Dodging Digital Blind Spots

The mindset gap creates four digital blind spots that leaders should know and avoid.

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Future of Leadership in the Digital Economy

Digitalization and other critical factors are transforming what it means to be a great leader in a new environment. Discover the cultural and strategic shifts organizations must embrace to prepare their leaders to succeed.

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Cognizant
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Leaders today have a huge developmental challenge. Many lack the skills and mindset to thrive in the digital economy.

MIT SMR and Cognizant recently completed a survey of more than 4,000 managers and leaders from over 120 countries around the world on the Future of Leadership in the Digital Economy. The results revealed that only 12% of respondents strongly agreed that their organizations’ leaders had the right mindset, and a scant 9% strongly agreed that their leaders had the proper skills to compete effectively in the new economy. But we shouldn’t start pointing fingers at only our most senior leaders: Just 13% of all executives surveyed strongly agreed that the rest of their organizations were prepared. Interviews with executives and scholars echo concerns about individual preparedness to lead in the digital economy. “When it comes to leading in today’s digital world,” notes Michael Schrage, an MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy researcher, “what I don’t see are enough leaders who are living in the business and leading by example. Actions speak louder than words, and actions spring from mindsets.”

The mindset gap is more concerning than the skills deficit. Why? We can train for the digital skills that are important for future success, but developing a digital mindset is a more complex challenge because it is a less tangible one to address. And here’s my biggest concern: Mindset gaps create blind spots. It’s tough to be a great leader when we don’t know what we don’t know.

There are four digital blind spots we need to avoid: strategic, cultural, human capital, and personal.

Blind Spot No. 1: Strategic

An overwhelming majority of respondents from our survey indicate that the most important leadership requirement in the digital economy is providing clarity of purpose, vision, and strategy. Let’s say you are in a business that is rapidly migrating from products to platforms. You are most likely doing so in an ecosystem environment — a complex array of partnerships with users, customers, and suppliers. You might even partner periodically with competitors when mutual benefit overshadows the core rivalry.

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Topics

Future of Leadership in the Digital Economy

Digitalization and other critical factors are transforming what it means to be a great leader in a new environment. Discover the cultural and strategic shifts organizations must embrace to prepare their leaders to succeed.

IN COLLABORATION WITH

Cognizant
See All Articles in This Section

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Comments (2)
Evelyn Chow
Thank you for capturing some critical points. Unfortunately, many CEOs still see leading & driving digital transformations the mandate of the CTO and don't see a need to be deeply involved. Having said that, recognising that we ALL have blind spots is a great place to start - always helps to think about how we lend each other a hand so we can all succeed.
Laura Melissa Arias
Very interesting article, it' s necessary to start thinking that a collaborative ecosystem is the key for everyone to win in this digital world.