Leadership Mindset Change to Adopt Digitization

Leadership Mindset Change to Adopt Digitization

Despite digitization, most enterprises still hold strongly with the traditional prescriptive methods which include a visible hierarchy of structure, command, functions, appropriate controls, and standardized processes. Digital technologies continue to change the way we work as well as reshape industries and companies. The reason is not farfetched from its benefits to make organizations keep up with, if not soar above, competitors.

Digitizing organization’s operating model will profoundly transform corporate organizations. The lack of sophisticated technologies such as advanced neural machine-learning techniques, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things has created larger leadership gaps within organizations across the globe. Therefore, ensuring your organization complies with the digital age requires you to address your organization’s culture. Employees will have no better choice than to adopt these technologies as well as integrate them into processes. Thus, leaders now require different skills than in past generations. Having the right, digital-savvy leaders can help, in this regard, to:

  • build competencies for the workforce
  • empower people to work in a new way
  • provide a digital upgrade to day-to-day tools
  • communicate through traditional and digital methods frequently

For instance, RPA is a fast-growing technology which automates rule-based tasks like data processing. Change in terms of talent and capabilities occurs at every level during digital transformation. An alternative of new leaders familiar with digital technologies joining the management team is the change of mindset by the existing leaders to become digital-savvy. It is undoubtedly that such leadership are key to transformation success. Reports have indicated that organizations that have digital-savvy leaders in place have more likelihood to record a successful digital transformation than organizations who lack the same.

Consider your Employees First

One approach to ensuring and reinforcing change in any organization is by engaging stakeholders. Employees, particularly, have to be encouraged to challenge old ways of working and thinking and experiment with new ideas as well as inspired for effective participation in the change process. Leaders, in the digital environment, need to engage in manpower optimization. When starting a new initiative or idea, leaders are expected to know what they intend to achieve and also ask their employees their views on the proposed outcome. The inspiration comes into play when employees feel secure and integrated into any mission. Then, the leader determines the nature as well as the volume of employees work and gets them committed to it.

Build capabilities for workforce

Because digitization requires new modes of working and change in an organization’s overall culture, individuals’ roles and responsibilities have to be redefined to have them aligned with the transformation goals. Make employees technology-driven to bridge the potential gaps between the conventional and digital aspects of business. In other words, leaders’ experience of business and technology will make them connect the traditional as well as digital aspects of the business effectively. For more effective and stress-free processes, organizations can run innovative recruiting campaigns (as an aspect of the recruiting process) that involve locating hidden messages in source code or hosting technology conferences. An alternative process is to reinforce new behaviours and modes of working through formal mechanisms. There should be open work or continuous learning environments with the employees given the opportunity to generate their ideas about where the business might be supported by digitization.

Develop Trust and continuous collaboration

Digital transformations require cultural as well as behavioural changes such as customer centricity, calculated risk-taking, and increased collaboration. Collaboration, an integral aspect of success in digitalization, entails shared purpose, engagement, and commitment – both individual and collective. Collaboration comes in two aspects – attitude and action. When employees are encouraged to develop the right organizational attitude, they get willing to collaborate with their team members before on specific goals and objectives. Therefore, the leader is expected to encourage as well as coach employees both individually and collectively to make them in a more collaborative direction.

Change communication model

Good communication is essential for a successful transformation. The traditional channels that only support one-way communication cannot sustain an organization towards digitization. Rather, more interactive platforms that give way for open dialogues across the organization will prove to be more digitization-compliant. During the communication process, be sure to make messages more concise and tailored to the people in the organization. A blend of remote and digital communications in conveying such transformation message is more effective than traditional or in-person channels.

Share roles accordingly

An effective collaborative environment requires contextual, role-based leadership. The digital leader utilizes other people as leaders in certain situations and circumstances. Rather than assuming leadership in every role, he delimitates leadership roles. This will encourage competency-based and self-organized leadership. Though the CHRO will be the overall leader, team leaders, as well as domain experts, also play critical leadership roles. As such, senior leaders have to foster a sense of urgency within their units to get the desired transformation or change.

Thus, leadership is crucial for any business development as well as a successful digital transformation. In fact, the increasingly digitized economy has left company leaders with no better choice than to adopt a new mindset that supports technology and digital assets. This is only achievable through culture change among both leadership and employees. In other words, culture is the best enabler of digital transformation as tools won’t make any difference without people. However, developing a digital culture takes time but the sooner a company acts, the faster it will be able to contend in today’s fast-paced, digitized world.

To explore more, join our Executive MBA or our Master in Human Resource Management double certificate program with SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) and IUKL (Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur). 

Drop us an email: info@eduk8u.com; or WhatsApp us HERE 


Leadership Mindset Change to Adopt Digitization

Dr. Roy Prasad

Dean, EDUK8U Grad School Asia

Head of Executive Programmes

Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur (IUKL)



Leadership Mindset Change to Adopt Digitization