Competition in the digital world is fierce and fast. The consequences are often brutal. Strategic decision making for many organisations has now become a weekly debate on how to compete effectively rather than an annual planning process.
The digital environment is an accelerator of effect, meaning that organisations and their leaders need to reset their expectations of control. How can leaders in the digital environment cope with the ever-increasing squeeze between competitors and customers?
In an article on digital leadership, Simon Hayward from Cirrus considers the implications of this squeeze for leaders working in a digital world of accelerating unpredictability. Simon combines insights gained from working with clients in this area with a range of studies and articles looking at digital leadership. He identifies four main themes that emerge as the key challenges for leaders working in both IT-based and more general organisations experiencing a significant digital challenge.
Insight – having insight through listening to what is going on around, learning and adapting to the changing customer and technological environments
Focus – making strategic choices and focusing resources effectively to create advantage and increased value for customers
Speed – making rapid decisions and executing strategy with a pioneering spirit, building capability in the organisation and responding to changing circumstances with a combination of astute data analysis and human intuition
Connection – collaborating and building relationships with colleagues inside the organisation, customers, competitors, commentators and wider communities that can be attracted by the organisation’s product or service.
Your organisation may not be a digital specialist, but whatever business you’re in, our increasingly digital environment is having a big impact on how you operate. It is altering your competitor landscape, redefining your marketplace, and changing the way your customers interact with you.
Some of us can be clearly defined as ‘digital leaders’. All of us can benefit from developing digital leadership skills. Learning how to combine insight, focus, speed and connection can help us become more adaptable, more agile, and more successful in a fast-moving and unpredictable world.