Five Attributes Required to Lead in the Digital Economy

August 5, 2019
Written by
Isabelle Perreault
Founder and CEO

What does it mean to lead in an age of rapid change and disruption? Although we’ve been leveraging technology for decades, organizations are still grappling with being digital. As we’ve seen with many technology projects gone awry, technology alone does not make an organization digitally adept.  More than ever, the cultural shift, the capabilities and in particular, the changes required in leadership styles are the true barriers.

If you think about the environment in which leaders operated less than a decade ago:

  1. Information was power. (Leaders typically had access to the most data.)
  2. Information was hierarchical. We expected leaders to have all the answers.
  3. Leaders had to appear in control. Being unsure was generally frowned upon.
  4. Generally speaking, leaders were not allowed to make mistakes (or they could not readily admit they made a mistake).

Fast forward to the last five or six years in particular, and the world is more than ever:

  1. Social (People based. Consumers are in control)
  2. Networked  (Power is in our connections)
  3. Open (Ideas are everywhere, sources of information are not top down but side to side and bottom up)
  4. Supportive vs. transactional (The revenue first, sales first approach no longer works; it’s about value exchange)
  5. Democratic vs. authoritative

The organizations that are thriving in the digital economy are mirroring these five attributes not only in their business models but in the processes they’ve adopted and the leadership style of their management teams.  Older or incumbent organizations and institutions must adapt to face these changes in environment, business models and operating models. As such, we are telling seasoned leaders they must now collaborate (inside and outside the organization), innovate and iterate (often), create and co-create (with competitors, vendors and customers) and while doing so, fail fast so we can all learn from their mistakes!  This is not simply a technological challenge, it’s a cultural and mindset shift.

As many studies have now shown, businesses that redesign their organizations while also investing significantly in technology, are those that will outperform the competition.

Browse more posts by category:

Download free resources:

Browse our library of free downloadable resources including valuable templates, tips and methodologies that you can put into action right away.

VIEW RESOURCES

Book a meeting

Ready to get started? Book a meeting with us to discuss your needs and we'll go from there. No pressure, no obligations.

book a meeting

Did you enjoy this post?

If you enjoyed reading this post, consider subscribing to the Differly blog. We'll send you periodic updates with the latest insights and ideas.

subscribe for updates

Related posts

Vivamus nec magna dictum velit dapibus molestie. Integer congue rutrum ornare. Maecenas sit amet est tellus, eu consectetur diam.

COVID-19, the game changer that will push us all into the digital revolution.

COVID-19 is first and foremost a human crisis. It might also be the catalyst that pushes us all into the digital revolution, digitizing services, and forcing us to shift to digital business models.

Read More
All future forward leaders share these five traits

What does it take to lead and inspire in a time of exponential change? These five traits have been found as a common thread in future forward leaders.

Read More
Segments and Personas. How to use them and why they are not the same.

In working with marketing, BI and sales teams over the years, I've noticed a regular misuse of the terms segments and personas. Although often used in complementary ways, they are not one and the same. Here’s how I would differentiate.

Read More
Fear and How to Use It

Fear is a gift. I’m not talking about fear of fire or heights - the common sense, life-saving fear. I’m talking about the ego-based self-talk kind of fear that tells you to move away from discomfort.

Read More
view all blog posts

Let us guide you through our proven road mapping process.  The risk of doing something almost always outweighs the risk of doing nothing!

Fusce vehicula, purus et tempor scelerisque, odio risus cursus dolor, quis placerat metus lacus sed tortor. Vivamus nec magna dictum velit dapibus molestie. Integer congue rutrum ornare. Maecenas sit amet est tellus, eu consectetur diam.

book a consultation with us

Differly is a digital transformation consultancy based in Ottawa, Canada. We are seasoned practitioners and strategists with a diverse background in strategic planning, digital strategy, data, IT services and marketing, customer engagement, and loyalty.