Online Resource Hub

Leading Digital: Programme Overview


 Your organisation does not need a digital strategy. It needs a strategy for the digital age. Your organisation does not need digital leaders. It needs leaders of change for an interconnected world.

2019 will be a busy year for our Leading Digital Executive Programme with 12 different versions of the programme being delivered including 2 day Executive Masterclasses; 3 and 5 day MBA modules; in-company and sector specific programmes. Locations will included Singapore, the UAE, Italy, Edinburgh and Glasgow. Globally, an online version of the programme will be delivered over a five week duration.

This Online Resource Hub provides background reading and other support material relevant to all modes of programme delivery. Content will be updated on a regular basis ensuring that the most recent and relevant research is included. Programme participants should work through the material presented in advance of each session. That way, each session can be a two-way conversation rather than a one-way death by PowerPoint presentation.

Given the dynamic pace of digital change taking place, it is important to keep up-to-date. I post regular up-dates of new research and thinking on digital disruption, digital transformation and change leadership on my LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. Please feel free to connect with me on either or both accounts.

PLEASE NOTE: Participant requirements and programme assessment vary across the different modes of delivery. These will be fully explained in the joining instructions for each version of the programme. 

This Introductory Module presents a brief overview of programme content and raison d'être.

Leaders of Change Urgently Required

The five core propositions underpinning launch of our Leading Digital Programme three years ago were as follows:

Digital disruption has become the new normal and is redefining the way organisations operate (Fit for Digital). The changes brought about by the Internet over the last twenty years are nothing compared to what is coming! 

We live in an era of digital disruption. The rapid convergence of a wide range of disruptive technologies, combined with the emergence of a new generation of constantly connected customers and constantly connected employees (Gen C), is threatening to reshape markets faster than at any time in history. With reports suggesting that four out of ten industry incumbents, across a broad spectrum of sectors, could be displaced by digital disruption over the next five years, many organisations are on the verge of becoming 'digital dinosaurs' due to their inability to adapt.

No industry, no organisation, is immune from the threat of being disrupted. With automation requiring 375 million people worldwide to switch occupation categories by 2030, no individual is immune (McKinsey, 2018).  

Digital enabled transformation has become the number one challenge facing organisations today! Nothing else comes close, not even Brexit!

To remain competitive and avoid being added to the growing list of digital dinosaurs, organisations need to #adaptordie; leveraging the full potential of digital technologies for transforming and improving the way they do things in at least three main areas.

  • External Digital - the use of digital to engage with customers; to enhance the customer experience, especially at Key Moments of Truth in the customer journey; for sales, marketing and PR. How strong is your own online brand identity?
  • Internal Digital - the use of digital to optimise key business processes; reduce costs; improve efficiency; deliver actionable insight from data; becoming a more agile, responsive, flexible, fast moving organisation 'fit-for-purpose' in a digital era.
  • Underlying Business Model - the digital revolution provides a major opportunity to re-imagine the long-held beliefs underlying your industry. Reinvent your business model by leveraging the full potential of digital technology.

As we move from the 'WHY' to the 'HOW' of transformation, a new breed of senior executive is urgently required - 'Leaders of change for the Digital Era'.

Senior executives with hyper awareness of the digital landscape, the disruptive technologies and associated societal changes reshaping industry. Executives who combine high level business knowledge, experience and understanding with the ability to implement transformation strategies fully aligned with and supportive of agreed business goals and objectives. Leaders who possess the confidence and personal skills to drive digital enabled organisational change.

A growing leadership shortage in this area is creating a digital divide between organisations who 'get digital' and those who don't; between those using digital technology to successfully transform their organisation and those still stuck on the starting blocks.

The digital divide is having a major impact on subsequent performance with 'leading digital' organisations outperforming others.

While there is growing acceptance of the need for organsiations to transform, tangible progress has been slow. Many barriers and obstacles need to be overcome.

It is now widely accepted that successful digital transformation is less about technology and more about people, organisation and culture. Technology is just the facilitator. Many digital transformation programmes will fail because of their over-reliance on the technology aspect. That is why we use the term - leaders of change for the digital world rather than digital leaders.

Digital Change Agents are also urgently required. Employees with a passion for digital who can support new thinking and ways of doing things driving their organisation to a higher level of digital maturity. 

Given the rapid pace of digital change taking place, the five propositions listed above are even more relevant today compared to three years ago when the Leading Digital Programme was launched.

Leading Transformation, Key Issues

Leading Digital provides participants with the knowledge and practical skills for developing, implementing and proactively managing successful transformation strategies 'fit-for-purpose' in an era of turbulent change and digital disruption.

Five key issues are covered as summarised below:

Figure 1: Five Key Topics

  • The Digital Landscape - the disruptive technologies and associated societal changes reshaping your industry; opportunities and threats for your organisation.
  • Digital Gap Analysis ('External') - a self-evaluation of the 'strategic gap' that exists between your organisation's current use of digital externally, for sales, marketing and customer experience management, and where you should be. The key actions and initiatives required to close the gap.
  • Digital Gap Analysis ('Internal') - your organisation's current use of digital internally to improve operating efficiency, reduce costs, building an agile, fast moving, responsive organisation 'fit-for-purpose' in an era of turbulent change. The key actions and initiatives required to close the gap between where you are and where you should be.
  • Strategy Development for the Digital Era - the key questions to address in developing a digital transformation vision and strategy for your organisation; agreeing business goals, objectives, KPIs and targets; new business models enabled by digital technology; the importance of adopting a customer/business first, rather than technology led, approach; developing an Action Plan for 'getting there'.
  • Implementation and Performance Measurement- key success factors in implementing digital enabled transformation programmes; people, technology, organisation, culture, project management; overcoming resistance to change; performance measurement for digital transformation; leading in a digital era.

On completion of the programme, participants will have acquired the knowledge and practical skills to:

  • Undertake a digital landscape analysis for their own organisation, or organisation of their own choice.
  • Develop a digital enabled vision and strategy fully aligned with and supportive of agreed business goals and objectives.
  • Agree an Action Plan for 'getting there', identifying and prioritising the digital actions and initiatives required to deliver agreed business outcomes.
  • Develop change management competencies - the personal skills and empathy to overcome organisational, people and cultural barriers to change; win organisational support and commitment for transformation.
  • Successfully implement transformation programmes ensuring a strong focus on performance measurement and informed decision-making based on data analytics.
  • Adopt a future looking perspective given the rapid pace of digital change taking place.
  • Build your own personal brand as a 'Leader of Change for the Digital Era'.

A Conversation not a Broadcast

As stated previously, for both the face-to-face and online delivery modes, the emphasis is on two-way discussion and interaction rather than 'death by PowerPoint', with a live Interactive Polling Tool being used to stimulate group-based discussion and debate around core programme themes.

You can try this out by going to using a pc, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Sign-in using the code number 337826. The 25 questions listed will provide you with a good overview of the broad range of issues discussed. 

The polling questions are linked to each module of the programme. For the moment, please just answer Q1 to get a feel for how it works. Do not rush ahead and answer all 25 questions now. Please wait until you work your way through each module then answering the questions specific to that module. You will benefit more from doing it that way. 

Please Note: The version of menti used here is for illustrative purposes only. Each session will use a version customised to the needs of each group.

The video below provides a useful introduction and overview of the Leading Digital Executive Programme.

Background Reading

The following blog post, published in October 2017, provides a concise overview of the key issues covered in each of the five programme modules.

25 Questions for Digital Leaders

Please do feel free to leave any comments you may have below. To avoid spam, registration (free) is required to allow comments. This only takes a minute or so. It goes without saying that your information will not be used for any other purpose.

Dr Jim Hamill

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Dr Jim Hamill

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