Guide for developing Digital Leaders

 1. Whether big or small, organisations need Digital Leaders to identify and deliver the most strategically valuable commitment to Digital

… because there is often a lack of clarity on how Digital contributes to achieving the strategic objectives of an organisation

 2. Digital Leads are either not skilled or positioned in the organisational hierarchy to help lead organisational change

… when they find themselves, in effect, spearheading the change process triggered by the increased investment in Digital

 3. Senior management often do not realise the extent to which this is happening and the support that might be required

 4. Often digital change is pushed through without Digital Leadership

 5. Data is seen as the remit of IT/Data teams and Digital Leads are often excluded from decisions around the investment in new data systems

…even though data is essential for the successful running of any digital operation

 6. This has negative impact on digital marketing, which is based around access to real-time data

….and it’s already felt by digital teams who face many issues with legacy data systems and processes

 7. Digital change is happening, but slowly

The slow pace of change, implemented without Digital Leadership represents a risk for organisations: it keeps them lagging behind their audience and can lead to a slow death

 8. Organisations need Digital Leads who will identify how Digital can contribute to an organisation’s vision and how that is implemented on all levels

9. But non-profits are not investing in Digital Leadership – many Digital Leads feel underqualified, undervalued and limited by an organisation’s culture and/or its senior management to lead and deliver what is needed

What this means for organisations, Senior Managers and Digital Leads

1. The change needs to start from and within the existing leadership of an organisation...

…by accepting that the success of the organisation is dependant on the strategic development of Digital, spearheaded by a Digital Leader who, ideally, sits at the decision-making table of the organisation

2. Senior managers – trust and help your Digital Leads...

… allow them to make mistakes and provide support so they can learn from those mistakes.

3...and trust yourselves

Not knowing what Digital Leads do doesn’t mean it’s impossible to manage them (like with Fundraising, Media/PR, Marketing and IT) so it should be easy to involve them in decision-making.

4. Digital Leads – stop complaining that “Management doesn’t get it"...

5. ...because YOU are the managers of tomorrow

6. Learn how to manage the stresses of day-to-day tasks which sometimes stand in the way of responding to colleagues’ request in a supportive way...

7. ...and learn how to manage up the organisational hierarchy

If you think that senior managers don’t get it, but you do, focus on developing trusting relationships and help them buy into your vision.

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