Story image

Step up or get out of the way in the digital economy, study finds

20 Sep 2016

Organisations that get digital leadership right out-perform those who don’t, according to a new study by Oxford Economics.  The study reveals strong leadership pays dividends in the digital economy, where continuous innovation, rapid decision-making, and a global mindset are essential to success. 

The research programme, sponsored by SAP, identified a rising generation of millennial executives who are impatient for change and unimpressed with the digital leadership skills of senior management. 

The survey also suggests a relationship between effective diversity policies, executive leadership, and bottom-line performance. According to the study, organisations with strong digital leadership report stronger financial performace, with 38% more likely than others to report strong revenue and profit growth. 

Those businesses are building a stronger leadership pipeline, the study says. 

“They have more mature strategies and programmes for hiring skilled talent (85% vs. 64% of others), building diversity (56% vs. 48%), and succession planning (72% vs. 50%),” the study says.

The survey shows organisations with stronger digital leadership have happier, more loyal employees. Employees from well-led companies are more satisfied (87% vs. 63% of others) and more likely to stay in their jobs if given the chance to leave (75% vs. 54%), according to the research.

What does it take to become one of these top performers? According to the study, the best-led companies:

  • Embrace digital technologies. They are executing on a company-wide digital vision and embedding technology in all aspects of the organisation.
  • Simplify decision-making. They make data-driven decisions in real time and distribute decision-making power across the organisation.
  • Flatten the organisation. They are focused on reducing complexity and bureaucracy and offering the latest technology to all employees.
  • Build a digital workforce. They are focused on improving digital proficiency among managers and employees and emphasising transformation readiness and the strategic use of technology.

“These findings should serve as a wakeup call for business leaders,” says Edward Cone, deputy director of Thought Leadership at Oxford Economics. 

“Your employees, your younger executives, and your financial results are all sending you a clear message about the importance of updating and upgrading leadership skills for the digital age,” he explains. 

“It’s time to listen and lead—or get out of the way.”

What the future of fibre looks like in NZ
The Commerce Commission has released its emerging views paper on the rules, requirements and processes which will underpin the new regulatory regime for New Zealand’s fibre networks.
Gen Z confidence in the economy is on the decline
Businesses need to work hard to improve their reputations.
Why NZ businesses have less than two years to adopt digital before disruption hits
Research found that digital disruption is already impacting two-thirds of New Zealand organisations.
Dell EMC launches interactive AI Experience Zones
The AI Experience Zones are designed to educate visitors about how to start, identify, and implement an AI project.
What NZ can learn from the Baltimore cyberattack
“Businesses must control physical access to their computers and secure their networks."
Infratil seeks clearance to acquire up to 50% stake in Vodafone NZ
The commission will give clearance to a proposed merger if they are satisfied that the merger is unlikely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition in a market.
Hands-on review: MiniTool Power Data Recovery Software
I came across a wee gem of advice when researching the world of data recovery. As soon as you get that sinking feeling and realise you’ve lost a file, stop using your computer.
Deepfakes the 'next wave of concern' - but can law really stomp it out?
Enforcing the existing law will be difficult enough, and it is not clear that any new law would be able to do better. Overseas attempts to draft law for deepfakes have been seriously criticised.