In the Digital Evolution blog, we are very often talking about which technologies are favored by deciders and how their attitude towards certain trends is. In this context, we assume, as a matter of course, that the leadership of tomorrow will develop its strengths above all in digital scenarios. It must be able to connect the old IT world with the many options and opportunities of the “as-a-service economy”. The aim is to contribute to the company’s ability to innovate and to provide a robust and flexible solution to the challenges of the future – as they may always look in detail. Now, however, the question arises as to what this digital leader really is in the core. What old management virtues are still in demand, what new ones must be added? In her study “Digital Leadership 2017”, consultancy Rochus Mummert interviewed 114 owners and top managers of German companies. Almost every second of the participants is a board member or managing director, 20 percent have the function of a business unit manager. The majority is active in the fields of equipment, machinery and plant engineering, the chemical / pharmaceutical sector, the automotive industry and the ITC sector.
There is no digital template
There are clear tendencies in the survey. For example, value-oriented management and targeted employee development are also important skills of top managers in the context of digitization. However, a “digital profile” of managerial staff oriented according to scheme F will be sought in vain. Rather, different skills are required in order to make digital change conceptual or to implement it in company day. Thus, one decider is above all a strategic or technological thinker. Others, on the other hand, are responsible for the smooth implementation of the strategy in the operating business. While the development of digital scenarios at the level of the management is quite clearly set to the forefront of the two capabilities of “value-oriented leadership” and “employee development”, the need for digital leaders is at the top of the agenda with the “development of digital-based business models”. Directly to second place is a “high affinity to high-tech and digital subjects”.
Technicians, visionaries and networks
Interest in high-tech is also expected by specialists at the 2nd and 3rd level. However, it is mainly the competencies “initiative and responsibility”, “strength of implementation” and “employee development”. At this point, it is clear that soft skills are one of the leading abilities of CDO and Co., and that the requirements profiles are much more complex. Tomorrow’s digital leader will not be just a technician or a visionary. He must have the classic management virtues. On the other hand, DARZ still has the competency to conclude meaningful partnerships and to fill them with life. Only with the help of supplementary skills at company level, companies can set themselves up flexibly in order to adapt their value-added model to current requirements.