Saturday, July 25, 2020

Compelling Digital Leadership Models

Leadership is about the future, the future implicates changes and innovation. 

Under a complex digital environment with “VUCA” new normal, we need to look at each situation individually and ask what leadership model is required, will it be emergent, will it self-organize, or will it be data-driven, etc. When the leadership model is symbiotic or empathetic, only then do things fall into place.

In practice, there is NO one single attribute to digital leadership; there is just a delicate mix of management, leadership, and interpersonal skills, along with a lot of different attributes. Moreover, the use of these skills and attributes happens in different proportions for each major undertaking. Here are three compelling digital leadership models.

Conductor-leader to orchestrate:
Leadership is about focusing attention and energy on the future to create a compelling and sustainable way forward. With the exponential growth of information and disruptive technologies, digital leaders should have an in-depth understanding of the business, be able to view the complete business ecosystem with all its dependencies and interconnections; they have to prove themselves of a free mind, risk-taking, and a change agent. They are able to develop a dynamic business strategy, tie all critical business elements into differentiated capabilities in order to develop actionable plans, and implement it in a step-wise manner.

The conductor-leaders can mind the digital gap, enjoy facilitating the business change agenda, and orchestrate the digital transformation of the company. The challenge is how they can move the “needle” forward, and being flexible to adapt as the circumstances change is absolutely vital. There are different attributes of leadership such as vision-imagining the future of the business; passion-conveying conviction and authenticity and building credibility; clarity – knowing your calling and acting from vision; integrity – getting things done; awareness – perceiving reality from new levels; responsibility (ownership of the team, mission, business, etc.)

Attractor-leader to consolidate: The digital era upon us is about innovation. Great leaders like a magnet, can attract the best talent to catalyze innovation. It's essential to attract people who can generate lots of original ideas, and it's equally important to have people who can evaluate and implement these ideas! An attractor-leader is a problem-solver, enjoys understanding of complexity, attracts diverse talent, finds common ground, and initiates dialogues to co-develop solutions or turn around the tough situations.

A sense of humor is a nice touch to attract the best of the best. Leaders need to know their staff's strengths and provide opportunities in the workplace for staff to use those strengths, develop new skills, leverage the right methods or technologies, and build high-performance teams to deliver better results. Attractor-leaders are forward-looking, build up the working environment to nurture creativity, enable dot-connecting activities such as cross-functional collaboration, and encourage the freedom of thinking and action.

Instructor-leader to educate: We slowly, but steadily move to the era with an abundance of knowledge and flow of information and ideas. Digital leaders today should lead by influence, not via brute force. Leadership in itself is a constant learning process that requires the leader to build experience and to share insight. Instructor-leaders can educate and facilitate learning. They must be very open to knowledge, desire for insight, and hunt for wisdom, practice expert power to make continuous delivery.

In fact, to thrive with information overloading, digital leaders today need to understand that linear management skills are not sufficient to lead today’s nonlinear digital world with the deep learning curves. What keeps digital leaders successful today is their intellectual curiosity and ability to continuously be open to learning and coach for guiding teams forward, as well as focusing on building new and nonlinear skills.

Leadership is about the future, the future implicates changes and innovation. More and more organizations are heading to the digital journey, it's important to keep sharpening compelling digital leadership models: A conducting model to orchestrate; an attraction model to consolidate, or an instruction model to educate, etc, developing the best and next leadership practices, encompassing the right direction, empowering the right talent, and enabling the long-term digital transformation.


Post a Comment