Digital Leadership - A White Paper

Digital technologies are transforming business at a rapid pace and opening new ways of identifying, approaching, and interacting with consumers. Less visibly, but equally important, digitization enables companies to run their businesses more nimbly, efficiently, and strategically.

All the tools that allow companies to communicate with their customers more-easily permit more rapid and frequent communication with suppliers, stakeholders, and partners.

And it appears that digital change is accelerating. Rapid obsolescence and frequent product updates raise the digital stakes — the need to stay current not only with changing technologies, but with how consumers want to use those technologies to satisfy their life needs and how suppliers/partners are using them to manage their businesses.

Dr. Robert E. Lewis, Chief Assessor at APTMetrics, has written a new white paper that discusses various definitions of “digital leadership,” looks at the implications on talent, provides a couple of real-world examples, and offers “where to start” recommendations for the future-focused enterprise.

Topics Include

The Landscape

39% of CEOs have placed digital transformation as the top priority for their CIOs

67% of CIOs said creating new revenue-generating initiatives is among their job responsibilities

Talent Implications

Many organizations are assessing the impact of these trends on how they identify and manage talent; and on the talent capabilities they need to buy/build to succeed in the future.

Defining Digital Leadership

Our discussions with clients suggest it is a concept that relates to digital technology and must be shaped to align with the strategic focus of the business. Examples:

  • Fortune® 50 fast-moving consumer goods company: a functional definition
  • Fortune 50 retailer: an enterprise approach to digital leadership

Implications for Leadership

In some respects, the introduction of digital technologies does not change what leaders have to do or consider.

Where to Start?

This is an important question that leadership must answer to create intentional, measurable, and accountable change in talent and business outcomes.



It is important to identify what “digital” means to your organization. It can be a mindset that informs the thinking and expands the perspectives of the entire organization, or a capability that can be applied to drive functional outcomes. Resolving this clarifies the competencies that will be affected and lends focus to the assessment process so you can drive change and track progress. These steps sharpen the ability of the company to take advantage of digital opportunities and support digital transformation.