Picture the ideal company for the digital economy: now place your organisation in that vision by acting on three critical imperatives.
Picture the ideal company for the digital economy: It is nimble. Its employees are engaged and have strong relationships with their managers and with each other, and its executives are up to date on technology and leadership skills. Decisions—from the smallest to the most strategic—are made quickly and easily across the organisation.
This vision of a digital company looks a lot like that of a well-run small-to-midsize businesses (SMBs). Indeed, SMBs should have some critical advantages over their larger competitors in the fast-paced digital world: owing to their leaner structure and less bureaucracy, opportunities for more personal relationships, less inertia, and fewer barriers to change.
Yet the reality is more complicated, wouldn’t you agree? Most SMBs face similar digital-transformation hurdles and growing pains as their bigger rivals. In a recent survey, Oxford Economics recently interviewed more than 4,000 senior executives and employees to uncover three critical imperatives for SMB leaders to leapfrog into the digital HR transformation, the first of which to use their size to their advantage.
One hallmark of digital proficiency is the ability to make meaningful decisions quickly.
SMBs have a huge advantage over larger competitors in that their inherent strengths, such as a flatter structure and leaner teams, position them for successful change of any type. When asked what factors will most influence their business over the next three years, SMB employees were most likely to cite technology change and the transition to the digital economy.
Then what’s holding them back? Leadership. Many employees from SMBs agree that mid-management lacks essential skills for navigating digital transformation. Worse, they are less likely than larger companies to give the problem adequate attention.
What can you do about it? Eliminate bureaucracy! One hallmark of digital proficiency is the ability to make meaningful decisions quickly. Currently, only about half of SMB executives say decisions are data-driven, made in real time, or mapped to company strategies.
Owing to their inherent advantages in size and leaner structures, SMBs have two additional critical imperatives which they can easily leverage to make a leap into the digital economy. Find out what these are, and how you can win at digital transformation – download the whitepaper “Leaders 2020: The next-generation executive – leadership matters for SMBs.”
Change is never easy—but it may be easier for SMBs than for their larger peers. Overhauling leadership for the digital economy — whether by updating the decision-making process across the organisation, upskilling executives and employees, changing organisational structures, or communicating a company-wide digital strategy — ought to be easier for smaller companies. Go forth and persevere!
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