BUSINESS leaders in the South West must become digitally-savvy to help create a stronger, more resilient local economy for the future, it has been claimed.
While regional businesses are investing in digital technology, many senior managers are failing to arm themselves with the digital skills needed to help drive their business forward today and in the years to come.
Julie Hawker, CEO of Honiton-based training consultancy Cosmic, said that executives must embrace digital and understand how it can impact their business’s plans, products and services, to help create a firm footing for future development and success.
Julie was speaking as Cosmic launched its new Digital Leadership programme, which aims to train leaders across the region in digital strategy, skills and thinking.
She said: “We want to create a new generation of business leaders. A change of mindset and approach by executives and decision-makers when it comes to digital transformation is a must to help strengthen them and their business in today’s digital world and well into the future.
“Digital technology has a profound influence on the way businesses work but research has shown that there is little or no real understanding of what digital leadership actually is.
“While many businesses may have been addressing the need to ‘digitise’ their operations, it is essential that those at senior executive and board levels adopt a new mindset and approach to digital themselves, to ensure a stronger future development not just for their business, but for the region as a whole.”
The advanced Digital Leadership training programme offers support, mentoring and training. The course will be led by Julie and Kate Doodson, joint CEO, who between them have more than 30 years’ experience working in the digital sector.
Kate said: “The phrase ‘digital leadership’ will become common parlance soon, as it will be a way to demonstrate progressive and engaged leadership in a digital world.”
According to Gartner, the world’s leading information technology research and consultancy company, a quarter of all businesses will lose their market share by 2017 if they do not change work models and become digitally savvy.
“Embracing digital has become a business imperative,” added Kate. “It is time for business leaders in the South West to grasp the nettle and understand how to bring digital into strategic thinking to create a stronger future economy for our region.”
The programme will involve access to the latest local, national and international strategic thinking on digital leadership and new business models, plus ways to increase productivity in their business.
Topics covered include the digital workforce, business innovation, digital disruption, strategy and change management.
Cosmic is running free taster sessions for South West businesses, taking place on May 12 and 25 and June 16.
The taster sessions will give an insight to the four modules being run in the Digital Leadership programme:
- Digital Vision – why your business needs a digital strategy, review of the digital economy, recent developments and the trends ahead
- Digital Roadmap – what forces are impacting on business models, digital disruption and taking advantage of the business opportunities available
- Digital Development – developing your business with digital innovations at heart
- Digital Mindsets – your leadership, culture, attitudes and capabilitieswww.cosmic.org.uk/leaders.
As part of the programme, Cosmic have produced a White Paper on Digital Leadership which provides reflections on the challenges which leaders and managers face in dealing with the changes that digital technology brings. For a copy, please email [email protected]