A big part of the Digital Transformation is the role of our leaders.
At conferences, magazines and the internet we can read every day, that leaders have to change. I have a slightly different perspective on that. It sees whenever something new comes up, we are talking about „change“ as if there is a magic method to get from present to future state.
In my eyes most of the time it would be more valuable to take a closer look, what are the new demands and how to educate ourselves to become familiar and professional about it.
For a conference, where I was asked to share my personal view on „Digital Leadership“ (as I was recognized with a „Digital Leader award„).
First, I think it is important, to be clear with the wording – our leaders are humans – they do not need to become digital themselves ;-) but leadership in the digital age has quite some new challenges. Looking at the many presentations about digital leadership, I see most attributes not as „digital“ but as „great“ leadership.
So leaders, who showed respect, appreciation, trust, curiosity, engagement… will not need to „change“ here.
„Bosses“ who practiced command & control, expecting their people to just „work, don’t think“, follow orders, don’t question decisions… will have a problem in a more transparent, connected, virtual work environment.
Good leadership is a „minimum“ requirement in a non-disciplinary team, a network or community.
The „digital“ part in the leadership headline is all about the impact of a leader in the digital world. Digital means creating impact in a way, which is not possible in the physical world.
Time-independent, Location-independent and scalable … test it with the „digital“ services you know: UBER, AIRBNB, Amazon, GOOGLE, FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia, SkypeForBusiness, ConNext, LinkedIn … no matter where you are, no matter when – you always get answers or the service… and it is absolutely scalable.
Social Collaboration and Communication is still seen by most leaders as „?“ (click here to see a simple example, why leading by eMail is just too limited) – that is the most essential education area for leaders, as the world is connected now, networks do not follow „command & control“, communities don’t work by a structured one-size-fits-all process.
There are already colleagues out their, who show great leadership skills in the digital world – they have an online reputation, they connect people, the build valuable and trusted networks, they create impact in an unknown level.
To share my vision, where I would see a digital mature organization:
It’s when we stop rolling things top-down, one-size-fits-all project style out, but creating valuable, engaging movements – where colleagues are involved and follow, because it just makes sense and everyone knows why, contributing with their own value. Good things could be „implemented“ within days…
- Click here to see the presentation with the slides around the text above
This article was first published at LinkedIn Pulse
- Digital_Leadership_Schirmer (PDF download)