Leadership’s Digital Transformation | MIT Sloan Management Review and Cognizant

Leadership & Culture

Digital forces continue to disrupt and transform every business sector. And with this disruption having far-reaching implications for how leaders lead, this 23-page report explains how digitally savvy workers’ expectations are reframing leadership challenges as traditional boundaries collapse. The study, which is based on a global survey of nearly 4,300 employees, from non-managers to CEOs in more than 20 industries, suggests that many global business leaders are out of touch with what it takes to lead in the digital economy effectively. As noted in the report, “for quite a few respondents, top management’s focus on greater agility and efficiency seemed disconnected from enterprise purpose and values. Leaders frequently came off as unaware of how their digital communications style undermined their credibility. Digital talent and digital networks have made leadership more transparent, and this study observes that transparency imposes new accountability and responsibility on top management.” The study reveals 1) Organizations are not offering workers the sense of purpose they crave. 2) Organizations with a clear purpose outperform their peers when it comes to diversity and inclusion practices. 3) Leaders are also failing to invest in and develop their digital competencies. 4) Most companies fail to address the erosion of work/home boundaries adequately. Page 14 provides practical and actionable recommendations for successfully leading in a heightened digital environment.

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