Common sense tells us that the digital economy requires a new kind of leadership. Now a study from Oxford Economics reveals the specific leadership behaviors behind the best-managed companies in an era of fast-paced innovation and often surprising disruption.
The study also found too many companies nowhere near prepared to join the winner’s circle. For example, barely half of surveyed executives said senior leaders at their company were highly proficient in using technology. Only about half of executives and employees said mid-level and senior leadership is proficient at managing a diverse workforce. Worse, the higher you go, the less diverse things get. Regardless of gender, executives are unimpressed with diversity programs, with women less likely to call current programs effective (30 percent vs. 38 percent of men).
Old-school decision-making is another particular problem among laggards. Digital winners are 50 percent more likely to say they map decisions to strategy (75 percent vs. 53 percent), and can adapt to real-time decisions (63 percent vs. 46 percent).
Two years ago, I wrote extensively about the Workforce 2020 survey that showed companies headed straight over the “leadership cliff” if they didn’t upgrade the abilities of their executives and employees. This latest study shows the edge of the precipice in sight. I look forward to drilling down further into these findings in the coming months, covering steps leaders can take now to help their companies become Digital Winners.
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