Nearly every part of business now relies on technology, data and analytics to maximise performance, so it makes sense that digital leadership is the next mountain to climb for business owners and managers.
So what is Digital Leadership?
Simply, digital leadership is the strategic use of organisational digital assets to maximise business performance and achieve business goals in an ever changing digital environment.
The uptake of digital is really no different to the uptake of motorised transport and electricity a hundred plus years ago, it will be just as impactful and will be just as fast moving, probably faster. Digital is a force that must be understood and utilised by business owners otherwise they will not maximise organisational success and will lag behind their competitors that do become digitally aware and mature. We have talked before about people analytics being moved from the HR Department to Operations, the question is, how long before the digitally-aware organisations create separate departments that look after all of the digital assets, irrelevant whether they be assets for finance, sales, customer service, logistics, operations, HR, social media, marketing etc?
Of most importance will be the future digital leaders’ focus. It will not be a focus on technology, it will be about better understanding and serving the customer/stakeholder through culture, structure and capability. The true digital leader will not need to know how it works, they will not be IT experts, they just need to know what digital assets are needed to create a competitive advantage.
Some tips on how to spot digital leadership attributes, they:
- Identify the outcome required and then find the technology to deliver the outcome, not the other way around
- Focus on transforming the way people work to deliver better organisational outcomes
- Take a holistic approach to technology and ensure that integration occurs across all business units
- Promote extensive testing and piloting of new technology, are not afraid to try something new
- Innovative and creative, they are not bound by previously accepted processes
- Constantly request feedback and ideas from all employees, engage in agile thinking
- Share the Digital Vision and promote passion for future organisational potential