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.
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?).
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.
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.