Leading in the Digital Era
We are in an era of rapid digital transformation and all organisations and industries are adapting to emerging technologies, the rise of big data and increased efficiencies. Organisations and their leaders need to be prepared for this rapid change and lead their teams through the digital disruption. According to the Deloitte 2017 Global Human Capital Trends survey, only 5% of companies believe they have strong digital leaders in place, although 72% are in the process of developing leadership programs with a digital focus.
Consequently, electronic leaders will need a measure of humility, and a willingness to seek diverse inputs both from inside and outside their organisations. The need to be adaptable in a complex and changing environment is apparent and this capability to adapt is critical. The global reach of digital technology has opened new frontiers for organisations, shrinking once vast continental divisions and erasing traditional boundaries between organisations and stakeholders.
Key Skills for the Digital Leader
Digital communication is driving deep change in the way that we receive information and how it is processed. Effectively communicating to all different levels is an integral skill for a successful digital leader, and it’s difficult to be an effective communicator without first listening to your team. The ability to communicate digital jargon and complex technical ideas to your clients who may not have a technical background can be the difference between a satisfied client and an unsatisfied client.
Although it’s not essential for digital leaders to be highly skilled in all emerging technologies and software, technical aptitude in this environment is imperative. Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and Virtual Reality (AR) have transformed businesses allowing them to become increasingly efficient and gain valuable insights that can be applied directly to an organisation. ISACA Research has stated that only 50% of organisations say that their leaders are digitally literate. As we move further into the digital era and the fourth industrial revolutions leaders will need to upskill to stay relevant in a developing marketplace.
A commitment to continual learning and further education is essential for any successful leader. According to a Gartner report ‘digitisation has created even larger leadership gaps in organisations around the world, and leaders today need different skills than in generations past’. Tomorrow’s leaders must have a dedication to building their own skillset and inspiring their teams to become the next generation of leaders through continuous professional development.