The Art of Leading a Digital Workplace

In the late 80’s, knowing how to operate your office’s fax machine was considered peak digital literacy. Since then, a lot has changed both in and out of the office as technology has revolutionized not only the way we do business but the way we live our lives. As a result, businesses now expect their top managers and leaders to have a digital coming of age to drive their companies forward into the 21st century. Yet, digital literacy in itself is not enough to solve all the problems imposed by our ever-changing digital work environment. Hence, in order to join the ranks of the digerati and become a successful leader, you need to master your ‘CRAFT’. To learn more about this acronym, take some cues from this article.

Curiosity Drives Innovation

The first and most important trait of any successful digital leader is their curiosity. Essentially, curiosity is what drives us forward, what makes us learn new things, and what urges us to explore new possibilities to find interesting solutions. In today’s digital workplace, this is absolutely crucial as change is an inevitable part of technological advancement. As such, leaders need to learn to adapt, to think on their two feet, and to keep an open mind at all times. For example, experimenting with a new piece of software to further streamline and optimize your workflow; or jumping aboard a new industry trend that’s worth exploring. Either way, you make progress by taking risks and thinking outside the box; playing it safe will only drag you further behind the competition.

Reach Out to People

In the past, managers would, for the most part, speak with clients and employees strictly face-to-face. However, with the rise of the new remote workforce, and the advent of technology, this is no longer the case. Instant messaging, social media, video conferences, and so on, have since taken the forefront. This is why, now more than ever, there’s a demand for leaders with well-developed soft skills that can both establish and maintain relations with people over long-distances to maximize productivity.

Leading digital space

If you want to get to know your employees better or exchange some ideas in person, consider renting an event space, where you can organize celebrations and other company gatherings. In this regard, technical skills are of less importance for leaders as they are mostly acquired through on-the job training anyways. What matters most is the top-down communication between executives and employees as this can essentially make or break a business.

Analyse, Analyse, Analyse

Before novice entrepreneurs can register a company to start developing their business ideas, they have to keep in mind that, according to MicroStrategy, 52% of all businesses are now using some form of predictive analysis behind their decision-making process. If you wish to be successful, then you need to follow suit. Basically, what this does is remove the unnecessary guesswork out of the equation, leaving you with clear and precise data-driven decisions to work with. That way, you take less chances, make fewer mistakes, and see a better overall return on your investments, making analytical tools a powerful weapon in any manager’s arsenal.

Factor in the Human Element

Now, just because you’re using analytics, this doesn’t mean that you should stop using your own head. Namely, when managing a digital business, you also have to consider other things, such as the human factor. In order to truly understand your customer and client needs you must have empathy, and that’s something statistics can’t ever replace. Just take a look at the recent Diablo: Immortal fiasco where Activision Blizzard made the huge mistake of not taking their target audience into account, resulting in a 7% drop in stock value. Therefore, numbers will only get you so far, a true leader takes a step back to get sight of the whole picture. What’s more, the really great ones will always find ways to fuse these two together, creating the perfect working formula in the process. Remember, balance is everything.

Teamwork Wins the Day

In the end, a team is as good as its leader. With so many remote and in-house workers to deal with, leaders must learn to coordinate their efforts accordingly by delegating tasks down the ladder to focus on more important matters. In fact, according to a report made by Deloitte, the decision-making process is pushed further down each day as companies digitally mature. Additionally, there’s a growing number of project management, and other, tools out there which can help synergize your team’s efforts and increase workflow. Some of these include: Google Docs, Asana, Basecamp, Dropbox, Skype, and so on. Acquaint yourself with these and make sure your team is operating at peak efficiency.

Now that you know what it takes to master the art, and the CRAFT, of running a digital workplace, it falls down to you to carry this out in practice. Be curious, be human, reach out, analyse, and organize your way to success.

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