Older Gentleman Smiling And Talking Into Ipad With Headphones On

How to become digitally savvy

The digital world demands it

Written by Dr Shaun Ridley FAIM
2 minute read
Older Gentleman Smiling And Talking Into Ipad With Headphones On

Few things are certain about the future, but you can be reasonably confident that whatever happens, you will need to be increasingly digitally savvy.

Enhanced knowledge, skill and attitude that signal you are up-to-date, competent and positive about the rapid pace of change in a digital world is essential.

This digital capacity applies at several levels.

At a personal level, your comfort with small individual devices that improve your own productivity, performance and health are already common place. The likelihood is they will get smaller, more pervasive, more powerful and will impact us 24/7.

At a strategic, organisational level, it’s almost impossible to predict the winners and losers with innovations, technologies and applications.

At a minimum, we will all need to be light on our feet; able to change direction and respond at short notice.

So, how might you become more digitally savvy?

Unfortunately, there is no single source of truth; no electronic encyclopaedia of contemporary wisdom.

This means you need to be vigilant in scanning the environment for what’s new, what’s working, what’s old and still going strong, and what consensus is building around predictions for the future.

You won’t want to miss the power of 5G, big data, the internet of things etc. because you weren’t paying attention to what was happening in your environment.

Being digitally savvy also means you will need to work hard to adopt new technologies as they emerge.

Find an early adopter to coach you through the finer points and help monitor your progress.

With the pace of change unlikely to slow, your failure to keep up-to-date will be exposed quickly.

Imagine being the only person in your organisation who never learnt the equivalent of using a mobile phone, ATM or streaming service. At best this will be embarrassing, at worst, career suicide.

One more small step in the next 24 hours

Commit to being curious about digital technology both inside and outside your organisation.

Take an interest in how technologies  are  evolving  across  all  industries,  not  just  your own. What can you learn from how other industries are applying digital expertise to solve problems?

Try to stimulate the same curiosity amongst your team.

Keep up-to-date with your own use of technology. Put some money aside to enable you to have the latest phone or other favourite digital device. Learn the new features and use the device to its full capacity.

Ask yourself

What impact could this action have on your leadership success? 

How likely is it you could implement this action successfully?