Digital Leaders Blog

2739146968?profile=RESIZE_710xInteresting new report from Forrester on "The Future of Organizations".

"Today’s organizational structure has aged out. Built on a foundation of stability, accountability and control, traditional organizational design protects its silos and political affiliations at the cost of speed and innovation. A major upheaval is on the horizon - this rigidity will only support businesses for so long. Within the next five years, we will see a more fluid, agile, and operationally efficient structure take its place."

You can download the full report by clicking in the image below (free registration required).…


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The rationale underlying launch of our 'Leading Digital' programme four years ago was that a new breed of senior executive was urgently required - leaders of change for the digital era; executives who combine high level business knowledge, experience and understanding with the ability to implement digital supported transformation strategies fully aligned with and supportive of agreed business goals and objectives. Executives with the personal skills and confidence to drive organisational change.

New evidence that we are facing a crisis of digital leadership, not just digital skills, has emerged from a recent study by MIT SMR and Cognizant on the Future of Leadership in the Digital Economy

The study, based on a…

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Sixty per cent of businesses in the Middle East do not feel “future-workforce-ready” according to a new report from PwC.

Titled “Middle East Workforce of the Future”, the report explores the workplace gaps and challenges that organisations face in the region, outlining the key actions that need to be taken to prepare for tomorrow's workforce, today.

With technology disrupting the future of work, 70 per cent of Middle Eastern respondents feel less prepared than their global counterparts across all categories outlined in the report.

By their own admission, leaders are not doing enough to develop future-proof capabilities within their organisations.

You can read more …

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One for the April 'Leading Digital' programme in Bahrain.

A recent report from Future Market Insights entitled “MENA Digital Transformation - Market Forecast and Assessment; 2014–2020” concludes that the MENA digital transformation market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15.1% during the forecast period. Valued at US$ 1,028.8 Mn in 2014, the market is projected to grow to US$ 2,398.3 Mn by 2020.

Three main segments of the MENA digital transformation market are included in the report - digital services, digital software and end-user verticals. Digital services include digital consulting services, digital technology implementation services, digital technology integration services, digital operations & management services. The digital software segment includes digital content and applications, digital sales…

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Industry 4.0 holds the promise of a new era of globalisation. Yet a recent study by Deloitte concludes that most senior executives remain unprepared for a world of digital disruption.

Based on a survey of over 2,000 C-Suite Executives, Deloitte concluded that:

Many executives are struggling to develop effective strategies in today’s rapidly changing markets. Faced with an ever-increasing array of new technologies, leaders acknowledged they have too many options from which to choose and, in some cases, they lack the strategic vision to help guide their efforts. Organizational influences also challenge leaders as they seek to navigate Industry 4.0. Many leaders reported their companies don’t follow clearly defined decision-making processes, and organizational silos limit their ability to…

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1529820676?profile=RESIZE_710xA 'must read’ for participants on our ‘Leadership for the Digital Era’ programmes, from Steve Denning author of ‘The Age of Agile’.

The Dominant Model Of 20th Century Organizations: Bureaucracy

If we look at 20th Century organisations, we can see that a bureaucratic mindset was dominant. The organizational world was seen as vertical. Its natural habitat was the tall buildings in places like New York. Strategy gets set at the top, as Gary Hamel often explains. Power trickles down. Big leaders appoint little leaders. Individuals compete for promotion. Compensation correlates with rank. Tasks are assigned. Managers assess performance. Rules…

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How Different is Digital Leadership?

1420425387?profile=RESIZE_710xWe have been arguing for four years now that a new breed of senior executive is required, Digital Business Leaders - executives who can combine high level business knowledge, experience and understanding with the ability to develop Digital Transformation Strategies fully aligned with and supportive of agreed business goals and objectives. Executives with the personal skills and confidence to drive organisational change.

But how different is this new breed of leader? Does the leadership handbook need to be completely rewritten for the digital age? Or do the essentials of leadership stay the same even in an era of rapid digital disruption?

A joint research project between MITSloan Management Review and Deloitte sheds…

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1418043871?profile=RESIZE_710xHaving board members with experience in digital business is the new financial performance differentiator according to research published in the Spring Edition of the  MITSloan Management Review.

Based on a comprehensive machine learning analysis of the digital know-how of all the boards of US listed businesses, the study found that companies whose boards of directors have 'digital savvy' outperform others.

'Digital savvy' was defined as an "understanding, developed through experience and education, of the impact that emerging technologies will have on business success over the next decade". 

Interesting variations emerged across industries, with boards of directors in some sectors being significantly more 'digital savvy' than others. …

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As we tie ourselves in knots over Brexit, our international competitors continue on their digital transformation journey.

In Singapore, already considered by most observers to be a world leading digital national, a further S$300 million ($222 million) is being allocated to spur research in digital innovation as the government transforms the economy through technology.

The amount, almost double the current budget, is part of the next phase of the National Research Foundation’s five-year plan, ending 2020, to support industries "innovate and stay competitive as technology rapidly evolves".

A range of measures have been launched aimed at attracting more businesses and investors through technological advances, supporting small businesses go digital and developing a high-technology skilled workforce.


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As we move from the WHY to the HOW of digital transformation, a balanced approach is required to overcome the numerous obstacles standing in the way of effective change management. Technology on its own is not enough.

Two of the main obstacles to successful digital transformation, identified in most recent research studies, are people and culture.

This 2018 paper from BCG argues that transformation requires a tectonic change in the activities performed by employees, their individual behaviours and the ways they interact with others inside and outside the organisation. Traditional ways of working are incompatible with digital transformation.

As well as acknowledging digital transformation as the fundamental, strategic paradigm shift it is, leaders must instill a culture that supports change.

Embedding a…

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An online resource and knowledge hub supporting leaders in an era of digital disruption.

Dr Jim Hamill


MIT Sloan


Brian Solis

Digital Disruption


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