What to look for in digital transformation leaders

Digital transformation projects are changing the shape of the modern enterprise. CEOs can't just be business experts, they must understand how they can use technologies to keep pace with market demands. CIOs can't just focus on tech, they need a deep enough understanding of how organizations function to empower end users. CMOs aren't just running marketing initiatives, they're becoming the central hub for customer experience initiatives. These changes are creating a situation in which digitally maturing organizations need leaders with varied skill sets to push ahead.

The demand for strong digital leadership is particularly acute as many organizations are still in the relatively early stages of digital transformation projects.

Digital maturity at a glance
Deloitte recently released the results of a study on the digital maturity of enterprises across a wide range of industries. The survey asked respondents to rate their companies' level of maturing on a scale of 1-10, with respondents put into groups as early, developing or maturing. Just 25 percent of those polled ended up classified as maturing, which equated to a rating of 7 or higher. What's more, 12 percent of that group self-identified the lowest mature rank possible, scoring a seven.

Organizations in the early-to-mid stages of a digital transformation initiative have time to catch up and mature, and Deloitte found that the most mature companies achieve such results because they make digital elements an essential component of how they do business.

With this in mind, businesses must consider what digital leadership looks like.

Leaders for a digital age

"Digital transformation means constant and potentially business-defining change."

Digital transformation means constant and potentially business-defining change. Businesses must not only respond to market shifts and customer demands on an ongoing basis, but also constantly adjust their operational models, technological capabilities and customer-facing systems. A Forbes report identified the ability to change as one of the most important traits to look for in a digital leader, going so far as to say that leaders must not only be adaptable, but capable of dealing with change quickly and, ideally, proactively.

Finding the right leader for a digital transformation initiative requires a deep search, particularly as businesses must look for somebody who is not only an organizational fit, but who has the personality and skills needed to deal with consistent disruption and evolution. Expanding to a global executive search can be invaluable in this process, as it exposes organizations to talent that may be ignored with a more localized search and bolsters executive recruitment. Having a recruitment network in place isn't simple, however, and a strategic partnership can go a long way in helping businesses get ahead.

At YES Partners, we provide end-to-end consulting and support services for global executive hiring processes, giving organizations the tools they need to get ahead of the competition when looking for digital-minded talent.

To see some of the roles we have already successfully placed, click here.

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people for all company functions, across many industries.

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