Written by Michael Schrage, Benjamin Pring, David Kiron, and Desmond Dickerson
New research suggests that digital workforces expect digital transformation to better reflect and respect their concerns and values, not just boost business capabilities and opportunities. In the current environment, leaders must pay close attention to how their leadership is experienced, and consider whether digital tools, techniques, and technologies are making their companies’ key stakeholders — including employees, consumers, and investors — feel more valued.
Digital transformation — as business ideology and enterprise imperative — has won: Serious business leaders worldwide accept that their markets, customers, and workers have gone digital. In our recent global management survey, 93% of workers across industries and geographies affirm that being digitally savvy is essential to performing well in their role. The idea that effective digital transformation delivers agility, adaptability, and customer centricity is now both managerial mantra and leadership inspiration.
In real life, however, effective digital transformations also deliver unforeseen risks and unanticipated costs. Leaders’ emphasis on greater efficiency and productivity has provoked a backlash, particularly from a digitally savvy workforce. Digital talent now expects more from leadership than greater flexibility, better compensation, and/or productivity-supporting work environments. Our research suggests that digitally savvy workforces expect digital transformation to better reflect and respect their concerns and values, not just ensure superior business capabilities and opportunities.
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