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Four Keys to Digital Leadership Success

Digital leadership is all about leading in a world of transformational trends. Successful transformations depend as much on how you manage digital transformation than only applying new technologies to your existing business. In this blog post I’ll share my experience of the keys to a successful digital leadership.

1. Set the vision and direction

First of all, set the vision and direction. Make digital part of your business strategy. It is for sure not easy, as the only thing we know about the future is that we don’t know. Ask yourself - what would be the most disruptive move and scenario? And then again, ok, that is one scenario, what would really be the most disruptive move? You don’t have to have the solution yet, but if you haven’t thought the thought it will not happen!

Remember the famous quote “If you don’t know where you are going any road will take you there” by Alice in Wonderland. Also have in mind, that all of us are not born digital and living true connected lives (yet?!), so make sure you can translate the vision into a description of the journey creating inspiration and engagement on why and how to get there.

2. Create a high performance team with digital skills

Being a digital leader is being leader of a team. And you want that team to be formed and become a high performance team with digital skills. In the digital world you need to form your team with multi-disciplinary persons that understand both the business and digital technology.

You need to be a digital magnet to attract not the best digital talents, but the best for you digital talents forming your team. Digital transformation is not a one woman (or man) show. How will your team make that vision a reality? You need to translate the vision into what each player in each position contributes to the whole. The team is greater than the sum of the parts. People make it happen!

3. Manage the journey

There must be a modern leadership that can move between business and digital technology to lead the digital journey. You need to adjust, reposition and develop your business to represent the changes in the world. That means that you not only need to understand the changes in behavior, values, technology and expectation - in fact you must have the ability to turn Applied trends into Applied innovation.

By that I mean, the ability to absorb it, to adopt it, to consume it, to scale it and to really leverage the trends and innovation for true business value and impact. It is all about how you turn your digital investment into your business advantage. This is how you manage the journey towards your vision and goals.

4. Deliver results

As a digital leader you need in addition to your strategic insight also to have a strong execution orientation. At the end of the day, it all comes down to delivering results. You need to be able to deliver these results in a complex and fluid environment. I think that the digital world has made us a bit more open minded when it comes to measurement of success. We dare to share and try more disruptive ideas in order to be a learning organization.

I am convinced that if you have charted the right course and are managing the journey together with your high performance digital team the results will come. A successful and modern digital leadership is a leadership close to the people, business and results.

Annelie Lundqvist is chief digital officer (CDO) at Capgemini. Read more Capgemini blogs here.

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With more than 180,000 people in over 40 countries, Capgemini is a global leader in consulting, technology and outsourcing services. The Group reported 2015 global revenues of EUR 11.9 billion. Together with its clients, Capgemini creates and delivers business, technology and digital solutions that fit their needs, enabling them to achieve innovation and competitiveness. A deeply multicultural organization, Capgemini has developed its own way of working, the Collaborative Business Experience(TM), and draws on Rightshore®, its worldwide delivery model.
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