Leadership in the age of digital disruption

Date: 01/02/2019   l   Category: Retail

Leadership in the age of digital disruption

Digital change of businesses and organizations is imperative. Consumers are living in a flat digital world where access to information and products is easy. The old ways of making money, on price arbitrage (price difference between countries and regions) and exclusive channels of access, are over. The digital age has compressed value chain and margins.

Organizations are slow to catch up. Business schools even slower; they are far behind in coming up with the knowledge to guide businesses in a digital world. Try searching for a good Digital Marketing, Data Analytics or Digital Retail Management Program. I believe that new ways of senior executive learning, more peer learning with academics in tow, will be a future model. And Academic credentials for working professionals will diminish in value. I am conceptualizing a program for Digital Retail Management Program.

Organizational leadership has to change mindsets (easier said than done) to manage people. Leaders, to accelerate their learning in a digital world will need to become receptive to learning from below (not easy).

I created a grid one axis of which contrasts whether a CEO works 'on' the business versus 'in' the business. CEOs often begin working in the business managing functions and departments and taking decisions. When CEOs work 'on' the business they are like captains of a football, basketball or a cricket team, manage players, their team members, to get results. A CEO taking decisions is like a sports captain who says, 'Hold the ball, only I can score a goal or hit a century.'

The second axis of the grid is CEO engagement in strategic or tactical decisions.

Leaders can behave like dictators, be authoritarian, delegate responsibility retaining accountability or be deep analyzers.

Test which quad you or your leadership is in. Can’t say all. It has to be predominantly in one.