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The Role of Leadership in the Digital Era

Digital transformation has become a big deal these days. Companies are either moving forward towards digitalization or are trying to figure out what to do about it. So what exactly is a digital transformation? It’s definitely not what most people think it is. Digitalizing business processes is NOT digital transformation.

What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation or Digitalization is about developing a digital-first business model. It is not much about technology as it is about a cultural change. And, that is the biggest obstacle companies face while embracing digitalization. This happens because leadership is stuck in the old cultural ways.

Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson aptly explained this in their book ‘Machine, Platform, Crowd’- “In the dynamic between mind and machine, product and platform, core and crowd – the latter of each have grown so much stronger. So that the relationship between each of these pairs must be re-examined…The business world is always changing. However, in transitions as profound as this one, things are even more unsettled than usual.”

How Does Leadership need to Change in the Digital Era?
It’s not easy to give up on old ways and adopt a cultural change. Therefore, at first, a model for self-examination is necessary. One need to analyze following things first:

1: How much are you leveraging the power of the technologies that you have access to?

2: How much are you relying on your own mind?

While investing in new technologies, which may seem like the right thing to do, observing their output will give you a completely new level of insight.

For example, say you use social media to reach your target group. In this case, you must evaluate the data you receive (which can be tapped through different channels) through that medium. Instead of just focusing on the value emerging from different networks along with the users and conversations.

For this purpose, leaders must be trained to gather value in every possible way. Tapping into a crowd that the business recognizes, as a target group requires more than just the use of technology or using it the right way. It demands knowing how to extract as much value as possible from the technology in use.

So as a company if you’ve adopted new technologies but aren’t keeping an eye on the consequences they lead to and the opportunities they bring, then you’re missing out on a major share of what is available in the market. Therefore, it is important that leaders today invest time in developing the appropriate skills needed to adopt this cultural shift.

We at Challenging Horizons, train new-age leaders to stay competitive in the era of digitalization. Our programs are customized specifically to your needs as an organization and enable your leaders to adopt digital transformation with ease and make use of all the opportunities that come along the way.