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Tech Trends that will Rock Leadership



Thought provoking article around six technology trends that are re-shaping how leaders, lead. Research-based, which articulates what the impact is of the technology and what leaders have to think about to be able to respond to that change.  Published by DDI and written by Evan Sinar, PhD and Jennifer Pesci-Kelly,  the full article has all the detail including links to the specific evidence points for each change.  I have summarised some of the key points out of the article below - but the full article is worth reading.

1. A fading “growth mojo” for businesses

Business evidence: The major forces driving technology-fueled business growth over the past two decades—increasing internet connectivity, advancing emerging markets, rising debt and falling interest rates, and labor force expansion—have stalled. Businesses will need an entirely new set of growth levers to survive and thrive.

Leader’s role: New growth drivers will require a new mix of leader skills and the willingness to learn them. Only adaptive, disruptive leaders who sever their ties to the status quo and who reformulate a new talent pool around themselves will succeed.

2. Messaging spikes as default communications tool

Business evidence: Working remotely, virtual offices, and global locations necessitate additional communication tools, creating connectedness across miles when daily face time is missing. The contemporary ‘office’ looks different from the office of yesterday, turning tech tools into the surrogate for the watercooler.

Leader’s role: The good news: This dramatic escalation of a lot more messaging—and technology progression—has made it more expressive and created options for more business-related conversations (easy, fast customer service, for example). The bad news: we are faced with a workforce buried in devices of every size.

3. Too much data, too little trust

Business evidence: Companies who see data as a modern currency and competitive advantage—and few no longer do—are adopting new technologies to gather data at a mind-boggling rate about their prospective customers, current users and increasingly, their own employees, to inform their advanced analytics models and digital strategies.

Leader’s role: Even the many companies gathering, storing, and using data responsibly fall under the shadow of the relatively few, yet extremely prominent, organizations whose data have been hacked and who are using data to punish rather than to develop their employees. 

4. Generational diversity transforming commerce and brands

Business evidence: The Millennial generation is now the largest living generation, and generational diversity is at an all-time high. Regardless of the generational label, however, the way consumers and employees engage with technology has changed from a state of assimilation and acceptance to full work and life integration, and the lofty design and usability expectations that come alongside it.

How it will redefine leader success: Of course, leaders must lead now across generations to a greater degree than ever before. More crucially, however, they must also lead WITHIN generations, seek common ground across employees, and dispute false generational stereotypes and signposts.

5. This generation of tech companies finally grows up

Business evidence: Technology organizations moved from infancy to maturity in a matter of years, living through the growing pains, and learning from the failings of others, to finally reach a pinnacle of growing and experienced businesses. As they turn the corner from risky start-up to an organization with brand name stability, the start-up leaders that launched their success won’t necessarily be the leaders who will guide more significant growth for these businesses.

How it will redefine leadership success: All of this opportunity leaves less room for leader error. But everything moves faster for leaders now—decisions, executions, operations, even talent movement. This isn’t the time for lone wolves. Successful leaders will operate with agility, will read the business landscape, understand consumer behaviour and look over the horizon and make the necessary adjustments.

6. If you can’t build, buy

Business evidence: Once upon a time, there was delineation between bricks-and-mortar and internet companies, but now those lines blur as technology is the price of entry for everyone selling anything. Traditional organizations are purchasing complementary technology companies that propel them with consumers and add the right tech offerings to their portfolios. The lesson: technology investments require more than hardware—infrastructure includes talent who can create solutions that work and who speak the language.

How it will redefine leadership success: The name of the game for leaders will be TQ (Trainability Quotient) and it will be as critical as business acumen for leader success in these potentially burgeoning markets. These acquisitions signal a move to acquiring the start-up culture and leader agility that traditional organizations have found challenging to build from scratch

What can we learn? Technology makes us faster as people, but can also slow us down as humans if we’re not careful. If we’ve learned anything, it is that technology is a constant, but won’t replace the need for quality communication, customer trust, and employees who love what they do when they walk through the door every day.

Comments by Mary Sue Rogers

 

Posted On : 19-06-16

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