Leadership in Digital World
Companies reported that designing and balancing efficiency and digital innovation is hard and fraught with tensions and conflicts. The two types of work produce radically different structures, designs and cultures, which are often contradictory in purpose and management.
Leaders are human beings and therefore subject to human frailties: ego, fear of loss of control, desire for adulation, fear of the unknown. These frailties get in the way of letting go so that those around them are free to innovate. Moreover there are many around them (including board members, analysts and regulators) who encourage leaders to treat risk taking very seriously. When the world is changing all around you, success requires that you innovate and change. While this is understood intellectually, there is a gap between what is espoused and actual behavior.
Of all the levers we can pull to accelerate digital transformation it would seem that leadership should be the easiest and yet we see no signs of a new “digerati” among organizations that were not “born digital” to begin with. If we can’t move leadership into the digital age, we will be seriously restricted in what we can do.
Leadership in a digital world includes both formal and informal leaders. Due to the speed of technological advancement, the half-life of digital knowledge can be measured in a few years if not months.