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7 skills of successful digital leaders

Effective digital transformation requires strong leadership. Here’s how to helm your company’s digital journey through considerable organizational change

Source | | Esther Shein

You’d think by now IT leaders would have digital transformation in check and be pros at overseeing initiatives to help their organizations improve business processes, stay competitive and enhance customer experiences. But in reality, many are faltering.

recent report by Capgemini and George Westerman of MIT found that while 39 percent of organizations today say they have the digital capabilities required, that level is the same as in 2012. The real eye-opener was that only 35 percent say they have the leadership capabilities required to succeed at digital transformation — a decrease from 45 percent in 2012.

There are myriad reasons, including organizational complexity and the difficulty of working across silos, says George Westerman, principal research scientist with the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy.

Additionally, “Companies are mired in legacy spaghetti,’’ adds Westerman, who is also co-author of the book Leading Digital: Turning Technology Into Business Transformation.

Effective leaders, according to Westerman, are those who possess vision, engagement and governance skills and are adept at building strong IT/business relationships.

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