Digital Anthropology of leaders — 6 steps to become a digital leader.
Your phone, the lap top, the tablet — you are online. Almost 24/7. The way you communicate, socialize and even work has changed drastically. We are submerged in an era of digital teenhood and we are just beginning to understand the implications of our digital alter ego creation and maintenance. And we are still to meet Artificial Intelligence and the implications of robotics. There is now a notion called digital anthropology and it studies the evolution of the relationship between humans and machines…yes we are that far up the ladder and it is merely the beginning, John Connor…buckle up!
The ambience we live in outlines the environment we work with. The evolution of “Managing men technically (management)” since the beginning of the 20th century, where human workforce was as appreciated as much as the immediate productivity output could be measured on the production line, through the nowadays notion of enabling potential through effective leadership, up to the point where there is a new sherif in town — the digital leader.
Digital leaders are all about driving digital transformation in their organisation and their arsenal is wide. Here is how to become an effective digital leader, ok?
- Embrace change — ditch the paper diary and start using collaborative tools where everyone who matters can understand and measure their tasks. Become digitally fluent and embrace technology.
- Encourage colleagues and peers to do the same — this is how competencies are created on a scale. You enable people and people enable other people — the snow ball effect.
- Willingness to experiment -“Nowcasting” — using real-time social media tools like Twitter to read the public mood — is fast becoming a key way to gain immediate insights into rapidly evolving customer preferences. Harnessing the potential it offers requires streamlined, nimble processes and a willingness to experiment. As Prof. Káganer (IESE’s Information Systems Department )advises: “embrace the loss of control and start fostering new mutually beneficial relationships with the customers and employees that are empowered through digital today.”
- Understand how technology is transforming society, and translate into business impact — According to Prof. Zamor “digital leaders need to understand the shifts (behavioral, economic, social) that new technology drivers are creating: like mobile, social networks, cloud, big data.” Leaders must then, adds Prof. Káganer “translate these key fundamental shifts into business impacts at the industry, organization and individual level.” Everyone is digitally present and leaders can grasp moods and intentions if they correlate the digital selfs with the “real” world.
- Promote collaborative environments -IT departments can no longer be treated in isolation, nor can technology be regarded as a discrete business area. Prof. Zamora: “Digital permeates the whole organization and impacts all phases in the value chain. In the same way that a manager is able to interpret a balance sheet, he should be able to know how technology is going to impact the business strategy of the company”.In addition, information technologies are central to empowering employees and achieving strategic business goals. Examples include:
- The trend toward BYOD (“bring your own device”) whereby employees are encouraged to bring their own mobile devices to work and allowed to connect them to corporate networks, accessing workplace applications and privileged information.
- Widespread use of social media networks, which have created new types of customer engagement, obliging companies to become much more customer-centered.
These trends throw up a raft of new issues. As Prof. Sieber explains, “the challenge is not the technology per se, but rather how business leaders adjust organizational processes and cultures to take advantage of the benefits the technology offers. No doubt we will have to break down communication silos and migrate toward a more collaborative culture and environment, which facilitates teamwork”.
6. Use the information, not just the technology
Perhaps the biggest step to crossing the digital divide concerns the issue of big data. Understanding how to transform big data into decisions that improve business performance should be at the top of every executive agenda. But we should also consider how to use it to boost individual performance. “Think about all the e-mails you send every day; all the calls you make; all the apps you use on your mobile devices: these reflect your work habits, your productivity patterns, your movements, your sleep patterns,” says Prof. Káganer. “What is the relationship between my work habits, productivity patterns and daily activities in terms of personal well-being? We, as individuals, can then start steering the conversation, telling businesses how we want products, services and business models to be, instead of the other way around.”
Being a digital leader will soon be a painkiller rather than a vitamin for organizations. Stay on top!
More from the author: https://medium.com/@Nedyalko