Leading in the Digital Era

This post is by Bhrigu Joshi, Associate Director, Business HR (Online Business), Makemytrip

smac and digitization

Culture in any organization is a set of shared assumptions which get formed over a period of time. These assumptions primarily help the organization address the issues of external adaptation and internal integration. Culture and leadership are two sides of the same coin.

The context of the organizations is undergoing a rapid shift. Among the various forces reshaping the organizational dynamics, the most important and relevant in the current times is digitization. Technology is literally rewriting the rules of the game. To be more specific, confluence of four technologies, namely, SMAC, an acronym which stands for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud is driving the change. SMAC creates an ecosystem that allows the HR function to improve its operations and get closer to the employees, with minimal overhead and maximum reach. None of the four technologies can be an afterthought because it is the synergy created by social, mobile, analytics and cloud working together that creates the wow effect! Employees have also become more receptive to the use of technology. This may be attributed to the reduced average age of employees, especially in countries like India.

Following trends are rewriting the leadership codes in the digital era.

1.      Explosion in digital participation

If Facebook was a country, it would be third most populous country in the world; and in no time it will become second. In the current era, there is hardly anyone who is left untouched with the increasing reach of the digital platforms. Most notable among these are the social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.

2.      Increasing influence of digital citizens

With exponential increase in the two way data exchange between the customers and the companies happening in the public domain, the power to influence is shifting in the hands of customers. For example, in the OTA space, online reviews can inflate or deflate the hotel rates by more than 10%.

3.      Intensifying the war for Tech talent

The demand-supply gap for the Tech talent is more than ever before. With exponential increase in digitization, the supply is not keeping pace with the demand which is causing unsustainable rise in salaries and retention issues.

4.      Blurring lines between personal and professional lives

With most of us connected 24 x 7 through mobile devises such as phones and laptops, the space between our personal and professional lives is fast getting compromised. Also many of our professional relations are part of our personal social networks through tech platforms like Facebook etc.

5.      Shift towards virtual leadership

More than 30% of the global leadership interactions happen over the virtual networks. Capability to effectively conduct such interactions is fast emerging as a key leadership competency. Leaders must significantly invest to be proficient in this competency.

6.      Fluidization of work and workplace

With most of the data exchange happening over cloud, employees can now log-in from their homes or other convenient locations. This is giving rise to trends such as work from home and remote working.

Such trends are redefining the rules of leadership in the current times. Leaders who proactively adapt to this change are the ones who will thrive in the current VUCA environment characterized by digitization. And those who do not, will have to do so in times to come.

Disclaimer: This is a curated post. The statements, opinions and data contained in this column are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not that of iamwire or the editor(s). The article was originally published by the author here.

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