CEO Best Practices CIO Best Practices Digital Transformation Leadership

The New Look Employee For C-Suite Executives in Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation is more of a leadership challenge than a technology challenge. The demands of today have outpaced yesterday’s training. IT members need to exhibit a whole new skillset than what drew them into technology in the first place.
Four major shifts require new expertise in the digital transformation arena.

1.   Perspective

The new day is now about product ownership over project management. IT leaders must be able to identify business needs and build applications that not only address the needs but take into account how those applications impact projects and workflow and integrate with other systems.

C-Suite Executives and IT leaders must continually emphasize that we transform “us” before we transform technology. Leaders become astute at pace and communication. Teams must be organized correctly to have a structure for speed, and leaders must communicate what can be delivered and in what time frame.

The primary measure of work must now be if it has been simplified. Leaders must avoid unnecessary “adds.”

Behavior based interview questions now focus not just on technical aptitude (“What did you build?”) but on why and how they built it (“What needs did you perceive and address? How did you discern and communicate their impact on other business systems?).

2.   Presentation

IT leaders now need to be able to present well at two levels. At the strategic level, they must be able to speak up in collaborative meetings. They are not just fulfilling directives, they must advise toward what the real needs are. The ability to communicate viewpoints and influence decisions rightly become a high-level premium skill-set for today’s digital transformation. At the communication level, IT leaders now need to know how to present in meetings, host and facilitate webinars and manage conference calls.

3.   Promotion

IT leaders must make others aware of their value. The work no longer speaks for itself. Though it is not instinctual for IT leaders to self-promote, they must in order to avoid being under-allocated.

In addition, IT leaders must promote their value to a customer-centric experience. As businesses make more decisions based on client empathy, IT leaders are at the heart of a customer’s interface. The IT voice must be heard because, in the end, they will be solving the problem’s raised by the customer voice.

4.   Positive Learning

The average technology skill has a half-life of 18 months. Usually what stands in the way of digital transformation is people. The new leader is curious, and C-Suite Executives are looking for people who bring diversity of thought to the table.

Day-long trainings are now being replaced by learning bursts: Minutes-long videos and podcasts are the norm of the urgent, hungry, apply-it-now learner.

Along the way, positive learners exhibit the emotional well-being that embraces mistakes: Genius emerges from failure.

We come full circle. There is already a gap between need and qualified potential hires. The need is exacerbated even more, as what used to be considered qualified is being challenged by the new skills required in your digital transformation.

But they are out there. Now we have a better idea of who to look for.

CEO Best Practices

One Habit That Undermines Leadership Credibility

Do you know the one mistake leaders habitually make that undermines their leadership credibility more than any other?

Leaders who answer before listening are saboteurs.

  • Reputation
  • Team’s unity
  • Own growth and development

The commitment to ask questions and to seek out answers sets a leader apart. Your influence is rooted in the ability to question, inquire and probe.

Questions are a leader’s best friend. They turn conflict into conversation; they turn muddied thinking into clear direction.

Questions allow another to discover that they have answers. Questions inspire the art of discernment.

The best leaders, those who communicate depth, strength and integrity are those who question their own objectives, reasons and purpose.

1.   Substantial questions lead to lives of substance.

The old adage holds true, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Leaders need to ask questions themselves big questions that help them to rise above small living.

2.   Dialed in questions result in innovation.

Specific, targeted questions allow leaders to know exactly what they are thinking about, and conversely, to expand their creativity in solutions.

3.   Audit-based questions clarify values and true convictions.

Are you really investing time, energy, ability and money into what you say matters most to you?

4.   Right questions lead to right answers.

We are surrounded by people asking questions we don’t need to entertain. Leaders are not hot to adopt the latest trends.

Leaders embrace what will truly serve their identity, capacity and destiny.

Four Types of Questions

1.   Personal

Someone said, “An empty glass won’t refresh anyone.” We give best out of our strength. What are you doing to strengthen yourself in body, mind and emotion?

2.   Relational

Who am I developing? Who am I invested in, and who must be investing in me? Am I digressing into manipulation or driven by motivation?

3.   Vocational

Am I doing the right work with people I love in the place I belong? Am I burning out or challenging myself? Do I move up or move on?

4.   Missional

How am I giving myself to a cause larger than myself? When my life is done, have I given my all to people and opportunities that live on and carry legacy?

Leaders are paid to know. We understand that.

But the best leaders realize that every day they are judged more by the questions they ask than the answers they give.

Questions will build your reputation, your relational unity and your personal and professional development.