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Skip to 0 minutes and 5 seconds Today we’re wanting to introduce you to the three dimensions of digital leadership. If digital leadership is new, what is it that’s new? Well, in fact, the three dimensions are all elements that have been in existence for many years. But what’s new about digital leadership is the way the three dimensions are brought together and integrated in a new form of organisational leadership. The three dimensions of digital leadership include ICT capability, business acumen, and strategic leadership. ICT capability means the awareness and knowledge of job new digital technologies, whether that was cloud computing or new apps or data analytics or whatever might be relevant for your particular organisational setting.

Skip to 1 minute and 2 seconds Business acumen refers to all of the operational side of the business or the organisation that requires those digital leaderships to have a real understanding and a real expertise in the organisation of the business from the sourcing right the way through to the selling, including all of the internal resourcing of that through marketing and finance and so on. Strategic leadership, by contrast, is having the ability to be able to perceive future trends, understand what the environment is saying to you, and then be able to interpret that back into the refinement of the business model and so be able to prepare the organisation all the better for that future.

Skip to 1 minute and 51 seconds Building on the knowledge that we’ve got here at Henley along with our business partners in Europe during the results of the interviews and an online survey we have identified what are the main issues and what are the main criteria that business is looking for within each of those dimensions. Well, in particular within the IT dimension, it’s obviously access to digital skills and talent but also having the hybrid skills, the skills that would allow a person to have more maybe artistic knowledge but then mixed with a technological knowledge and IT skills. Of course, it’s a lot about cyber security and protection of your data, given that with the big data in business analytics, it’s become a more open space.

Skip to 2 minutes and 39 seconds Big data analysis, mobility, new mobile apps, and again, coming back to the big data and business analytics, unstructured mining data, content analysis or what is known as semantic technologies. Internet of Things, ICT architecture, IT and business architecture alignment, web development, social media toolkits– specifically for the new startup and the businesses on the early growth stage– are very important. So within the business dimensions, champions are looking for the digital marketing tools, the CRM engagement with their customers, and understanding their customers better, understanding their needs. The data is used not only to explain and narrow the market segments but also to foresee and predict what customers want to create the demand for the products.

Skip to 3 minutes and 35 seconds Well, leaders with the hybrid skills, which is both IT and business, can generate this knowledge flow and make sure that these market and analytical skills go along. So of course, the business is looking for the knowledge in the local market, in the national market, but it depends what market is targeted. Finally, within the strategic dimension, it’s of course, the focus on the sales and developing the customers, working together with the customers, which is known also as lean innovation or innovating with your users.

Skip to 4 minutes and 10 seconds So the strategic dimension of e-leadership, or digital leadership, should be able to– for the manager– to bring together various pieces in the puzzle, various external partners like customers, suppliers, competitors, universities together and see strategically how all these external partners and networks can help the business to win competitively. Well, the lean feedback and pivoting was emphasised to be very important within the strategic dimension to be able to release the product and then analyse the product to get feedback, explore what should be pivoted, and then reintroduced again while technology is facilitating and speeding up the process of each iteration, the process of each pivot.

Skip to 4 minutes and 59 seconds Big picture radical innovation rather than incremental innovation and young people having their real life experience are very highly appreciated by the companies we spoke with. So how do we measure each of these dimensions? So how do we measure that the company is IT strategy- and business-savvy? So within IT dimensions, it’s of course, investment in all the SMACI technologies and the proportion of IT budget that is invested in social media, ICT, and in terms of Internet of Things, big data analytics, cloud computing, and et cetera. It’s also about having employees, the full-time employees, with their IT and multimedia and internet skills, having collaborations with external partners and the purchases of knowledge, IT, software, and other type of external, intangible knowledge.

Skip to 5 minutes and 59 seconds Well, within the business dimension, of course, there’s other skills, the skills of market research skills, information about the markets. So these are the skills about understanding your local and national and international customer engagement with business. Well, for example, how long is your– your product is on the shelf? Or when are you introducing a new product? What’s the percentage of your sales that are coming from new products? For your firm, what are the percentage of the sales coming from the new product to your market? Have you done any process innovation?

Skip to 6 minutes and 37 seconds What are– is there any hidden innovation in your business, something that you’re not capturing by your accounting, but is there, like within the process of your production or introducing new product and services? Here we would also include some market knowledge, the knowledge of your competitors and collaboration, the level of and the importance of collaboration with your external partners. Within the strategic dimension, well, it is introduction of new organisational frameworks, horizontally or vertically. It’s a collaboration with your partners and with your customers within the vertical supply chain and within the demand chain, horizontally and vertically.

Skip to 7 minutes and 21 seconds So what are the activities that you are emphasising and you’re working on in terms of increasing the range of products, your vision to enter new markets, to experiment with new products and services, maybe to leverage and minimise the environmental impact, increase health and safety, collaboration and the time it will take you to introduce new products? So all this will enter within the strategic dimension.

Three dimensions of digital leadership

The ability to combine strategy, business/market and ICT to benefit the business and its stakeholders, is an important skill for digital leaders. This video will guide you through the three sets of essential competences, needed to be efficient in leading new technologies. We refer to these competences as the Three Dimensions of Digital Leadership.

In this video, Andrew provides an overview of each of these three dimensions. Maks Belitski, Lead Educator, will go into further detail about what skills companies are looking for and how they measure these competencies. He will also give a little further background about the research carried out by the Henley Business School over spring/summer of 2014, together with our European Partners and sponsored by the EU Commission. Our research into SMEs across Europe revealed the key requirements for digital leadership and also gave some insight into the range of digital skills that will be required over the next five years.

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This video is from the free online course:

Digital Leadership: Creating Value Through Technology

University of Reading