The Power of People in the Digital Era

Businesses need the right people strategy to address impending digital disruption. That begins with transformative leaders and culture.

Businesses need the right people strategy to address impending digital disruption. That begins with transformative leaders and culture. 
Adaption to change starts with people. As digitization drives more automation and computing, 75% of leaders believe automation will soon require new skills. By 2030, Millennials will make up two-thirds of the workforce and most of the jobs they will perform over their lifetimes have yet to exist. In addition, jobs requiring higher levels of skills proficiencies are growing the fastest. 
For Lory Antonucci, senior consultant of organizational effectiveness for Right Management, addressing these changes begins with leaders and cultures of transformation. 
“These days, successful digital transformation means everybody operates from a shared, comprehensive view of the demands and capabilities available to each of us,” she said. 
Transforming quickly can make the difference between success and failure. Organizations must proactively address transformation through leadership, culture and the workforce itself. Most organizations believe their leadership pipeline and existing leaders aren’t yet prepared to win at digital. This even includes early digital adopters. 
“An adaptive leadership network that is capable of integrating, innovating and scaling up, across and outside as much as inside will be what both unlocks opportunities and drives successful digital transformation,” said Antonucci.
A culture of innovation is another critical differentiator. Culture is the beliefs and values in action, both historically and current. An organization that cultivates innovation culture will embrace change, take calculated risks and be open to failing fast. This culture is both the proof of the past and the foundation for the future. Organizations with a culture of formal innovation system and structure see significant yields: 51 percent are the first to market with most innovations, products and new services. 
“Invest in (and use) tools, connections and learning opportunities to gain a new sense of what’s happening with your customers and your work,” Antonucci recommended. “Learning and business actions should focus on gaining updated insights, resources and innovations, and then sharing and scaling the new value that you see.” 
From the digital suites to the factory floors, digital transformation is a comprehensive journey that impacts every part of an organization. Wherever companies are on their digital journey, the path is clear: They need to be even more agile and able to deliver in the short-term while adapting for the long-term.
Ultimately, organizations and individuals need to approach digital opportunities with both a short- and long-term plan for the impact on people, and the people’s impact on technology. 
This content is adapted from a Right Management article in Human Capital Media’s Chief Learning Officer Workforce Magazine.