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Leading In The New ‘Digital Age’

Leading a business today poses various challenges, but it’s also an exciting time to lead a business. Being able to lead your business effectively is an even bigger challenge, considering the circumstances many businesses are currently facing.

Due to circumstances, many have had to adopt a digital strategy and get used to a different way of working over the last year. But does it mean to lead in the ‘digital age’? How can leaders inspire and motivate employees towards success?

The ‘Digital Age’ Is here

Everywhere we look nowadays, there is new, cutting-edge technology ready for us to embrace. There are new means of working, whether that be on your desktop, laptop, tablet or even on your phone. The things we thought we couldn’t do ten years ago, can now be done with ease, thanks to digital technology.

The world has had to come to terms with a new way of socialising and communicating; the world is moving and business leaders will need to stay in touch!

Step 1: Embrace The Shift

Every day, tasks that once took time to complete, can now be completed in an instant, providing a more convenient way of doing things.

As the culture shift changes, so will employee habits. As a digital leader, it’s your job to recognise how society is changing and incorporate the appropriate cultures and values within the organisation. This could be perhaps adopting faster and easier technology in the workplace or improving and encouraging the use of digital communication more regularly where possible. This may take you motivating the workforce to be onboard with this change.

Thinking about what your employees can do and what your customers want, will make decision-making easier.

Step 2: Try Cloud Computing

We have the luxury of being able to store a mass amount of data online, thanks to cloud computing. However, not all business leaders are comfortable with storing their critical data online. Cloud-based data storage is already being used safely and widely across the world.

We often store our information in online forms, whilst using remote technology and whilst managing accounts online; and even with that, there are still doubts as to whether that is safe enough.

The key is to take precautions with digital, just like you would with a USB stick or hard drive. Without embracing could computing, this could be effecting your strategy or potentially costing the organisation money.

Step 3: Teams Begin Working With Technology

Before any transition, there will be a certain way of doing things; which will have become the ‘norm’ for most employees. For them to now embrace new technology will be challenging; and this will require patience. Millennials may have an easier time adjusting to changes compared to an employee from an older generation.

As a digital leader, try to avoid a ‘tech overload’ where employees end up getting lost in the pool of new technology; but rather encourage a gradual change. Training may be required, which lead to more costs, but it will be worth it in the long term. By rushing a collection of new tools to master in quick-succession, without time or training will just lead to employees no longer feeling interested and switching off from tech they don’t understand.

Set a strategy, encourage the change but also identify why it’s being introduced and how it will help the team and organisation as a whole in the long term.

Step 4: Establish why a change is necessary

That brings us to our next point. New digital platforms and innovations are exciting ;but before making a change and shifting the culture – why is change necessary?

You’re having to convince your workforce that the new technology you are proposing has major benefits that the previous instalment did not. What benefit will it have for the business? How will it help or make day-to-day operations easier? Why is it replacing the previous tool?

If you are able to communicate these points effectively to users, they will be much more open to embracing. If you do not have the answers to why you’re making the change, how will they be convinced?

Step 5: Accept it may not work

Being a leader is not just about steering your organisation towards success, but also recognising when things don’t go to plan. There will undoubtedly be moments of challenge – how do you react to that?

Introducing new technology may be a great solution, but it’s not always guaranteed to work out. That may be due to the software not delivering or the workforce not responding well to the changes. Communicate with workers and find out how they are adjusting to the changes.

There are various reasons why the transition towards new technology may not work, try to establish those reasons and make changes accordingly.

Leading Effectively

There are various elements that make up successful digital leadership. It’s not only about buying the latest technology then providing the best training course. It’s about integrating useful strategies that will make the working experience easier for everyone.

It’s about communicating effectively with the workforce, finding out what they like and dislike and establishing how you can work together effectively. A good leader must be able to inspire, motivate and lead those they work with .

They must able to push users out of their comfort zones to learn the new skills that are vital for the survival of the business; and create environments that are comfortable and supportive.

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