by Tracey Wik
I was speaking at a succession planning conference for a group of senior HR and Talent Management leaders recently, and I was pleased to see the acceptance of executives of the digital age. I don’t mean to be flippant, but having been an early adopter of these technologies and I have found it fascinating the dichotomy between one’s connectivity at work and one’s connectivity at home. I have also seen it thwart the building of people and organizational capabilities.
While something like 50% of the world’s population is under 30, the cadre of people running most large, global organizations is Baby Boomers. The digital divide has typically meant the gap between those who have access to technology as opposed to those that do not, but at this conference, it was as defined by “those who are using agile mobile platforms in their leadership development strategy and those who are not.” Most corporations have formal social media policies in place, and limit access to personal sites during work hours. There are those exceptions of course where social media by employees is a cornerstone of the employee value proposition as well as the brand, like Zappos.
The conversation about agility mobility was lively when discussing how to close the gap on the necessary skills needed to compete today and in the future. The majority of people in the room are being pulled by the demand of their employees to engage with them in ways that work e.g., getting coaching guides on their smart phones. This is a good thing, and if you do not have a digital strategy in place, now is the time to consider how your competitors will leave you behind.
The Chally Questionnaire does not measure specific digital skills, but the mistake people often make is assuming that how to be a good digital citizen is different than how to be a good corporate citizen. The fact of the matter is, the key to a successful digital strategy requires many of the same skills bricks and mortar or face-to-face demand with one exception—an understanding of the appropriate tool and technology to align with the culture.
Like most things in life, this is simple and not easy to do. When implementing a leadership development program, we advocate our clients embed agility mobility in the design of the deliverables. While this is not Chally’s core skill, we have partners who are cutting-edge in this domain. There are all kinds of research studies that talk about the need for consistent habits over an extended period of time to change behaviors. Given that most of us spend more time connected to our phone than any other possession, what better platform to remind people of those habits than your hand-held device? Give your employees what they want!