Will all managers be able to be leaders of digital transformation?

Most of those who lead organizations have adopted these concepts of ICT-based transformation as part of their daily communication.

Companies are revolutionizing the way of working and this has a direct impact on the way they work. lead and motivate, taking today an unprecedented magnitude with respect to other transformational waves.

In recent times, a certain consensus was outlined in relation to the new leadership competencies that digital transformations demand today. Comparing the traditional management mode with the current one in a context of agility, we find This differences:

  • Command and control versus agility and flexibility
  • Traditional mindset versus digital mindset
  • Vertical and formal communication versus horizontality and participation
  • Give orders versus establish vision and let act
  • Low risk expectation versus permission to be wrong
  • Rigid organizational structures versus self-organizing cells

These are some examples of new behaviors required that only demonstrate that the revolution of organizational and digital agility is inevitably imploding the way in which managers experience their status, their power and their control. Since in a world of autonomous and self-organizing teams, much of what goes through traditional management is no longer necessary.

According to a recent report by BCG –Bringing Managers Back to Work– The new managerial and operational model requires a change in the way managers conceive their role, ceasing to think of themselves as the master designers of integrated organizational structures, processes, rules and procedures. They need to become the day-to-day orchestrators of a flexible and dynamic behavior system that unleashes the autonomy and initiative of employees. And this at the service of effective cooperation to achieve the objectives of the organization.

In a world of autonomous and self-organizing teams, much of what goes through traditional management is no longer necessary.

From said to fact …

In our experience we find that, from the discursive point of view, most of those who lead organizations today have adopted these concepts as part of their daily communication. But in deeds and behaviors, the old paradigms still persist that resurface again and again. Consistency between “what is said and what is done” is the key to generating credible leadership. However, if employees perceive inconsistencies, efforts to transform cultures easily collapse.

So the question is: will all managers be able to be leaders of digital transformation? The honest answer is no. Not all of them will be able to be and the market is realizing the changes in this regard. Can those profiles be transformed? Yes of course, through individual, organizational and social work.

The key to being able to lead in these times goes through a deep and honest process of personal self-transformation that identifies what values ​​and behaviors must be changed; and get the help you need to do it. It’s a self-motivation mix plus sincere conviction. It is not a simple or easy path, but not trying or going through it is self-condemning yourself to be left out of the market sooner or later.

From the point of view of organizations, our responsibility as business leaders is to develop and inspire our collaborators, creating the conditions and providing them with the tools that allow them to go through the process of “unlearning and learning.”

And from the social point of view, we must raise awareness of the impact that these transformations have in terms of unemployment for many people. Any disruptive transformation generates opportunities and threats, and as a society we have to be able to contain and provide adequate responses.

Nestor Azcune:

Néstor Azcune: “The key to leading in these times is through a deep and honest process of personal self-transformation.”

These ideas are intended to be a wake-up call: our teams are always looking at the coherence between our discourse and our behaviors. And also highlight the enormous opportunity for personal and professional development that lies ahead. These times of change are a unique opportunity to reinvent yourself. And like everything in life: it depends on our own decisions as individuals.

National Manager of Brazil and leader of people and organization transformation at Together Business Consulting.

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