The digital transformation It is much more than a trend, it is a process that all companies that wish to survive will have to address sooner rather than later. In fact, what happened during the pandemic when confinements were imposed, showed us that the most technologically advanced organizations and professionals are the ones best trained to deal with all types of situations, and to continue working “normally” even in conditions difficult.
Companies have to adapt to what we already know as the digital age, and that adjustment involves having staff that also has their knowledge and skills regarding the use of new technologies. And at the head of that squad are the leaders, What are they essential agents when it comes to achieving a successful digital transformation.
In a world where technology becomes more essential every day, leaders can no longer rely solely on the traditional management and decision-making skills that have put them where they are today. Leadership in the digital age requires constant adaptation to changes and agility to understand new work dynamics and cutting-edge tools.
Being a leader is a path that has never been without challenges. But in these first years of the 21st century, changes are occurring faster than ever and those in charge of work teams are required to be capable of adjusting to new ways of working and new digital trends in the world. market, but to anticipate them to provide competitive advantage to your company.
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The impact of technology on the evolution of leadership
Technology is one of the most important catalysts for change in the business world and, not surprisingly, it is affecting leadership. To the way in which it is understood and to the way in which it is exercised.
We can measure its impact through different factors that have brought with them adjustments in the way the leader should work:
Instant communication and transparency
Videoconferencing, chat applications, instant messaging systems... new forms of communication have broken down communication barriers that have traditionally existed between the leader and his team.
Now the leader can express himself much more quickly and effectively. More communication and with a greater degree of transparency, results in employees with greater trust in their boss, who dare to expose him to everything they didn't talk about before.
Collaborative technologies have made remote work easier. Now the leader no longer has his work team always under his supervision; all or some of its members may be in teleworking mode.
This requires you to establish new systems to manage and unite the team, but also to gain confidence in the people who are in their charge.
Tools such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) allow simplify and automate tasks that previously took a lot of time. For example, to prepare a report to present to the company's board of directors.
The leader is obliged to know these types of tools and get the most out of them. Doing so will simplify your daily life, eliminate repetitive tasks from your schedule, and can focus on higher value-added tasks.
And the same goes for your employees. If you encourage them to use this type of technology, the workforce ends up being more productive and efficient, because you can dedicate your talent to important tasks instead of repetitive work.
Technology allows millions of data to be analyzed in just seconds, and this is one of the most important revolutions that have been experienced in recent years in the business field.
We cannot forget that Information is power and, when you have a lot of data, being able to analyze and synthesize it quickly and effectively is essential for making informed decisions.
Thanks to Big Data, leaders make decisions based on data updated in real time, which makes the possibility of error is less.
Digital risk management
With the development of technology has also come the development of cybercrime. The data that companies store in their systems has a lot of value in the market, and the Hacker attacks are the order of the day. Besides, the Data protection regulations are becoming increasingly strict.
Although companies have data protection and cybersecurity specialists, digital risk management is a new competency for leaders that they cannot ignore. They must have a series of basic notions about these topics to be able to decide how the organization should act to be well protected.
Key competencies for leadership in the digital world
It is clear that technology has impacted the way leaders work at many more levels than meets the eye and, therefore, the skills required of those in positions of responsibility have also evolved.
In order to excel in an environment that is constantly changing, leaders in the digital age must have a set of soft skills that allow them to carry out their work more effectively.
A leader who is able to adapt to an environment that is constantly changing is essential for any company.
It has never been a good idea for bosses to fall behind in terms of knowledge and skills, but now it is even less so. Because the current leader is required to be willing to learn everything you need to about new technologies and adjust both your way of working and your strategies as changes occur and opportunities and challenges appear.
As we said before, Big Data helps in making strategic decisions. But data by itself goes nowhere. It is essential that on the other side of the screen there is a leader capable of analyzing them in depth.
This supposes evaluate the implications of the results you are reviewing and those that may have the decisions that are going through your head.
In addition, to the decisions on management, finances, etc., there are now technological decisions and the need to align these with the global vision that the organization has.
No matter how much things evolve, A good leader cannot afford not to be a good communicator.. It doesn't matter if you transmit your message by voice in front of your interlocutor, through a video conferencing system, or by email.
In a world in which collaboration between teams is increasingly online and less face-to-face, leaders have to continue working on their communication skills and adapt it to the virtual environment.
One of the bad sides of technology is what is known as infoxication. When a person has too much information at their disposal, they may become lose Between her. May the time come when do not know well what is relevant and what is not.
The person in charge of the work team is the one who has to make the effort to dig through the information and decide which is crucial for the work to be done and which is not, to then communicate it to his subordinates. To do this, you have a skill that is absolutely essential: critical thinking. This is the one that will help you sift through the information, to not get carried away by the noise, and to keep your mind focused on your goals.
Empathy and interpersonal skills
The more virtual the way of working becomes, the more important interpersonal skills and empathy become. Because the Human relations continue to be the center of labor relations.
It doesn't matter if the leader has his team on the other side of his office wall or spread around the world. You have to be able to build a solid relationship with all its members, as well as with customers and suppliers, and for that it needs to give its best in interpersonal relationships.
Continuous learning mindset
The leader of the digital age knows that it is not enough to occupy a position of responsibility. That to stay at it, and even to continue advancing professionally, you have to face a constant learning process.
One of the essential skills of the technological leader is his ability to recognize that you do not know everything and your willingness to learn.
Digital leadership is full of exciting challenges. A path that we are just beginning to travel, but we are sure that it has no end, but that it becomes longer with each step we take. Technology advances, and the way of working and managing staff must also do so, and for this we need well-trained leaders.