Pillars of leadership in digital transformation: why managers need IQ, EQ and DQ to succeed

02/10/2017  |  Business Hacks, Corporate Innovation, Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is not just about technology. Even access to the best tech doesn’t ensure digital success. Instead, successful digital transformation requires an overall cultural change! What companies really need to face the challenges of digitalization are flexible and proactive employees. And ahead of them: managers embracing the cultural change and driving digital transformation forward. But, as you might have noticed, many traditional managers struggle to keep up with the fast-changing environment and new working styles. So, let’s see what makes the difference for leadership in digital transformation!

What’s the competitive advantage of digital pioneers? Their leaders! That`s one finding of a study by Harvard Business School. The big question is though, which special skills managers need in order to become dedicated leaders for their teams. Leadership in digital transformation is marked by fast-changing and complex environments, as well as diverse multi-competence teams that work closely together. Therefore, successful leadership depends on a right mindset and skills built on rational, emotional and digital intelligence.

Pillars of leadership in digital transformation – #1: the Intelligence Quotient (IQ)

It’s a tough business world nowadays. What has been up-to-date yesterday is nearly obsolete today. Leaders must be able to keep up with trends – and to anticipate them. Their most important skill is to analyze and to apply past lessons to new situations. They also need to develop a deep understanding to being able to make complex decisions. In other words, they need the sharpest mind. We capture these skills under the concept of rational intelligence.

Pillars of leadership in digital transformation – #2: the Emotional Quotient (EQ)

Rational intelligence is not much without the emotional intelligence, also categorized as Emotional Quotient (EQ). Team work and collaborations are crucial for digital transformation and they make up the cornerstones of innovation. A successful leader therefore must be able to build collaborative relationships, foster diverse talents and influence different people. This would not be possible without the skill to read and relate to others.

Pillars of leadership in digital transformation – #3: the Digital Quotient (DQ)

Last but not least: the Digital Quotient (DQ). This might be the most obvious leadership trait regarding digital transformation. But careful: this is not about the ability to operate the latest smartphone or to set up a wireless network. The Digital Quotient rather refers to a rapid adaption and transformation by injecting a digital mindset into the organizations strategy. Again, this is an ongoing process. Leaders must anticipate the evolution of society and technology and continuously realign the company’s vision. The ultimate goal is to be the disruptor, instead of just following trends.

Successful leadership in digital transformation asks a lot from managers: rational, emotional and of course digital intelligence. But the reward is high! Leaders who score high on these skills will secure the future of your company and be your best weapon against Digital Darwinism.

You see, good leadership is crucial for business success not only for large companies, but also small and medium-sized enterprises as well as startups. If you want to learn more about leadership, you should not miss our event “The Art of guidance”! Here you will get the chance to hear about the experiences of both expert and young entrepreneurs and benefit from their lessons learned. So save the date on Feb., 21st and get your ticket now! Find out more about the event here. Would you like to stay up to date with trends and developments in digital transformation? Like us on Facebook and be part of our community of digital pioneers!