Digital technology is changing our world. Many organisations are developing their digital leadership capability. However, the most successful and trailblazing organisations today are actually looking beyond digital leadership towards wide-ranging digital transformation. They are developing the broader leadership skills needed to drive this transformation, adapting ways of working to embrace the accelerating pace of technological change.
The breadth and depth of this change is unprecedented. Entire industries are being disrupted. Companies such as Skype, Spotify, Netflix and Airbnb have redefined their marketplaces and forced well-established companies to change the way they do business.
Speaking at the UK’s CIPD Conference recently, internet pioneer Matha Lane-Fox encouraged HR leaders to improve their understanding of technology and its impact on their organisations. Highlighting that the challenge of digital transformation goes beyond digital leadership, she advised that hiring people for their technical skills is less important than hiring people for their resilience, entrepreneurship, and curiosity about the world.
Research demonstrates that digital transformation is moving up the organisational agenda. Gartner research published in April 2017 shows that 42% of global CEOs have embarked on digital business transformation. A recent Bersin by Deloitte study, Predictions for 2017, found that 90% of organisations believe their core business is threatened by new digital competitors, while 70% believe they do not have the right leadership, skills or operating models to adapt.
At Cirrus, we believe that to drive digital transformation, leaders need to create significant change in the following areas:
- Collaboration amongst employees
- Interaction with customers
- Relationships with partners
- Agile ways of working.
The challenge of leading in a digital world is something Cirrus is exploring in more detail over the weeks and months ahead.