Author and entrepreneur, Seth Godin often says, “the problem with complaining about the system…is that the system can’t hear you. Only people can”.
No matter how much technological innovation disrupts industries and companies, the human element remains at the core of any business. Systems don’t mistreat people or misrepresent them, they also do not govern poorly or support the wrong direction, people do.
Ensuring that individuals are empowered to weather all technological change is fundamental to the way organisations operate. It requires them to develop new ways of thinking about change management and creating new approaches to managing people.
Calling great leaders
The race for securing the best technology in the digital age is not the core of competitive advantage, it’s actually securing and managing talent well – and strong leadership is at the cornerstone of this. A new breed of leadership is required to cope with greater complexity in organisations, one of which is a more mobile and autonomous talent pool. Stand-out leaders need to build a culture where innovation is at the heart and an ideas-based business unifies employees.
The in-demand leaders of the digital age are those who understand agile, nimble strategies and empower the business to cope with digital transformation. The HR function is also becoming integral to lead the change, keeping a new breed of employees and an adapting legacy employee base comfortable with change and reactive to business challenges.
We look at key trends that help business cope with the people-resourcing demands of the digital age:
- Businesses are becoming flatter and decision-making leaner.
- Being agile is key – digital transformation enables leaders to get results quicker. Technology enablers make it possible to measure and test decisions and pivot if the decision needs to change.
- Employees are looking for flexibility and the ability to be mobile.
- The demands of a multi-generational workforce have shifted expectations and are increasingly being driven by first generation digital natives – millennials.
- A hyper-connected workforce means work/life balance issues are paramount.
- Keep collaborating. Leverage varied and diverse skillsets across the organisation for collaboration and problem solving.
Digital transformation is bringing about an accelerated change, and demands a certain type of leadership to keep organisations viable for future growth. The emerging leaders that are driving change are those that understand that, whatever technological innovations are around the corner, it is the talent factor that will define success and failure.
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