Article: Leadership in the Digital Age: Lessons from TechHR16

HR Technology

Leadership in the Digital Age: Lessons from TechHR16

Leaders should be able to rise above the deluge of information available and connect with human dots and do it quickly. Insights from the Pre-conference TechHR 2016 huddle discussion.
Leadership in the Digital Age: Lessons from TechHR16

Human beings now have a new organ (the 79th one) – the smartphone. We keep a tab on the phone before we sign off for the day, and we check it right after we wake up in the morning. That’s how digitized we are these days. In the pre-conference of the TechHR16, participants had an engaging session on the changing nature of leadership in the digital age. Led by Arvind N Agarwal, Partner at the HR Leader Partners, the group came up with interesting points which are necessary for the leaders of the digital age to introspect and internalize to be able to remain relevant in the tech-world.

Leaders are faced with a lot of dilemmas. And a lot of their challenges are based on their refusal to accept their own vulnerabilities. The idea that leaders should know everything is slowly fading away to a new set of thinking – making the leader sit not at the top but at the centre of the organization.  By doing so, the leaders can have the orchestrating role of leveraging the capabilities of domain experts – be it in finance, marketing or technology field.  Workforce is changing with the influx of Millennials, and younger generation who are individualistic in nature. But technological innovation is not an individual effort, it is a collective one. Leaders should be able to balance these two diverse nodes for the businesses to succeed. 

Are our leaders ready to change their mindsets and accept the newer set of rules and ideas which are bouncing off the younger generation? That’s one aspect that the future leaders of the digital age need to keep in mind. So either you adapt, adopt or perish. Like a participant said, “If you can’t beat them, join them.”

In more ways than one, digital has become a leveller in major aspects of our lives – the way we conduct business, the way we innovate (from 12 year old kids who innovate and come up with new softwares), to the way we solve organizational problems. However, to be able to leverage technology in successfully running an organization would also mean that it is used to be able to create more humane structures for businesses. Leaders need to fundamentally change their mindsets in order to gauge that organizations function because there are people who are running them. And people get excited when their leaders are engaged in meaningful conversations, dialogues which build relationships. And here leaders should be able to know how to contextualize, humanize the art of doing business. They should be able to rise above the deluge of information available and be able to connect with human dots and do it quickly.

Technology should not take away the values with which organizations function. Leaders should be able to manage the dichotomy between the valuation game and values. So leaders need to leverage technology to be able to do that. 

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Topics: HR Technology, #TechHR2016

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