Closing the Digital Leadership Gap

Part 2 of a 2-part post


In Part 1, we explored the digital leadership gap and why it matters. In this post we go deeper to look at what sets digital leaders apart and what needs to change to become a digital leader, based on new research from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, sponsored by Microsoft.


Digital leaders share three common attributes.


1) CEO leadership: In addition to having a formal digital strategy, digital leaders are much more likely to have the CEO leading their digital transformation. But CEOs don’t work in a vacuum; two-thirds of respondents view their CIO as critical to the success of their digital transformation as well.


2) Data & analytics: Digital leaders use data and analytics to a much greater degree – both to understand what customers want and to improve operations and forecasting. They are also significantly more likely to use cognitive computing/AI. They are three times as likely as non-digitals to have specialized skills like data science and data engineering on staff and more than twice as likely to say all professionals have the ability to work with and make sense of data and analytics. This latter point is extremely important. Companies can access specialized skills through partners, but if employees can’t make use of the results, it will be hard to reap the benefits.


3) Open to taking risk: Innovation, invention and change all involve risk, and digital leaders are significantly more open to taking risks in pursuit of new digital business opportunities than are hybrids and non-digitals. And they build this into their culture. [continue to read about the impact on employees, skills & organizational silos]

(The blog was first published on LinkedIn and has been reposted here with prior permission from the author.)


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Categories: Digital

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Abbie Lundberg

Abbie Lundberg is a business technology analyst, writer and professional speaker with 25 years’ experience reporting and commenting on the ...

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