The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Transformation Leaders by cmo.com [Leadership]


Editor's Note: This article first appeared on cmo.com and was curated by Closer Spot. Please subscribe to get actionable news and advice delivered to your inbox each week.


Ten years ago, businesses were racing to understand and capitalize on concepts such as data mining, search technology, and virtual collaboration.

Today, digital transformation—which describes how digital technology is fundamentally changing the ways businesses operate and deliver value to customers—rules the roost and is disrupting companies everywhere, from their operating models to their infrastructures.

But that’s only part of the equation. “Digital transformation is actually a human transformation,” said Brian Solis, principal analyst at consulting and research company Altimeter. “We’ve learned that people have mistakenly overemphasized the role of technology in change. What this comes down to is leadership.”

With that in mind, we spoke with nine executives and thought leaders about what makes good leaders great, the habits that inform success, and specific skills they must hone to realize this transformation.

1. Be Empathetic Truly great digital transformation leaders understand how human dynamics—fear, politics, ego, sabotage, and safety—play into people’s feelings about change. They don’t assume their teams see the world their way. Rather, they see how others might perceive things, then “bridges between how they see it and what you’re trying to do,” Solis said.

“It’s not about getting people to follow you. It’s empowering people to lead their own initiatives and collaborate with you and others,” he told CMO.com. “It’s about unification of a bigger movement of getting people to bring about change because they want to—not because they have to.”

Amid all that change, when products and processes are shifting, leaders are tasked with ensuring that they weave humanity into every touch point, said Leesa Wytock, senior director of experience at brand strategy and design firm Siegel+Gale. That’s difficult to do without empathy.

“Empathy is what allows you to get the best work out of your team, it’s what makes you a good partner to work with, and it’s what makes your digital transformations successful,” she told CMO.com. “A lot of user experience work deals with behavioral science and empathy. You need to put yourself in the user’s shoes to get a product or process right.”

2. Step Outside Your Box
According to Jeffrey Brandt, CIO at national law firm Jackson Kelly, seeking out connections, experiences, and information outside of your particular industry can help light on what other businesses are doing in their digital transformations. READ THE FULL ARTICLE...

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