Improving Digital Dexterity- 4 Things CIOs Can Do

To ensure the continued success and agility of an organization, all members must have the ambition and ability to use technology for better business outcomes. Digital Dexterity is the beliefs, mindsets, and behaviors that accelerate digital business transformation, and it is needed by employees and leaders alike. A digital dexterity survey conducted by Gartner indicates that high digital dexterity in an organization increases the chances of successful digital transformation by 3.3 times. There is no benefit for businesses to invest in modern technology if those within the company are not willing or able to utilize it. As a result, CIOs should strive to find ways to enhance the digital dexterity of their teams in pursuit of continued technological advancement.

Digital dexterity is not interchangeable with overall business agility, but it does contribute to its development. An organization will naturally be able to remain agile and adaptable as a whole when its employees are capable and enthusiastic to utilize new processes. The key elements of digital dexterity involve having both the ambition and the ability to work digitally and build a digital business, and it is up to the CIO to take strides to improve these elements.

Enhancing Digital Dexterity

While there are a variety of strategies that CIOs can implement to strengthen digital dexterity and resulting overall agility, here are some actions that minimize disruption within the organization and strengthen employee satisfaction along the way.

  1. Present the value of digital dexterity for all employees: The main issue for some employees may not be low digital dexterity, but rather they do not see the value and have not given meaningful effort to upskilling for a digital transformation. It helps to demonstrate that developing these digital skills will help employees grow individually and advance their careers forward. Making a personal connection with digital dexterity instead of just focusing on business needs helps employee engagement, willingness to learn, and eventual adoption.
  2. Establish passionate digital helpers: Employees who are above average in digital dexterity, are diligent learners and teachers, and have influence within their teams professionally are great candidates to help disseminate skills amongst their colleagues. These individuals lead by example, can offer a helping hand, and are on the frontlines of leading all employees to learn new digital skills. They also can provide more informal, timely help to their colleagues and peers on a personalized basis.
  3. Utilize emotional incentives for leadership: What motivates employees to improve their digital dexterity is not always the same as what motivates leadership. Enterprise leaders are not always as receptive to the advice of the CIO, and these leaders are generally used to teaching rather than being taught. However, only 16% of all leaders outside of IT have high digital dexterity, indicating that most members of leadership still have much to learn. It may be more beneficial for CIOs to utilize emotional incentives, aiming to cause self-reflection and change from within. This can be done in a variety of ways, one being behavior loops, underscoring the incentives of leaders and motivating them to help their own teams through digital transformation. These loops force leaders to change themselves first before they can help their team through digital change and reach their goals.
  4. Learn by Doing: Some employees’ current positions may not provide enough digital dexterity growth in everyday responsibilities and tasks. CIO responsibilities should include implementing training and experiential learning opportunities to help employees develop new skills and connections. These could include methods such as skills development sessions, online forums, and a digital marketplace to offer learning opportunities. This improves employee preparedness and digital knowledge, boosting overall company agility and transformation readiness.

The Role of the CIO in Digital Initiatives

CIOs play an integral role in ensuring that the leadership and employees in their organization have developed the digital skills necessary for any future modernization and adaptation. Instead of focusing on just teaching or training leadership to be digitally savvy, CIOs should focus on eliciting tangible behavioral changes in their routines and processes. This is best done, as mentioned, by leading employees to self-reflection and drawing upon their intrinsic motivation for success.

As digital initiatives are scaled, the CIO’s responsibilities include making strides for their teams to define and build their digital abilities to create a successful digitally oriented enterprise. In addition, CIOs must be willing to share technological responsibilities outside of just IT, as only 38% of senior leadership say their organization’s IT department encourages them to engage in technology management. By prioritizing digital dexterity for employees and leadership, organizations both accelerate digital transformation and strengthen employee engagement and satisfaction.

To learn more about how Collaborative Solutions can help your organization achieve digital dexterity, check out our Workday page.

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