Digital Leadership Conference
Learning Pro organized together with Ziarul Financiar for the first time in Romania
the Digital Leadership Conference – How to Be a Leader in the Digital Age?
Through the Digital Leadership conference, Ziarul Financiar and Learning Pro drew through a structured and informed discussion the implications of changing the paradigms of individual and organizational leadership in the new digital age. The three sessions of the conference addressed the concept of Digital Leadership in terms of the challenges and opportunities of three situations in which each of us find ourselves individually:
DIGITAL CITIZEN, DIGITAL EMPLOYEE and DIGITAL CUSTOMER.
The participants to the conference had the opportunity to learn about the key competences of a leader who has been and will be successful in the new digital age.
An event where Romanian and international business leaders, local authorities and entrepreneurs running organizations or departments from organizations that are already successfully implementing digital leadership practices at an organizational or individual level have debated on 23 October 2017 about the challenges and opportunities of the digital age.
Through the interactive nature of the conference format, the participants had the chance to contribute to the co-creation of a new understanding of what Digital Leadership means.
Cosmina Coman, Learning Pro at the Digital Leadership Conference
“I want to tell you why I have initiated and organized this conference and what I want to take with you today.
By 2020, between 45% and 50% of the world’s workforce will be considered as non-employed, including freelancers, self-employed contractors, professional services and consultants, temporary workers provided by labor agencies, “gig “workers and robots.
Yes, those robots that everybody talks about taking our jobs.
The purpose of this conference is to create a framework for a structured and informed debate about what it means to be a leader in the digital age.
There is so much talk about digitization today, from all perspectives, technological, business, social and human. These conversations can elicit primary emotions such as the fear of confusion given by the unknown.
However today we have the opportunity to talk with leaders who have already successfully applied digitization practices in organizations and can share their perspectives and experiences about what it means to be a digital leader, both at the individual and organizational level. We will learn today what skills a leader needs in the digital age and what capabilities must develop an organization to show digital leadership.
Digitization should not be confused with the digital. Digitization involves standardizing business processes and is associated with cost reduction and operational excellence.
Today, companies, and not only them, but all organizations, whether public or private, are facing something new and different: the digital. Digital is, of course, an adjective. And it refers to a broad base of accessible and potentially disruptive technologies such as social, mobile, cloud, analytics, internet of things, cognitive computing, biometrics, and artificial intelligence. The pace of change in these technologies is so great that they did not even have the time to get a valid translation into Romanian. Digital also refers to the transformations a company has to go through to take advantage of the opportunities and opportunities that these technologies create. A digital transformation involves rethinking the company’s value proposition, not just its operations. “Becoming digital” is therefore a completely different exercise than digitization. Companies and local authorities have to become digital today to compete in a world where both customers, employees and citizens finally expect products and services to meet their needs across all channels.
Digitization is an important catalyst for digital, but all the digitization in the world will not make a company digital. Being digital is not just about introducing a mobile app for customers, it’s about taking advantage of a technology opportunity to redefine a business or even an industry.
The biggest challenge is to innovate for the future and not digitize the past.
That’s why digital transformation is first and foremost a leadership challenge! As a leader, you need to inspire and empower teams and employees with a set of skills and a digital mindset. The good news is that there are successful digital leadership patterns. It is all about a strategic change process that transforms an organization’s business models, how it creates value for its customers or citizens, and how it captures that value, that is, how it monetizes. And for this transformation, there is a need for a change in skills, competencies and in the cultural DNA of the organization.
Learning and organizational culture are, in fact, the critical factors of digital transformation. We all know that at the beginning of the digital revolution this was a topic of technology, then it became a business subject, and today it is quite clear that it is primarily a subject of leadership.
And that brings me to the way we started on this road, of understanding what you are supposed to be a digital leader. We have started, first of all, from what is happening in our industry, the professional and organizational development. The business models that have worked so far are in the face of a disruption strongly determined by the technologies applied in learning processes. Moreover, in the organizations we work with, we need to equip their employees with digital skills and competences. We have found that often these skills and competences can not be clearly defined by leaders, most likely because themselves are not clear what they need to be successful in the new digital age we are in.
Let me tell you a story: this year I was in the jungle in Borneo. Jungle is an unfamiliar territory in which, besides having a good physical condition, you need a guide to guard you from crocodiles, snakes and other animals that you do not encounter in everyday life, not even in business :), that is to manage the risks, but also to show you the attractions for which you came to the jungle (orangutans, elephants), that is the opportunities.
What does the jungle have to do with digital leadership? Today’s leaders manifest themselves in a so-called VUCA environment (Volatile, Uncertain / Uncertain, Complex & Ambiguous). That’s how it is in the jungle.
What I learned in the jungle is that besides the fact that it is important to be adequately equipped and physically fit, it is vital to be agile, if a crocodile can appear in front of you or you want to see the orangutan, but it is essential to be curious as well. Curiosity is one of the most important features of the digital leader, so important that one of the global companies present today in the Digital Employee panel has raised it to a corporate value level. I can only subscribe to this.
What is different from a jungle experience what we are living now is that the jungle is based on an evolutionary process in which you can anchor predictable landmarks. What we are living today is a revolution, and the reason we can call it a revolution is precisely that we lack the predictability of the benchmarks, especially about the impact on society, organizations and staff. No industry, no organization, no individual are immune to the threat of being disrupted. Being relevant in a digital world is the number one challenge we all face.
Reorienting leadership in this world does not mean that traditional abilities have been suppressed, but now coexists with a mixture of new factors. Namely, in order to be a digital leader, she has to become digitally fluent, develop new digital capabilities, experiment and risk and understand how technology transforms society and translates into business impact.
But as a first step, top management must agree that digital transformation is needed and that they must also transform as leaders. Digital Leadership is not an optional part of being a CEO
Because Digital Masters (so-called companies that excel in both digital capabilities and digital leadership) are 26% more profitable than industry similarities and generate 9% more revenue from their physical assets.
It is a revolution that we are living and that each of us are striving for, at an individual and organizational level, to internalize it because in this way we will naturally move in the new environment. As soon as we stop attaching the Digital word next to a business expression, then we will know that we are truly digital.“