Digital transformation goals require identifying the potential leaders to bridge the skill gaps, which are predominantly behavioral, more than technical.
As the digital technology landscape is advancing faster than ever, enterprises are adopting the transformational tools which have been proceeding apace. So, even an in-depth understanding of a particular domain may turn to be obsolete in a couple of years.
For successful digital transformation, the in-demand competencies focus on strategic problem solving, communication, active listening, and management change.
Thus, while successfully driving the digital transformation efforts, it’s not necessarily tech knowledge that serves the upcoming leaders best. The biggest skill gaps for digital transformation remain behavioral, and it is actually about team leadership skills. Experts have always been highlighting the in-demand competencies for successful digital initiatives, including active listening, communication, strategic problem-solving, and change management.
The specific qualities that have emerged as common for the rising leaders who seek the best results from their digital transformation efforts could be summarized as:
Potential leaders always have a vision along with a plan or strategy
All potential leaders possess a good understanding of both digital technologies and business needs. Many IT leaders gain such an extensive understanding of their business only post spending time in business operations, making them effective in their current role of driving digital transformation.
The best digital transformation leaders understand the biggest pain points in the organization, and they create a realistic digital roadmap to address those.
This is the most crucial quality an IT leader can offer to the enterprise’s digital transformation effort. Digital transformation efforts tend to be large-scale, which in the long run, too, could fall short of the program objectives.
Outcome-focused leaders with a long-term vision understand the need to drive that focus, assessing any midcourse requests against the current program commitments to relentlessly communicate and reinforce the expectations of sponsors. They measure, understand, and report on both quantitative and qualitative benefits, to ensure all project actions are structured well to deliver expected outcomes.
Higher EQ is important to manage the mindset change
Digital transformation goals involve all aspects of the organization, which means that the mindset change journey is equally important as the technology journey. Digital transformation is occurring across all businesses with technology change agents and experts, and not only in IT. For IT leaders to continue being relevant, the emerging leaders need to be business-savvy along with a very high EQ.
Cross inter-department boundaries
Digital transformation only works best when teams collaborate seamlessly across business units, functions, and geographies. Successful leaders should have the ability to think across silos to effectively leverage expertise from an external partner ecosystem to accelerate the digital transformation journey.
They shouldn’t chase every fad
Unfortunately, the industry is throwing technologies randomly at problems and hoping to resolve them without much effort or dedication. IT leaders who know their industry segment well are in the best position to select the most relevant technology to invest in for their domain.
Cultivating innovation and risk-taking attitude
Digital leaders always try to find innovative ways to support their teams in challenging the status quo and taking all required risks, with the understanding that not everything the team does can turn to be successful. Rewarding success is important, but it’s equally important to create an environment where people are not getting penalized for trying intelligently and failing. Fear of failure curbs innovation and the IT leaders should have the capability to step in and inculcate the innovation culture.