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Insights on digital leadership & transformation from last week’s #ClickZChat

In past editions of ClickZChat we’ve focused on fairly targeted insights, but with our new event Shift fast approaching, the time seemed right to tackle some larger themes.

This week we took to Twitter to ask our followers how inspired leadership can drive transformation initiatives, and where people fit into the grand scheme of the ‘digitally ready company’.

Q1: What are the key characteristics of digital leaders?

A digital leader has to have something that sets them apart from others, and many of our followers felt that this was as much about mindset as it was experience.

Clearly, leadership in the digital world requires agility and a genuine curiosity about the possibilities of new channels and tech, but openness and a genuine desire to collaborate lies at the heart of what makes digital leaders different from their offline counterparts.

Q2: Should marketing be leading digital transformation?

These traits are often found in the marketing department, and it doesn’t seem unfair to suggest that marketing is where a lot of the talk (and action) around digital transformation exists. Is marketing responsible for driving organisational change?

Several people agreed with this, but felt that successful transformation very much relied on getting buy-in at board level

But this in itself required faith in the practitioners to implement effectively:

With so much resting on the people, how much does the technical side really matter?

What can we learn from this?

Several key themes arose during this week’s chat, but perhaps most important was the opinion that digital transformation is something that needs to be realised at a cultural level throughout the entire business, but it should be driven by members of the C-Suite who are open to new practices and technology.

Real success hinges on having a sense of genuine trust in staff, and the agility to deploy projects quickly.

We also heard from followers about good examples of transformation, such as General Electric and Maersk using content to redefine their brand and the conversation in the B2B sector, and again, this highlighted the need for real faith in the long-term results, and a shift away from immediate returns.

If you are interested in digital transformation and leadership, be sure to check out our Shift event series, where we’ll be taking a deep-dive into the practical realities of transformation projects.

Thanks again to everyone who took part this week – make sure you join us for our next regular #ClickZChat on Wednesday at noon EST.

Matt Owen is Head of Social at ClickZ

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