Only 16% of executives qualify as ‘digital winners,’ according to research by Oxford Economics. Boards and CEOs try to close this gap by bringing digital into the C-Suite – hiring a Chief Digital Officer or exploring reverse mentorship programs. These efforts help, but they are not adequate. They mistake expertise in emerging technology for digital leadership, and usually only graft basic technical literacy onto existing hierarchical structures.
Alternatively, companies like Bosch, Nestle, and Daimler empower a community of change agents – or 'digital guides' – to involve the entire firm in transformation. Some use HR analytics to discover change agents on their enterprise social networks. These are the folks whose use of these tools demonstrates their digital mindset.
Change agent programs support emerging leaders with new management techniques, playbooks for agile ways of working, and online communities. Digital guides not only enable a more inclusive change process, but also learn how to exercise leadership within connected companies.
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