Digitization on Boards 4th Edition | The Keys to High Performance

Digital leaders are key members of executive teams. As such we can consider them jointly responsible for organizational growth. Our 4th edition of ‘Digitization on Boards’ looks into the keys to digital performance.

Examining digitization through the eyes of digital leaders from High and Low Performing Organizations, we ask: What are successful digital executives (and their organizations) doing better? Where can digital executives and non-executive boards focus — and win?

Our report surfaces a ‘virtuous circle’ of confidence, competence and outcomes in digital leaders and their High Performing Organizations. But even strong performers have clear avenues to raise their digital game.

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Where can digital executives and boards focus to build healthy growth?

This highly targeted research compares the perspectives of a select group of C-suite or Board-level digital leaders from fast-growth organizations with low-performing equivalents. Both groups represented multiple sectors; approximately 40% with over 5000 employees. The fast-growing group posted minimum €50m revenue. The senior digital executives were asked to rate 2 major dimensions

  • Their own competencies
  • Their own organizational context

Our Dashboard Pinpoints Significant Competency Gaps and Opportunities

Job Voorhoeve, Leader of Amrop's Global Digital Practice, sets the scene: “In this complex environment, our research maps clear avenues for improvement to boost business performance through digitization. We argue that digital executives are jointly responsible for transformation, so they need to be fully up to speed on their own competencies. The research provides a dashboard that captures the main dimensions and skills CIOs and their equivalents need to master. These skills need to be hired, coached and mentored; they can no longer be left to chance. Digital executives deserve support in making the business case to boards in a clear and compelling way. In turn, boards should be in no doubt of their role in igniting an organization’s ability to harness the power of digital for transformation and growth.”

About the Amrop Digital Competency Model (ADCM). With 4 dimensions and 24 items, our model captures the core competencies for CIOs and equivalent leaders in the critical areas of Strategy, Organization, Culture and Skills. Its design is based on observations from hundreds of interviews with digital leaders and hiring organizations, as well as the academic literature on digital transformation. Our survey asked digital leaders to self-score on the indicators of our model.

Findings by Dimension

Looking at the big four dimensions of Strategy, Organization, Culture and Skills, similar numbers of leaders in the High Performing and Low Performing Organizations are confident about their technical abilities and digital DNA.

But HPO leaders are bigger-picture thinkers and better at adding business value where it counts. So if similar numbers of LPO and HPO leaders are technically confident (and we could argue these skills are core to their role), the HPO leaders do far better on the higher-order leadership dimensions: culture, strategy-setting and digital organization-building.

Examining the overall scores for our big four dimensions, (where leaders score a high 4 or 5 on their competencies) we find some significant gaps between the two groups. The largest lie in the ‘big-picture’ dimensions of strategy, organization and culture:

  • STRATEGY: Setting the digital roadmap: HPO leaders emerge as more visionary, transformative, and able to create human, social and commercial value. Looking at the overall scores in this dimension we find a 14% gap between the two groups; 75% of LPO leaders score 4 or 5, vs. 89% of HPO leaders.
  • ORGANIZATION: Engineering the Digital Ecosystem. HPO leaders take a more globalized outlook and they are better at connecting digitization to the needs of business stakeholders. When it comes to overall scores in this dimension we find a 12% gap between the two groups; 70% of LPO leaders score 4 or 5, versus 82% of HPO leaders.
  • CULTURE: Creating the digital mindset and skillset. HPO leaders have a more a forward-looking, ‘growth’ and adaptive mindset; they are better at cultivating wise decision-making in digitization and installing talent management. The overall scores in this dimension reveal a 17% gap between the two groups; 70% of LPO leaders score 4 or 5, vs. 87% of HPO leaders.
  • SKILLS: Possessing technical competencies. HPO leaders score significantly higher than LPO peers in meeting security needs across markets. They are also better at managing wide spectrum domains: big data and large scale vendors. The overall scores in this dimension show a 7% gap between the two groups; 74% of LPO leaders score 4 or 5, vs. 81% of HPO leaders.

Download to the Full Report to view the Amrop Digital Competency model and discover the specific items where leaders of high and low performing organizations post the biggest gaps. We invite you to use the model to run your own diagnosis.

Down the Full Report

Find the full story and data in our Report, as well as dashboards to run your own diagnosis.