Self-assessment – Digital leadership skills

Vain business man checking his looks in mirror

© Tweeter Linder 2017 – All rights reserved. Photo by iStock.

A previous blog-post addressed 10 digital leaderships skills worth possessing. A post triggering questions about how to measure your starting point and progress. Both for individuals and teams. This post contains a set of self-assessment questions. For you and your team to ask yourself when preparing for suitable development plans. Creating a baseline for your digital leadership development.

Expectation setting for this self-assessment

For each digital leadership capability, you see a ladder with 10 steps. To support your development in small incremental steps. The exact order is not important. But you can see the scale as steps on a ladder. Where you master all steps 1-9 before you reach 10.

The adopted scale support leaders in early stages of your digital leadership journey. Where you should expect to score 0 or 1 when starting your digital leadership journey. AS the reality for most leaders is we start as digital immigrants.

Whenever it is possible to define 2 broader steps for a capability. 1-5 refers to basic skills and 6-10 for advanced.

It is not realistic to expect one leader to master all 10 capabilities. But in a leadership team you can target to have one advanced team member for each capability. Digital diversity in this sense come from a team mastering all capabilities together.

Become an ambidextrous leader

  1. 100% focused on delivering on in-year targets in the performance zone.
  2. Address strategic questions for the future in the yearly strategic planning process.
  3. Address 1-2 strategic questions quarterly as part of a cross functional team.
  4. Turn strategic questions into defined strategies in 60 days.
  5. Dedicate 10% of personal time weekly to develop strategies and strategy execution.
  6. Turn defined strategies into strategy execution initiatives within 90 days of definition.
  7. Dedicate 20% of personal time weekly to develop strategies and strategy execution
  8. Turn defined strategies into strategy execution initiatives within 45 days of completion.
  9. Dedicate 10% of personal time to refine our unit’s contribution to a corporate initiative.
  10. Dedicate 15% of personal time to deliver on our unit’s defined contribution.
  11. Dedicate 25% of personal time to executing on a company-wide digital transformation initiative.

Engage in conversations on the digital arena

  1. Not participating myself in social media channels for marketing and sales purposes.
  2. Have an active LinkedIn account, but no professional twitter/Instagram accounts.
  3. Share my company’s insights on LinkedIn weekly through an employee advocacy program.
  4. Share my company’s insights on LinkedIn and Twitter/Instagram daily.
  5. Work with my company’s thought leaders to increase the quality of our digital content.
  6. Contribute in formulating industry opinions in blogs, videos or podcasts monthly.
  7. Work with thought leaders in other companies to refine our industry positions.
  8. Reverse mentor an Executive on digital influencing and communication.
  9. Followed by more than 4 000 people on LinkedIn or Twitter/Instagram.
  10. Followed by more than 10 000 people on LinkedIn or Twitter/Instagram.
  11. A well-known industry super connector respected in my field of expertise.

Understand your digital discovery journeys

  1. Have a limited understanding of our digital marketing strategy and execution.
  2. Follow my company’s outbound marketing efforts, e.g. Web, Social media accounts and Blogs.
  3. Recognize the steps in our digital discovery journey, but do not develop content.
  4. See our digital discovery journey as an integrated part of our customer engagements.
  5. Engage with our content teams to provide input to new content to enhance our journeys.
  6. Leverage the digital lead generation to speed up the build of a high-quality funnel.
  7. Lead evangelizing in my management team about how leverage our digital discovery journeys. To improve sales results.
  8. Challenge our marketing organization to evolve the discovery journeys. To map even better to customers buying decision process.
  9. Speed up the move of suitable offering segments into an all-digital flow. From marketing through sales and delivery.
  10. Contribute to raising the content quality level. In the 2-3 most critical aspects of the digital buying experience.
  11. Optimize how the content assets in our outside-in centric digital discovery journey. To support customer in each step in the buying decision process.

Learn the role of lean flows across your business

  1. Drive business efficiency with detailed scorecards for all organizational units.
  2. Contribute to defining a strategy for company-wide adoption of lean principles.
  3. Identify the 5-8 most vital customer value adding flows across our company.
  4. Identify and select metrics to measure success in each flow.
  5. Measure the current values on the key metrics adopted.
  6. Identify the flow bottlenecks representing easy wins for improvements.
  7. Put in place resolutions that current IT systems can support.
  8. Define an improvement plan for the flows requiring larger or IT enabled changes.
  9. Automate flows and data hand over points as far as possible.
  10. Flows improved in steps with sustaining innovations across the organization.
  11. Consider all vital customer adding flows digitized and automated.

Understand strategic data and algorithm assets

  1. Understand and take business actions based on data compiled from existing systems.
  2. Define which data we see as strategic to track about how customers buy and use our offerings.
  3. Use data ales and support flows to refine proposition and offerings.
  4. Suggest new ways for structuring and compiling existing data. To provide better insights.
  5. Suggest new data points to measure to better understand details of our own business.
  6. Start development of new algorithms. To close identified gaps in how we present business insights.
  7. Engage with our data scientists on how to develop our data and algorithm as a competitive edge.
  8. Automate the collection of data from our smart connected products deployed with customers.
  9. Understand how our data assets affect our risk exposure to fraud and cyber-crime.
  10. Contribute to refining our strategy and execution for data storage and algorithm execution. Balancing between on-premises and public cloud solutions.
  11. Consider our data assets and algorithms to be well structured. Secure and generating an easy to understand foundation for business decisions.

Craft creative collaboration communities

  1. Each team have a common storage area and use e-mail for information sharing.
  2. The communities I take part in are ad-hoc and bottom-up. Where each community have freedom to select their own tools.
  3. I struggle with prioritizing time between my communities. And keeping up with all information posted.
  4. The scope for my communities now include new tools. For on-line collaborations, digital Kan-Ban boards and knowledge sharing,
  5. We have streamlined collaboration environment for all around a common set of tools. To support employees moving between groups at ease.
  6. We use the latest collaboration tools from Microsoft (Skype, SharePoint, Delve, Tasks), or Google (Docs, Drive etc.). And leverage best practices around these standard tools.
  7. We have introduced top-down structured communities for strategic collaboration priorities.
  8. I take an active role as a leader in defining 3 and 6 month priorities. For each collaboration communities I sponsor.
  9. I take an active role in securing we have critical mass of experts. Key contributors to secure each community remain active.
  10. I involve my communities in addressing key questions. From our customers or our business issues we face.
  11. We have well-functioning collaboration communities enabling innovation and complex problem solving. All supported with a proven community concept and tools. Covering Collaborative document writing, Digital Kan-Ban boards, Community groups and Knowledge sharing.

Develop digital courage to lead in VUCA terrain

  1. I take business decisions when all facts are clear. And take Investment decisions based on predictable business forecasts.
  2. I am a digital immigrant, but I rather take actions and learn early, rather than wait and be a digital follower.
  3. I am growing my digital courage. By managing and navigating situations in grey zones. Rather than postponing decision until all is clear.
  4. I influence the development of a clear fact base. Framed around the 3-5 most important questions before big decisions.
  5. I aspire to take decisions when 60-80% of the decision base is clear. And pivot later for the areas where my initial decision was wrong.
  6. I learn from best practice in the military. For how to deal with vulnerability, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.
  7. We encourage and trust small diverse teams. To take on the most complex business challenges we face and give them tight deadlines.
  8. We aspire to take complex decision in many smaller steps. To reduce risks associated with VUCA in steps.
  9. When addressing complex issues, we have all three critical roles covered. The teacher helping the team to understand. The skeptic who challenge the Teacher until the path is firm. The Go-Getter who secure we can move fast from decision to execution.
  10. We see mistakes and failure as an opportunity to learn and move forward. As long as we do each mistake once and share insights from mistakes as frequent as we share successes.
  11. Our leaders act with transparency and integrity in the digital domain. And have a clear structure in place for how to navigate in a business world characterized by VUCA.

Learn and share experiences on a daily basis

  1. I learn through on-the-job training and from instructor led classes.
  2. I dedicate 1 hour each week to learn a new subject.
  3. I am comfortable to leverage digital classes, e.g. Webinar and MOOCs to learn.
  4. I dedicate 15minutes a day to my personal development.
  5. I teach by sharing learnings to colleagues. Through lunch & learn sessions, internal webinars and digital courses.
  6. I teach outside my own company.
  7. I learn from reflecting on my weekly experiences as my primary source of learnings.
  8. I share my learnings through company collaboration groups.
  9. We capture learnings from leading edge pursuits with a daily-build of customer insights.
  10. I apply commercial teaching towards customers on a regular basis.
  11. I apply extreme reflections and post my learning several times per week.

Adopt quarterly execution around a few priorities

  1. We operate with yearly goals. Balanced scorecards and performance reviews for teams and individuals. Daily actions to move the business day by day.
  2. We review our performance and adjust our yearly goals at a mid-term reviews.
  3. All our goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timed (SMART). On both team and individual level.
  4. I provide a clear context around each goal. To secure my team understand both what and why related to our goals.
  5. I activate goals on team and individual level to assure all team members are on board
  6. I have defined quarterly goals around 3-5 priorities for my team
  7. I have broken down the quarterly team goals down to 1-2 individual priorities per team member.
  8. My team has defined the 3-5 quarterly priorities we execute on this quarter.
  9. My team secure quarterly goal fulfillment through monthly individual plans.
  10. My team share goals in a transparent way with peer organizations. Both results from last quarter and goals for this quarter.
  11. We have a well-functioning operational structure. Operating with 3-5 quarterly priorities and monthly follow-up across our company.

Understand classic and future digital cultures

  1. I see digital transformation as focused on technology and business model centric shifts. Affecting what we sell and how we market.
  2. I realize digital transformation requires a large cultural change. But I am unclear over what to keep from our cultural heritage. And what we need to develop as part of our digital culture.
  3. I promote a culture where we take actions before everything is clear. And pivot as needed on the way to reach a satisfactory end-result.
  4. I delegate authority to information. To avoid senior or mid-management becoming bottlenecks. In the daily decisions in customer value adding flows.
  5. I share Information to make sure all in my team act with a clear view of known business facts.
  6. I promote a broad digital innovation agenda to take us into an unknown future.
  7. We accept high failure rates for our innovation initiatives. And grow success by increasing the amount of initiatives we run.
  8. We have embraced customer led innovation as our mantra. Starting in solid customer understandings, resulting in high success rates.
  9. We execute on both sustaining and disruptive innovation agendas with clear innovation objectives.
  10. We execute one major businesses transformation initiative at a time.
  11. We have a complete digital culture that allow us to adapt and grow faster than markets transform.

Path forward

By taking and reflecting on this self-assessment you are ready to make a difference. You have a baseline to frame a development path around. A baseline you can apply to both your personal and your team’s development. You have ideas on which step you can evolve in. with a perspective your development will come in many small incremental steps. Most important you have a new perspective. for the large and multi-facetted journey, ahead of you. Good luck on your journey to strengthen your digital leadership.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s