How digital leaders inspire engagement (MIT Sloan Review)

by Jane McConnell

An engaged workforce positions a company’s digital initiatives for success.

Digital leaders should,

  • Clarify the role of digital transformation within the company’s strategic vision, then walk the talk. The three best practices to start with are:
    • Make it compelling and relevant. The “why” of a digital program has to be integrated into the organization’s overall vision and purpose.
    • Make it a priority.
    • Walk the talk. After clearly articulating the value of a particular program, leaders need to demonstrate the value they attribute to digital through their own behavior.
  • Share decision-making, especially with people on the edges of the organization.
    Leaders should encourage participatory decision-making. Digital initiatives cannot be defined in an executive black box. The customer-facing workforce, exposed to clients and competitors, is an often-untapped source of information and market intelligence.
  • Embed ongoing experimentation and learning in the work culture.
    Leaders should also encourage experimentation. A critical component of encouraging this experimental mindset is to break out of bureaucracy. Making processes and policies intrapreneur-friendly is a still deeper change. Traditional bureaucratic processes for getting project budgets are complicated in many companies.

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