Navigating the digital landscape for leaders
Like it or not, the future is here. Digital technologies – from AI to algorithms, to machine learning – are changing the way we live and work forever, and it can be easy to feel wary of the changes and uncertainties that come with futuristic-looking technology and radical new ways of working.
But we know that it’s those who embrace the possibilities of digital and harness the potential for technology to transform ways of working, that are the business leaders that will thrive now and in the future. More than that, it’s critical that businesses adopt a forward-thinking mindset that welcomes digital change and transformation, otherwise they risk getting left behind.
Modern business leaders need to take a step beyond being ‘tech-savvy’, and instead digital transformation should be ingrained into everyday mindsets. As the ESEI notes, “This mindset goes beyond mere familiarity with digital tools and platforms; it encompasses a deep understanding and appreciation for the potential of digital transformation. By adopting a digital mindset, individuals and organisations can unlock a plethora of opportunities for growth, innovation, and success.”
In a company that has adopted a forward-thinking digital mindset, leaders see technology as an opportunity – to connect more, engage their employees, improve customer services and make the most of their data – and they see powerful effects on their bottom line.
How can leaders advocate for a positive digital mindset? How can they instil confidence in technology, even when things go wrong?
Feel the fear and do it anyway
Digital has the power to transform your entire business, but that doesn’t mean it’ll never fail you. In recent news, one company learnt this the hard way when its AI chatbot went rogue, malfunctioned, wrote a poem criticising the delivery service, and had to be swiftly disabled… yikes.
It’s easy to see how reading about incidents like this, however rare, could be incredibly discouraging for businesses looking to take the leap into AI or other technologies. It’s important to remember that the many incidents of AI transforming business practices don’t make the news, because it would make for a pretty boring news story.
Of course this scenario isn’t ideal, and part of adopting a digital mindset is about trial and error, bravery, and adaptation when things don’t go right the first time. As Martin Rowinski puts it, “being tech-savvy as a leader is not just about understanding the latest technologies, but also about having a growth mindset and being open to learning and experimenting with new tools and technologies. Leaders should be willing to try new things, to make mistakes, and to learn from them.”
Focus on the benefits
Yes, futuristic technologies can seem intimidating. Anything new and radical is bound to come with a mixture of excitement and nervousness. But the benefits of adopting a digital mindset are numerous and far outweigh the negatives; according to Thales Group these include increased customer satisfaction, data-based insights, the limiting of human error, increased operation efficiency and a high-quality user experience, to name but a few.
It’s the role of leaders to focus the minds of their businesses on all of the incredible benefits of adopting digital technologies, mitigate concerns, and instil a test-and-learn culture where failure is just another learning opportunity.
Become change resilient
What we’re talking about here, is developing leadership teams who are change resilient. As new technologies are developed every day, embracing digital technologies requires resilience, and enthusiasm for, continuous change. As The Economic Times notes, change resilience in leadership looks amongst other things like being able to navigate uncertainty and innovation and adaptation.
When you have leaders who know exactly how to navigate change, you have a fantastic foundation to build a digitally progressive organisation.
Leading in a digital world
Perhaps you’re stuck in a company reluctant to pursue digital change, maybe you see the potential in digital but are not sure where to start, or you might just want to upskill your
leadership teams to drive forward an existing digital mindset. Wherever you’re at in your journey to embrace the potential of digital, we can help.
Our Leading in a digital world solution provides bespoke learning to meet your teams where they are. If you’d like to discuss how this solution could work for you, reach out to the NKD team for a chat.