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Seven Habits of a Highly Successful Digital Transformation Leader

In analyzing the habits which make for a successful leader, those which ultimately do not contribute, and those which in fact contribute negatively, it is important to note that there are several traits in particular which, while not being included in the following list, are not meant to be seen as inherently negative. The simple truth is that, while they are often widely praised for being valuable components of a leadership persona and overall strategy, these particular traits don't contribute to an extraordinary degree of success in and of themselves. These include a certain level of comfort within a state of uncertainty, being tech-savvy, and being intellectually inquisitive—willing to consider new approaches, and try things that one hasn't heard of before—as well as simply being willing to collaborate with others, who might possess useful or innovative ideas. All of these are useful, helpful qualities to have in certain measure, but they can be easily taken to excess when it comes to the successful execution of a business strategy—and they aren't so inherently valuable without the following seven qualities being taken into account.

1. Mobilize company-wide commitment. Among leaders, most have “explicitly and formally” named a person to lead digital transformation.

2. Develop and evangelize a digital transformation mission statement. Nearly all leaders agree that a vision for transformation has been well-communicated—with more than a third strongly agreeing that they understand company executives’ digital plans and strategy (this drops to virtually nil among laggards).

3.Embrace data-based experimentation. leaders are three times more likely to use experimentation as a decision-making criterion for investments, and the majority of digital leaders are described as “flexible/adaptable.”

4.Connect with innovators and experts. Among leaders, seven out of 10 executives say their digital transformation leader has an especially strong network of business and technology innovators.

5.Manage digital transformation across departments and functions. Companies that implemented company-wide digital initiatives more than a year ago have already seen an impact on employees, customers, and their portfolio of products—with a majority of companies experiencing positive impact in all three areas. Many transformation leaders are described as managing across departments well, compared to relatively few laggards.

6.Speak multiple business languages. Among leaders, the transformation leader is described as able to “simplify complexity,” well more than three times as frequently as at digital laggards.

7.Strive for tangible goals, things that your employees can wrap their heads around. leaders report stronger overall capability when connecting digital investments more directly to enterprise key performance indicators.

With these qualities in hand, it becomes easy to see how a healthy corporate atmosphere contributing to digital technological growth would be genera ted, and also to understand anew how the initial four qualities discussed would not provide the sam e results if executed by themselves—without a healthy leadership initiative. With this kind of cultural infrastructure in place, you're opening up your corporate society to small-scale innovation. With a w ell-ordered structure comes confidence, and the willingness to put forward useful ideas and creative solutions that might otherwise never see the light of day. A certain amount of experimentation with new tools and ideas is necessary to improve a company's standing under the new economy, and now is the ti me to engage in it. If your digital leadersare on the same page as you, your efforts to transform y our operations into a vision of 2st century efficiency will work that much more smoothly.

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