Many of today’s organizations are still running on leadership models that were created 10, 20, or more years ago. Yet, we are now facing changing demographics in the workforce and the pressures of digital disruption and leaders must adapt and change.
The first step to becoming a better leader is to take the time to identify areas of deficiency and then systematically address them. As digital disruption changes the challenges of the workplace, it’s even more important to be cognizant of areas that leaders need development. Here are four ways to upskill leaders during digital transformation:
Answer questions honestly
Get a sense of strengths and weaknesses by doing an honest inventory and analysis
of current leaders. Are the leaders trying to be aware of how others think and feel? Are the leaders trying to help others to perform the best of their abilities? Are the leaders willing to accept responsibility? Are the leaders good problem solvers? These questions will lay the foundation for doubling down on strengths, as well as where to train or supplement.
Learn the team’s digital strengths
The people leaders manage is the other part of the leadership equation. Digital skills that are of value in the future may not show up on resumes of the past. Therefore, leaders need to be proactive in discovering where on their team they have the digital skills to leverage, and where they are lacking.
Build alliances for new skills
Once you are aware of your organizational deficiencies, leaders can make up for them by building alliances – either inside or outside the organization – that can complement your strengths. Do you need technical expertise? Training for your workforce? Better collaboration within your team? Effective leaders won’t try to do everything themselves, but rather put the people in place that will create the network of strategic alliances.
Think five years ahead
Most companies do not have a 10- or 20-year vision, and even if they did it would be hard to predict what will happen in that time. But if leaders consider a 3- to 5-year horizon, they can chart a realistic course for the company. Leaders should get in the practice of scanning out to the future and then dialing that into what that means for implementation – especially in digital technology – for the near and immediate term.
Overall, the leaders of the digital transformation need to be collaborative, inclusive and assess not only their own skills and needs, but their whole organization as well.