Digital Leaders Blog

The rationale underlying launch of our 'Leading Digital' programme four years ago was that a new breed of senior executive was urgently required - leaders of change for the digital era; executives who combine high level business knowledge, experience and understanding with the ability to implement digital supported transformation strategies fully aligned with and supportive of agreed business goals and objectives. Executives with the personal skills and confidence to drive organisational change.

New evidence that we are facing a crisis of digital leadership, not just digital skills, has emerged from a recent study by MIT SMR and Cognizant on the Future of Leadership in the Digital Economy

The study, based on a survey of more than 4,000 managers and leaders from over 120 countries around the world, concluded that most leaders today lack the skills and mindset to thrive in the digital economy.

As shown below, only 12% of respondents strongly agreed that their organisations’ leaders had the right mindset to embrace the changes required to thrive in a digital world. Just 9% strongly agreed that their leaders had the proper skills to compete effectively in the new economy. Overall, only 13% of the executives surveyed strongly agreed that their organisation was ready to compete in the digital era.

Figure 1: Preparedness to Lead in the Digital Economy

For the last few years, we have argued that the digital leadership and mindset gap is more concerning than the digital skills deficit. This is fully supported by the the MIT/Cognizant report. While we can train people with digital skills, developing a digital leadership mindset is a more complex challenge to address because it is less tangible. 

The leadership and mindset gap creates four major digital blind spots critical to successful transformation - strategic, cultural, human capital and personal.

You can read more here - Dodging Digital Blind Spots

See also Future of Leadership in the Digital Economy 

Our next 'Leadership in a Digital Era' Masterclass with the University of Edinburgh Business School takes place in October. Just let me know if you would be intersted in attending - full details can be found here 'Leading in a Digital Era'. 

Jim H

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