FAQ 13: What makes a great digital transformation leader?

FAQ 13: What makes a great digital transformation leader?

Lindsay Herbert, keynote speaker and author of the acclaimed book ‘Digital Transformation’ continues her series answering frequently asked questions on the subject of digital transformation.

Here Lindsay answers the question, “What makes a great Digital Transformation leader?”


Hi, I’m Lindsay Herbert and today’s Friday’s answered question is: “What makes a great digital transformation leader?”

Now, I get asked this all the time, because when I was researching my book, I spent three years interviewing people who led major innovation programs and digital transformation programs for their companies. It didn’t matter what part of the world they were from, what kind of company they’d worked for, the things that stood out the most were probably three traits.

The first is that a good digital transformation leader can actually spot the problem. They understand that the company’s core mission is no longer properly aligned with what its products and services are, and that it’s not just a case of trying to optimize those products and services that a more radical change or series of changes as needed.

Second trait is that they have the same passion and the same determination of making those changes happen in q1 as they do in q4. This is important because everyone’s passionate about innovation in q1, when you’ve got a full budget and you’re just talking about the things you want to do. When it’s q4 and you’ve run out of budget and maybe some things haven’t gone so well, you still have to have that passion and determination, because you gotta convince people to spend the next round of money in the next q1 and that’s hard.


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Trait number three is that you absolutely have to be trusted and respected and aligned with the other leaders in the company. Even if you’re the CEO, you cannot lead digital transformation if you don’t have the trust and respect of the other leaders that you were leading them towards a goal that everyone will benefit from reaching, because if not they’re not going to help you remove the barriers that you’ll definitely end up coming across where you’ll need HR and finance and operations and various other parts of the business to rally with you to remove those barriers.

So those are the best traits I’ll show the worst in a separate video. Otherwise, thanks!


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