Leading in a Digital World

I liken my Digital World to my kid’s BIG Beach Ball. It has lovely coloured stripes interspersed with clear plastic enabling you to see through to the other side.  The colour represents the visual nature of our world – the ability to see and be connected with anyone or anything instantaneously. The clear plastic is how we are seen – we have never been so visible to our world.

What does your digital world look like? Are you moving in this world, are you being moved or are you immovable? Benjamin Franklin once said that we can be classed into one of these three groups. Which group do you belong to?

If you’re leading today, then I suggest you’d better be moving. In a recent McKinsey Quarterly article “Six Social-Media skills every leader needs”, it succinctly prescribes that leaders who master this new literacy will be more creative, innovative and agile … who will be rewarded with a new type of competitive advantage.

These skills involve being creative, producing your own open raw stories which can be viewed immediately and shared enabling the receiver to co-create and contextualise the information i.e. this is how viral messages begin. Kevin Rudd’s shaving mishap has been a hit with young people – his Instagram photo being retweeted amongst friends quoting 'how cool' he was!

With so much noise going on in the Digital World, the leader must be able to filter the information and understand what to share with whom. The decision making involves tutoring social media literacy with a focus to orchestrate, enable and empower networks.  

Cognisant of the risks of irresponsible use, a social architecture providing meaningful space must be created with the leader’s task to marry vertical accountability with networked horizontal collaboration. For example, matching media-savvy millennials with senior leaders, to discuss the latest tech buzz and practice.

Leading in a Digital World may require cognitive, cultural and climate changes in your space but it’s possible to start immediately. By simply ‘retweeting’ this Blog sends out the message to your people that you agree and possibly intend to follow.