Why digital transformation begins with business leadership

By David Lawrence |

Steve Jobs was famously quoted as saying "It doesn't make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do". Retrospectively, the entire technology, media and telecommunications industry can look back on this insight as being extraordinarily ahead of its time.

When the term 'digital transformation' cropped up a few years back, most industry folk probably thought that they had a fairly clear grasp of what this meant - however, what the phrase really refers to is a seismic shift in, not only the way that we reach our customers, but in the way we do business as a whole.

For technology, telecommunications and broadcast media, this had meant a complete internal restructuring of how teams are comprised, the skills required and an overall shift to agile, matrix organisational structures. The rapid disruption of these sectors means that it can seem impossible to keep up with the latest skills required to deliver cutting-edge, technology-driven experiences to customers which seamlessly integrate with all other products, services and platforms.

It can leave hiring managers with skills gaps in their teams and in low-churn organisations, the risk of falling behind competition where the opportunity to recruit new skills is infrequent. The huge surge in the use of contractors across the board is arguably evidence of the fact that hiring and upskilling practices are not an efficient way of getting new skills internally and are not able to respond fast enough.

What this all means is that the leaders within the business must be the ones responsible for leading this digital transformation. The revolution in this case must start from within, and the heads of companies must be able to learn the skills needed to lead their employees and colleagues into making better use of modern technology.

One recent report from Altimeter found that in 34% of cases, it is actually the chief marketing offer that leads the charge when it comes to digital transformation. This is likely due to the existing skill set that comes with their role. In fact, some companies are even introducing a new position, namely CDO or chief digital officer, to account for the importance of a successful digital transformation. However, going forward it is important that other business leaders, such as CEOs, CIOs and CTOs also take prominent leadership positions, so that the company overall can work more like a well oiled machine.

No matter what the strategy, having the right people in place to deliver value to customers is what will establish an organisation as a market leader, revealing new markets and revenue opportunities that transcend traditional boundaries which don't exist in a truly digital economy. For this purpose, it's a good idea to choose a recruitment company who know exactly what they're doing when it comes to choosing the business leaders of tomorrow. Vine Resources were established way back in 2004, and have decades of experience when it comes to choosing the brightest minds to make the difference in business. Our specialism is on recruiting within the technology, broadcast media and communications sectors, and when companies work with us they are always impressed by the talent that we match to the roles they need to fill.


Have you listened to the Vine Resources podcast show where we interview leaders in Technology, Media and Telecoms companies? Some amazing free content, subscribe now on iTunes

David Lawrence

Written by David Lawrence

David is the founder of Vine Resources.