Managing and Leading in the Digital Era

Managing in the Digital Era

In the Digital Era, managers and leaders must be willing to embrace change, give up control, and become more like player/coaches and guides. Why? Because the knowledge of what is going on and what it means has been pushed to much lower levels across all functions than before the Digital Era. We are beginning to understand marketing in the Digital Era, but are just starting on HR, for example. How we recruit, select, train, retain, and reward millennials is nothing like it was five years ago and will undergo further change.

And we are just beginning to understand that in the Digital Era, alignment of the entire organization around focused objectives, such as the customer experience, has become much more feasible and much more critical. This means that leaders must be evangelists for the changes and for making the organization “digital ready.” Did you see the bit about Lego employees getting digital driver’s licenses?

At the top of the organization, the leaders must promote the wholesale adoption of digital, interactive tools by the organization for intra- as well as inter-organizational use. The only thing that I can think of that compares is the Six Sigma craze, where many organizations trained every level on how to achieve minimum defects. But here, the Digital Era is not a consulting trend – it is a very real change in the way business is conducted. And it is just getting started.

The good news for college graduates is that you are already “digital ready” and can help make these changes in any organization. A recent graduate took a job in an insurance company as a receptionist. Six months later she was in charge of the web site and the digital properties. One year later she was in charge of marketing and was leading the digital marketing changes.

Stay tuned. There is a lot going on here.

Comments? Fire away. Digitally.

Prof Goeltz

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