Last Friday I was fortunate enough to be invited along to a Digital Skills Summit at Mansion House in London.  It was organised and opened by Peter Estlin, the Lord Mayor of London whose theme is ‘Shaping Tomorrow’s City Today’.

Here are the key points I found interesting for our field of organisational, digital culture change .

The Future of Work (reference: WEF report on The Future of Jobs 2018)
There is a building re-skilling imperative: By 2022, no less than 54% of all employees will require significant re- and up-skilling. Of these, about 35% are expected to require additional training of up to six months, 9% will require re-skilling lasting six to 12 months, while 10% will require additional skills training of more than a year. Skills continuing to grow in prominence by 2022 include analytical thinking and innovation as well as active learning and learning strategies. Sharply increasing importance of skills such as technology design and programming highlights the growing demand for various forms of technology competency identified by employers surveyed for this report. Proficiency in new technologies is only one part of the 2022 skills equation, however, as ‘human’ skills such as creativity, originality and initiative, critical thinking, persuasion and negotiation will likewise retain or increase their value, as will attention to detail, resilience, flexibility and complex problem-solving. Emotional intelligence, leadership and social influence as well as service orientation also see an outsized increase in demand relative to their current prominence.   There will be a net decline of jobs in manufacturing and an increase in jobs in health, social work (including coaching, counselling and psychology) and professional services.  One of the speakers described 3 types of workers:

  • Red People who have the technical IT skills
  • Blue People who understand the markets and have the softer skills
  • And, a growing need for ‘Purple People’ who have a mix of these skills ie it will be about mindset and skillset.  Important for those companies building their strategies for digital transformation.

The Digital Future of Leadership Culture
Digital cultures will bring in new challenges for leaders.  For example, the move from decision making from the HIPPO (highest paid person’s opinion) to data driven analyses.  136 studies of expert decisions versus algorithmic predictions showed that the HIPPO decisions were the best in only 8% of the examples.  HIPPOs are unlikely to move aside quietly!  Digital leadership is also about navigating ambiguity because of the sheer volume of data and ‘fake news’ now available.  It will become all about the leadership capability to make sense of the content. Digital cultures can be democratising but can also build power in the super corporations such as Google. Digital cultures are homogenising but they squash us into groups and risk polarising society.

Digital Culture Change

Global Standard to Drive the Digital Culture
Dr Yuhyun Park, spoke about the work she has been doing on developing a global standard for digital skills.  Visit for more information.  Digital Intelligence (DQ) is a comprehensive set of technical, cognitive, and socio-emotional competencies that enable individuals to face the challenges of and adapt to the demands of digital life. DQ consists of 8 broad areas: digital identity, use, safety, security, emotional intelligence, communication, literacy, and rights; across 3 levels: Digital Citizenship, Digital Creativity, and Digital Entrepreneurship. DQ thus brings together education agendas of digital literacies, with industry efforts to develop digital skills: encompassing digital citizenship, digital resilience, media and information literacy, job readiness, entrepreneurship, and more. Digital Intelligence equips individuals to become wise, competent, and responsible digital citizens who creatively use, control, and create technology to improve individual and societal dignity, prosperity, and well-being.

We will be working across all of these areas in early 2019 to build a set of core digital leadership competencies.  Want to know more or to get involved in this project?

Get in touch with us today.