Digital transformation calls for leadership innovation
- Nearly all (95%) of the 3,000 companies in a new Randstad US study, in partnership with XBInsight, said they believe a new kind of leadership will be necessary to address the changes digitization will make to organizational structures and operations.
- The Workplace 2025: The Post-Digital Frontier study identified five leadership abilities and many personal traits executives will need in the post-digital era. According to respondents in the study, leaders of the future must inspire others, leverage technology, encourage collaboration, drive innovation and manage risk.
- While respondents said an organization's success depends on leaders' strong digital skills, only a quarter of organizations that are still developing digitally have a strong digital leader in place. This lapse, the report said, will create a greater possibility that digital initiatives won't be fully realized. An approach to digitization that's mostly tactical and not cohesive, company-wide or focused will be ineffective, and attracting and retaining talent will remain challenging if companies fall short of digital and innovative tools.
As HR leaders plan development strategies and training programs for the workplace of the future, they may want to consider the kind of leadership traits that will help organizations succeed in making digital-driven structural and operational changes. Ensuring that leaders can inspire others and leverage technology, to take an example from the Randstad study, will not only contribute toward an effort to digitize, but it will also likely provide better support for employees. A recent Udemy study reported that 45% of women and 30% of men feel unsupported professionally by their bosses. Nearly half of respondents in the same study said they've quit a job because of a bad manager and 60% said they think managers need training.
More broadly, HR leaders have realized the impact digitization will have on their organizations, but many say they lack the resources to make the digital transformation. The upfront costs of digitization might be substantial, but organizations will need to make the initial investment for a successful transition and long-term growth. Once organizations launch their transformation, HR might want to consider how it can cultivate a digital culture as a first step in the transformation. According to a recent Boston Consulting Group study, cultures that support the transformation are five times more successful in the process. The reason? Managers and employees are more likely to be onboard with the transformation.