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Digital Leadership
Digital Leadership

Redefining Digital Leadership in a Post-Pandemic World

We have been talking about digital transformation for a decade. However, it seems the move toward further digitization gained momentum after COVID-19. Not only did it gain new momentum, but the ultimate goal now has new nuances.

Thus, we also need to re-define and explore the meaning behind “digital leadership,” the leadership qualities for driving the digital transformation of organizations.


Today, it's clear that digital leadership transcends the mere implementation of new tools; it requires a holistic re-envisioning of how organizations operate. Leaders are now tasked with identifying innovative business models, reshaping organizational culture, adjusting strategies, and evolving talent management practices to thrive in an increasingly digital world (MIT Sloan Management Review, 2022).

Beyond System Integration: A Broader View of Digital Transformation

Reflecting on the journey of digital transformation reveals that it's much more than just system integration or process optimization efforts that dominated IT projects since the 1980s. We're now a quarter into the 21st century, and the scope has dramatically expanded. Tony Saldanha, a pioneer in digital transformation initiatives at Procter & Gamble, emphasizes the need to understand digital transformation within the larger context of industrial revolutions.


The transition from the Third to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, marked by the convergence of physical, digital, and biological spheres, is fundamentally reshaping our world. This era is characterized by unprecedented computing power and connectivity, transforming traditional industries and societal norms (Saldanha, 2019).


Thus, he defines “digital transformation” as, 
“The migration of enterprises and societies from the Third to the Fourth Industrial Revolution era. For companies, this means having digital technology become the backbone of new products and services, new ways of operation, and new business models.”

Navigating New Challenges with Digital Leadership

The ongoing pandemic has underscored the necessity for digital leadership that not only embraces technological innovation but also addresses emerging challenges in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria in the context of massive digitilization and ever-declining workforce engagement.


As coaches, we are uniquely positioned to guide leaders through these uncertain times, equipped with a diverse toolkit for leadership assessment and development.

In response to the evolving landscape of digital leadership, my business partners and I are working on a series of articles that will explore the requirements of digital leadership over the next quarter-century. These articles will delve into the strategies and insights necessary for leaders to navigate the complexities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and beyond, ensuring their organizations remain competitive and innovative in an ever-changing world.


MIT Sloan Management Review. (2022). Digital Leadership Initiative.
Saldanha, T. (2019). Why digital transformations fail: The surprising disciplines of how to take off and stay ahead. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.  

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