LinkedIn or check out my podcast at opticsinaction.com!

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

About the Interviewer: Cynthia Corsetti is an esteemed executive coach with over two decades in corporate leadership and 11 years in executive coaching. Author of the upcoming book, “Dark Drivers,” she guides high-performing professionals and Fortune 500 firms to recognize and manage underlying influences affecting their leadership. Beyond individual coaching, Cynthia offers a 6-month executive transition program and partners with organizations to nurture the next wave of leadership excellence.