A modern digital leader must adapt and step into new roles to propel their teams into an increasingly tech-centric future. Indeed, those pursuing leadership careers today are also expected to possess certain essential skills that can help organizations thrive in the digital era.
1. Tech-driven adaptability
Chief among these skills is tech adaptability. This means having an understanding of emerging technologies and how exactly they can improve an organization. While leaders don’t necessarily need to be experts in the technical area, technical knowledge is necessary for deciding which technologies to develop and how. The more a digital leader knows about software development, the better they can work with developers in fleshing out a product idea.
Leaders who understand how artificial intelligence (AI) works can actually contribute to the development of data algorithms that will be beneficial to operations. In the age of digital transformation, tech-driven adaptability can push leaders to new heights.
2. Virtual collaboration
Alongside tech adaptability is the skill of virtual collaboration. This means familiarity with remote collaboration tools as well as how to use them both internally and externally. Project managers who know how to communicate using the latest technology are not only more connected to their technical teams, they are also more respected by clients, peers, and business partners. And the remote workplace demands leaders that are well suited to virtual collaborations.
3. People-focused approach
While many enterprises are now concerned with tech skills, it’s easy to neglect the fact that having a people-focused approach is just as important. Remember that any new technology in the workplace should in some way improve the working conditions of staff. A digital leader who understands this builds digital products that put users at the center of everything. Fine-tuning user experience is key to the collective tech adaptability of any enterprise. Leaders must also be ready to augment staff in order to cater to new market needs and internal changes.
4. Upskilling programs
A people-focused approach also entails being able to develop upskilling programs and strategies. Apart from understanding and being able to use new technology themselves, digital product leaders must also know how to transfer their skills to their teams. In order for any organization to thrive, everyone should be continuously immersed in upskilling programs. This can help organizations to pivot much easier, according to new conditions.
5. Data-driven decisions
The more organizations get digitized, the more business or operational data can be harvested for business insights. Today, AI algorithms can be used to make virtually any system smarter, develop better user experiences, and empower leaders to make data-driven decisions. This is why it’s not uncommon for those pursuing data analytics careers to either serve as advisors to leaders or enter digital leadership positions themselves.
Indeed, data analysts can improve an organization’s operational research, marketing strategy, pricing, forecasting, and management efficiency. Data is the new gold, and a digital leader that knows how to harvest it has a place in any organization that hopes to thrive in the new normal.
The digital revolution is not slowing down anytime soon. And in order for leaders to stay up to date and proficient in the area, they must be adaptable to new technologies, able to collaborate virtually, and understand the value of having a people-focused approach. They should also know how to upskill themselves and their teams, as well as make better decisions based on data. A digital leader who possesses all these skills is more than ready to help organizations navigate the future of work.