Digital Revolution & Leadership: don’t forget to say yes!

An article by Jean-Marc Tassetto, cofounder of Coorpacademy.

The digital revolution in our economy is forcing organizations to rethink their business models, their work methods and the way leadership is exercised. Such was already the case with the previous industrial revolutions. What’s different with this fourth one is the unprecedented speed at which these transformations are happening.

Publication Agefi (1)

In order for a company to deeply transform itself, its leaders have to make complex decisions quickly in rapidly changing environments. A culture based on RONI (Risk of Non-Investment) needs to complement and in some cases replace the culture of ROI (Return on Investment). To achieve this, executives must become leaders and rediscover their ability to say yes.

In my previous career, I often heard Eric Schmidt, Google’s former CEO, say that the best way to be successful in life was to say “yes”. Yes to new encounters and acquiring new skills. Yes to technological innovations and new knowledge. In a world which transformation is radically accelerated by digital technologies, we must value companies that try things, change their ways of functioning and invest in knowledge and in their employees. Which means valuing companies whose leaders are aware of the new challenges of the digital world while listening to their collaborators. These business leaders are active on blogs and social media, open to new tools and solutions, and have an appetite for new knowledge, for sharing and learning. They also stick out because they’re generally the first users of the digital platforms created by their own companies. Finally, these business leaders know that their employees are their main strength, and then support their continued development.

According to PwC’s 2016 study “Global Data & Analytics Survey: Big Decisions”, data-driven companies are three times more likely to improve their decision-making processes. But in order to be equipped with the best analytical tools and to acquire the right skills, these business leaders have to be able to say “yes” to risk, speed, transformation, as well as to their employees and to innovation in continued training.

Coorpacademy, recently designated as a major player in the transformation of learning by CB Insights, could not have grown without a “yes” from its customers; a “yes” to renew their methods of training, a “yes” to innovation. In Switzerland, the leadership teams of organizations such as Swatch, Richemont, Debiopharm, Migros, La Mobilière, Nestlé, Tag Heuer, Zenith from the LVMH group and the teams at the WHO in Geneva have all understood how the fast-paced digital revolution will impact their activity. Not to mention the business leaders of our 100+ customers in Paris, New York, London, Brussels,… who listened to their teams and redesigned their digital training methods.

These companies encourage their employees to develop their behavioral skills, also known as soft skills, and take the risk to launch new pedagogical projects in order to transform corporate learning. They have also understood that they must evolve their management techniques and take into account their teams’ input in their decision-making. So, like these leaders who are paving the way to the digital transformation, let’s always remember to say “yes”.

NB: this article has been initially published in French by l’AGEFI. If you want to read it in its original form, please click here.

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