Leadership gaps in the new world of Digital and IT

Why are some organisations able to remain innovative, successful, viable and adaptable despite all that gets thrown at them?  Simply put, it all comes down to leadership capability.

That new and innovative digital technologies continue to disrupt and reshape industries and organisations is old news.

What is news is there remains a stubbornly large leadership capability deficit in most organisations that are subject to shifting markets, customer expectations and technology.

The recently published Global Human Capital Trends 2015 report by Deloitte suggests that one of the key business leadership challenges are company culture, staff engagement and minimising employee churn. This extensive analysis, based on input from 3,300 business leaders across 106 countries, shares some valuable insights as to current employee / employer landscape, globally.

With a 36% gap between the importance and readiness rating, leadership is the leading factor that underpins organisational excellence and performance.

We all know when established organisations (or at least individual business units, departments or teams within organisations) are in the hands of good leaders. Other than delivering great organisational value (through profitability, value or other external measure), there is often a high degree of interpersonal collaboration, teamwork, a sense of a shared vision, integrity, trust and a sense of being valued by their organisation.  All good in theory, right?

The challenge facing modern business leaders is in proactively and carefully getting the cost – risk – value balance for information technology right – and keeping it right in the face of constant change.

For this reason, an engaged, business ready, commercially savvy and communicative IT capability within your organisation could be that game changer if handled well.

When does a service department becomes a critical business asset?

According to the latest global research by McKinsey, many enterprise IT functions are struggling to keep up with their own organisation’s demands, let alone positively and directly contribute to the growth of the business.  More pointedly, this research also indicates that business executives’ perceptions of enterprise IT’s performance remains largely negative.

This presents a real missed opportunity for those organisations struggling with their own IT departments.

With the wholesale march of digitisation across society, entire industries and organisations, it is imperative that businesses leaders harness the real potential value that technology can deliver to their organisation, while carefully managing and mitigating the many risks.

Based on the recent McKinsey research, a significant majority of today’s IT departments play no active role in shaping the overall business strategy or in growing the business. However, evidence shows that effective IT leadership improves the success of the business.

Executives and company Boards that are recognising the limitations of their existing IT and business leadership capabilities are well placed to take action.  Today’s volatile and demanding business environment calls for IT leaders to start being business-ready and business leaders to be very tech-aware.   

Question is:
When new business demands meet old business and IT leadership models, who wins?

 The questionable ROI on leadership training.

Question: Why is Leadership Training often seen as expensive?
Answer: Because the investment has a questionable Return in Investment (ROI).

Empirical evidence and independent research supports this fact.

If the value of your Leadership Training is opaque, does not translate into organisational effectiveness, lacks immediate relevance to both your organisation as well as the participants, then your Leadership Training effort will be a cost to your organisation.

That’s just not good business sense.

Where employees are able to anticipate, deal with and actively contribute to implementing change – rather than be resistant to change – will enable the entire organisation to thrive and remain relevant.

The key is to identify what IT and business leadership capabilities deficiencies exist across your executive, then take steps to transform these deficiencies into assets.