The reality is that some concepts are so core to leading they do not change. After all the finances of a company are still based on revenue, costs and profit or Value for Money in the public sector. The need for leaders to have followers, for example, is going nowhere, however much technology we have around us. Does gaining followers go away with technology? No. How to gain followers though might be linked to different communication styles, given the speed at which strategy might change and decisions may pivot.

Other concepts, such as say, the concept of motivation is still here to stay but becomes more complex. The digital age is a context that makes motivation trickier. Motivating hybrid workers and/or (but often both) motivating people when their sector faces blips of even greater uncertainty than normal, are both challenging in different ways.

And there again, some concepts might be outdated. Hierarchy for one can feel outdated and yet always some sort of hierarchy exists. If not formally because organisations are in agile teams, then power dynamics exist. Hence why leading in the digital age needs a form of learning that allows for discussion and debate – to accommodate all that is challenging about it. It needs to draw on which concepts erode, endure, which evolve. In this way, learning can help modernise the business.

Our Client Solution

Just purely talking about how both technology and how digital transformation make leading more challenging is worthwhile. You can easily feel overwhelmed as a leader in the digital age. Knowing that it is more challenging can help you lean in. You can share the vulnerability that it brings with others and develop collaborative networks of support. Our client solution made space for such discussion. It positioned learning as a safe place to have that debate. Even in a session on leading, the value of traditional managing activities and processes that provide order and routines usefully emerged.

 Themes tend to include

  • Strategising in such a fast world where agile practices make you/ help you to ‘pivot’ more.
  • How we learn more about working in a hybrid world as we experience it and as what it means changes
  • How data might now drive decisions making but did it not always do so, and have we really made decision-making bias disappear with data? Of course not.

Importantly, concepts are intertwined in the moment and with critical thinking to help lean into the digital age where the challenge of leadership is greater. Activities help question just how much has changed, why and its importance and form in the context of each learner.

Key to this learning agenda is the socialisation that takes place in the sessions. Space is left for the socialisation of the learning amongst peers with activities that are productively reflective. Energy comes from the forming of a community that is respectful of leadership and the new context of the digital age that it sits in.

Value of Learning Transfer (VoLT)

Clients working in this area have choices around how to ensure learning is transferred. Tests can remind learners of how concepts are or are not changing in the digital age.  Confidence maps can help assess the willingness to lean into digital initiatives more post the course. Or nudges, personal experiments, and projects can run alongside or towards the end of learning sessions to try out new ways of behaving and working in practice. In the Managing, Leading, Personal Effectiveness (MLPE) practice in QA, alongside our Learning Transfer specialists, we can create ways that work with your budget and culture to support learning transfer. Think Tanks for example can assess blockers and enablers to feedback into line managers to help build on the learning in the workplace.

Contact us if you need to help your leaders become more confident about what leadership needs to look and feel like in the digital age. We will work hard to contextualise the learning to your learner roles, your organisation and your sector has given we work with so many companies of varying digital maturity from how to high to everything in between.


*Please note this is a generic case study drawn from one or more client solutions, incorporating ongoing CI/CD to create a case that can be related to, and which avoids commercial confidentiality issues.