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Industrial-era management worked well enough in the industrial era, but it’s a poor fit for leadership in the digital age.

Leadership for the digital age is complex with bytes replacing paper.

The steep vertical hierarchy of authority of the past now needs to be replaced with a horizontal network of competence—a network  comprised of self-organizing teams, driven by a common goal, that can change direction on the fly.

There is, essentially, a new mindset needed for leaders in the digital age, shifting from an internal focus on outputs and efficiency to an external focus on value for customers.

Analysts contend that to draw on the full talents of those doing the work, digital leadership needs to engage not just the brain but also the heart, through inspiration and collaboration.

In other words, leadership needs a different approach in the digital era because technology has shattered the barriers and reduced the distances between industries, societies and places.

The world is more interconnected than ever. Leaders who understand the value of diversity, inclusion and open-mindedness can more effectively navigate the challenges of technological disruptions.

In the digital era, companies face a more dynamic competitive environment: key competitors are no longer the usual suspects, and customer and stakeholder expectations continue to evolve. The speed and complexity of technological change require digital transformations to be more iterative than other forms of corporate change.

Experts in this area believe it’s crucial for leaders to catalyze change rather than plan for it. That means creating the initial conditions for the organization to achieve its ambitions and guiding their company through a process of continual learning, pivoting all along the way.

Though it won’t be easy, even perfectionist Type-A personalities must open their minds to a more experimental approach. Those who rely on traditional strategic thinking—an approach one roundtable executive described as “linear and deterministic”—will be less attuned to emergent factors such as technological advances to which they must respond.

Want to learn more? Tonex offers dozens of different courses in a dozen categories in Leadership for the Digital Era training. There are over 50 leadership courses in our Business Skills category alone. 

Other Training categories include:

Executive Leadership

Business Intelligence and Business Writing

Operations Management Training and Change Management

People Management and Performance Management

Product and Project Management Training

Project Management Certification

Entrepreneurship and Leadership Training

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.

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