Digital Leaders Blog

Masterclasses (4)

People, organisation and culture NOT technology have become the main barriers to successful digital transformation. Many digital change initiatives will fail because of an over-emphasis on technology at the expense of people. The HR profession needs to play a more proactive role in driving the digital transformation agenda.

It is now widely accepted that a convergence of disruptive technologies (mobile connectivity, social media, enterprise social, the cloud, big data, Internet of Things, artificial intelligent, automation and the blockchain), combined with the rapid emergence of a new generation of constantly connected customers and constantly connected employees (Gen C), is leading to the ‘end of business as usual’.

With organisations needing to #adaptordie, successful digital transformation has become, first and foremost, about people rather than technology.

The HR profession is uniquely positioned to perform a key role as a leader of change, creating digital ecosystems built around people, processes and technology. To achieve this, HR needs to move from the periphery to become a provocateur of change.

The key issues and challenges facing HR in an era of turbulent digital change include the following:

  • Understanding the digital landscape - the technologies disrupting HR.
  • The impact of disruption on employment, labour markets and skills. Are the robots coming to take our jobs? Are we facing a digital skills crisis? Growth of the ‘gig’ economy and the changing nature of work.
  • The role of HR as a change provocateur - HR’s role in leading digital change, the state-of-play; from ‘payroll and holidays” to a catalyst for change; the third force in digital transformation, marketing, technology and HR; the role of HR in digital strategy development, implementation and performance measurement.
  • Overcoming resistance to change - people, organisation and culture; legacy thinking not just legacy technology; building a culture of innovation and ‘next generation’ organisations; tools and software to support employee engagement and collaboration; creating a digital first mindset.
  • Managing digital natives and Gen Z.
  • Developing digital talent, corporate learning, education and skills development.
  • Amazonisation - use of emerging digital technologies to reinvent HR, transforming processes and systems to deliver Amazon levels of self-service and employee experiences.
  • The growing importance of workplace analytics, tracking trends, delivering actionable insight and informed decision-making from data.
  • Digital Leaders urgently required!
  • To-wards the future - coping with HR Darwinism, a phenomenon when technology and society evolve faster than our ability to adapt.

These issues, and more, will be discussed at our March workshop 'The Changing Role of HR in an Era of Digital Disruption'. The workshop is being held in Reykjavik.

We would be happy to run a similar session locally if there is sufficient interest.

Just drop me a note on Linkedin or leave a comment below if you would like to discuss. 

Take care.

Jim H 

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By the end of this year, we will have made our own small contribution to the digital transformation agenda having delivered our Digital Leadership Masterclasses in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Iceland, Italy, Malta (Digital Leadership for Tourism), Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Registration for our forthcoming Edinburgh programme, in association with the University of Edinburgh Business School, is now open.

Using the very practical tools and templates contained in our Digital Business Transformation Toolkit’, the two-day bootcamp will disseminate best practice strategic and practical advice in becoming a Future Digital Leader. The programme will equip participants with the knowledge and practical skills required for developing, implementing and proactively managing a successful Digital Transformation Strategy for their own organisation, or organisation of their own choice.

On completion of the programme, and utilising the diagnostic tools and templates contained in the ‘Digital Business Transformation Toolkit’, participants will have acquired the knowledge and practical skills to:

  • Undertake a digital disruption landscape analysis for their organisation; the opportunities and threats presented.
  • Set up a digital and social media listening system.
  • Develop an agreed Digital Strategy for their organisation.
  • Agree the core business objectives, goals and targets to be achieved.
  • Identify the key digital initiatives to be implemented and an ‘Action Plan’ for getting there.
  • Agree the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), metrics and analytics to be used in measuring digital performance, business impact and ROI.
  • Ensure that all key success factors have been considered, including the organisational, people and cultural barriers to digital change.
  • Establish your personal brand as a Future Digital Leader.

Full details and registration can be found here.

Alternatively, if you would appreciate an informal chat about the programme prior to registering, please drop me a quick note here and i will get back to you within a few days.

To ensure a high level of two-way engagement, we normally restrict numbers attending our Digital Leadership Masterclasses to around 15. It is very likely, therefore, that places on the programme will go very quickly so early expressions of interest in attending are recommended. 

Take care.

Jim H

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In preparation for the MBA Digital Leadership workshops in Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, the following links will be useful.


How Digital Disrupts Operations, Business Processes and Customer Experiences

Worldwide Spend on Digital Transformation Technologies to Reach $1.2 Trillion in 2017; $2 Trillion by 2020

The Utility Industry: Top Ten Transformation Technologies (Infographic)

Which Countries are Leading Digital?

Teaching Digital Leadership to the Digital Leaders

Digital Leadership and Performance

Digital Leaders Outperform Digital Laggards

The Case for Digital Reinvention

What the Companies on the Right Side of the Digital Business Divide Have in Common

Digital Leadership

Two Years On, Who’s Leading Digital? Probably Not Your Board

Business Leaders Are Losing Ground In 'Digital IQ,' New PwC Study Finds

Three Meaningful Strategies for Managing Rapid Change

Enabling Transformation: Technology AND Organisation are Key

Redefining Leadership for a Digital Age: The Four 'Must Have' Competencies of Successful Digital Leaders

The Next Generation Operating Model for the Digital World

How to Start Building your Next Generation Operating Model

Keeping Transformations on Target

Building a More Intelligent Enterprise

Business Transformation Starts with Leadership Transformation


Data Analytics and the Future of North Sea Oil Part 1

Data Analytics and the Future of North Sea Oil Part 2 Power BI

Do Oil and Gas Boardrooms Lack Digital Focus?

I look forward to meeting everyone.

Take care.

Jim H

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We are delighted to announce the launch of our Digital Leadership Masterclass in partnership with the University of Edinburgh Business School Executive Education Programme.

The two-day session takes place on the 13th and 14th of October.

Full details can be found here.

At this stage, we are taking registrations of interest in attending. All we need is your name, email address and contact telephone number. I will then arrange a convenient time to contact you to discuss your specific requirements, ensuring that programme content is relevant and customised to your own needs.

You can register an interest in attending here.

The changes brought about by the Internet over the last twenty years are nothing compared to what is coming over the next few years. No industry, no organisation is immune from the threat of digital disruption. With labour markets being transformed by artificial intelligence and automation, no individual is immune. A new breed of senior executive is required to drive digital transformation - Digital Business Leaders.

Is your organisation ready for digital change?

Are you ready?

The Masterclass will include a ‘Digital Leaders Forum’ during which several industry experts will present and discuss their real time experiences of implementing successful digital transformation strategies. Speakers will come from a range of different industries, including public and private sector organisations.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the Digital Leaders Masterclass or any of the Executive Education Programmes at UoE Business School.

You can download an Executive Education Programme brochure here.

Take care.

Jim H


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