1. Visionary Enabler
The visionary enabler explores opportunities through the lens of their customers, and what is important to them now and in the future. They own the organization’s vision and set direction with a strong focus on outcomes. However, they also provide the autonomy and creative freedom for their teams to deliver on these outcomes, within visible constraints, rather than instructing them on exactly how to achieve this goal.
This leader is comfortable with ambiguity and owns the intent, rather than all the answers. Instead, they invest in embedding new muscle in teams to help them learn how to work through issues, to deal and learn from failures, and to identify the right response for the given situation, based on the provided guardrails.
Perhaps most importantly, while teaching them to learn, the visionary enabler provides air cover, creating a sense of psychological safety and security as their people experiment, fail and learn.
The tech-savvy leader understands the business relevance of key tech trends, and enables the adoption of the ones that are relevant to their own organizational goals to drive value for the organization. They view technology as a differentiator to create new opportunities, and know how to apply it for strategic advantage.
This leader is aware of the impact of tech excellence and how to use a high-performing tech team as a competitive business advantage. This includes creating the conditions that attract top talent from the market, by investing in the best physical and tech environment.
The cultivator is able to build and steward cultures of experimentation and growth for all employees, not just a separate group of ‘innovators’ or ‘incubators.’ They understand that the best ideas are more likely to emerge from those on the frontline of customer service or technology, and encourage a culture of exploring such opportunities.
They exemplify this behavior by openly experimenting themselves, and making their own wins, failures and learnings transparent. Winning and learning are celebrated equally.
The cultivator leader builds communities within their organization to foster an environment of mentorship and learning, asking the right questions to guide teams, and setting the guardrails for safety. They focus on the well-being of their people, to bring out the best in the talent that they have acquired.
Are you ready?
It can be tempting to continue to move forwards in the same ways that you always have, hoping to replicate the successes of the past, using the same lenses of reference, and the same behaviors that have previously served you well- but as we’ve explored, this is a dangerous mindset to adopt in the era of digital.
To become digitally-ready, it’s time to stop and take stock of where you are at today, and where you want to be in the future. To redesign the way you invest, the way you focus on customer value and how you build and evolve new leadership skills to remain relevant in a world that will never stand still. You must ask yourself if your technology and processes can keep up with the current pace of change, and if the answer is no, take bold action to build the strong foundations required for a resilient, adaptive organization. Remember that bold doesn’t always mean big. A bold vision, followed quickly with a strong but small first step, is often a better start than unwieldy programs which never get off the ground. Ambition is the starting point, but it’s pragmatism that will keep you moving.
By successfully preparing for change, you can position yourself and your enterprise to manage, and even benefit from, the unpredictable.