Leadership for the digital economy

by Adrianna Gregory

Good leadership guides never go out of style—just read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, circa 500 BC. And there’s no shortage of advice out there, sound or not: you can sort through whole sections devoted to management how-tos in bookstores, or find more than 390 million articles on the topic on Google.

Leaders 2020But new digital technologies and the increasing pace of change have introduced fresh imperatives for today’s managers. We worked with SAP to survey more than 4,100 senior executives and non-executive employees in 21 countries to figure out which leadership qualities are most important in the digital economy, and how well managers are measuring up to these new criteria.

The short answer: most companies have a lot of work to do to get leadership up to speed for business today—particularly to develop digital proficiency among managers and employees, build effective diversity programs, streamline decision-making, and cultivate future leaders. But some organizations are further ahead in these areas; our analysis of this group of leaders shows they perform better in the marketplace and have happier, more engaged employees.  

You can find out more about the research program by reading our executive summary, infographic, and global fact sheet. Over the next few weeks, we will release more papers, graphics, country-specific fact sheets, and webinars that go deeper into the survey results. Stay tuned.

Adrianna Gregory is the Associate Editor for Technology at Oxford Economics.