Digital leaders don’t have to do everything themselves, but they must be able to spot the areas of their organization that need improving. Moreover, they need to be able to hire and develop the best talent to not only fill roles but also drive the business forward to greater success.
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Digital leaders must be able to unite the organization and nurture a digital culture that embraces change. For that to happen, a clear, coherent strategy outlining their digital agenda is essential.
When digital transformation begins to effect change in an organization, disrupting the business model, processes and practices, the business is recognized as having ‘digital maturity’. Successful digital leaders will have a clear vision for the company’s future and be willing to commit resources and implement needed changes to make it happen.
To be successful in the digital age leaders need to be present, use the technology at hand, and build a strong network of communication from the top of an organization to its bottom.
To do this the leadership must have a communications strategy and understand who they are addressing. While staying on-point and being timely with their delivery, leaders must also give enough information to make people care about and invest in their message.
With the fast pace of change in the digital age, leadership must be willing to try new technologies and adapt their approach to creating a digital workplace, or risk obsolescence.
The key to innovation for leaders is to keep abreast of developments in the digital sphere and ensure the workforce is embedded in a culture that values innovation and takes risks to trial new platforms and technologies.
Most CEOs think their businesses are being disrupted by digital business models and that they lack the right skills, leaders, or operating structures to adapt.
Being from an older generation, current CEOs are having to learn basic technology and digital marketing methods later in life, which is trickier than growing up immersed in it and puts them at risk of quickly falling behind their younger peers without continuous learning.
Putting speed and innovation ahead of tried-and-tested business practices often makes leaders cautious. However, in a fast-changing world, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.
For a start-up, the risks can be even greater but innovation is impossible without risk. And if you can’t take risks, you may not be cut out to be a digital leader.
Sudden changes in the industry can disrupt the status quo, potentially derailing the success of your organization. In these situations a leader must remain flexible and adaptable, ready to make the quick decisions that can keep the company on track with minimal negative impact.
If you have the vision and can creatively weave a vivid picture that makes people believe what you believe, then the chance of success is significantly greater.
As a leader trying to create something new, the ability to inspire an organization to believe your vision is crucial for true digital transformation to take place.
It’s okay for a leader to be loyal to their employees as long as their first loyalty is to the health and success of the company. Exceptions aside, outsourcing in general costs less, allows for talent flexibility, and empowers a leader to force partners to compete for their spend.
A digital leader creates the leanest internal organization possible to gain the flexibility to utilize the brightest external talent, at the best terms, on-demand.
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