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Digital leaders: Moving into the fast lane

For organizations seeking digital transformation, execution relies on the commitment and direction of the business leader.

Overview

Increasingly, adopting a digital culture is essential for successful business growth. As any change agent will testify, change comes from within. Onboarding hearts and minds not only drives organizational shifts but also helps to secure the digital workforce of the future.

It is not enough to be aware of the demands of digital disruption. Leaders need to accelerate their own digital credentials so that they can effectively manage the cultural and competitive challenges faced by their workforces and organizations.

For organizations seeking digital transformation on the inside—operations, culture, practices, and workforce—as well as on the outside—company image and employee appeal—execution relies on the clear commitment and direction of the business leader.

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Key Findings

Tackling entrenched practices and behaviors is challenging. Leaders infuse a digital mind-set—in themselves and their organizations—by:

  • Promoting a digital culture: Only 34 percent of business leaders are well prepared for digital in terms of the right leadership and management practices. Leaders can drive clarity for the workforce on the organization’s strategy, values and goals from the outset of any digital journey.

  • Converting digital aspirations into reality. Only 21 percent of business leaders in our study would call themselves a digital business today and less than one-half have implemented a digital strategy at an enterprise level. By demonstrating digital thinking and knowledge, leaders can fast track digital execution.

Employees are not overly concerned about the potential changes from digital. But by acting as a digital role model, leaders can maximize the potential of their employees to shape the workforce of the future.

Only 34 percent o​f business leaders are well prepared for digital in terms of the right leadership and management practices.
Only 34 percent o​f business leaders are well prepared for digital in terms of the right leadership and management practices.


Recommendations

Business leaders need to make digital part of their own DNA, infuse their organizations’ cultures with a digital mind-set and create the workforce of the future.

Ask yourself:

  • How can I drive digital awareness?
    Support the efforts of your workforce by investing in your own personal change journey to manage digital disruption and keep up-to-date with the latest digital thinking.

  • How can I spread the (digital) word?
    Identify digital champions to coach and facilitate digital discovery, expertise development, and behavior adoption.

  • How can I maintain momentum?
    Introduce a scheme which rewards a trial and error culture to drive innovation.

  • How can I secure commitment?
    Addressing your own leadership behaviors demonstrates commitment to a new culture. Leaders can enhance the organization using collective intelligence that helps the workforce “buy in” to agreed outcomes and encourages a culture of collaboration.


Authors

Daniel Behar

Daniel Behar
Managing Director, Accenture Strategy

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Rouven Fuchs

Rouven Fuchs​
Managing Director, Accenture Strategy
Talent & Organization

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Robert Thomas

Robert J. Thomas
Managing Director, Accenture Strategy

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