What does a modern leader need in the digital age? What is the skill set you want to see in him or her? Bas Verhart of THNK Amsterdam names a couple of characteristics as the discussion starts: A leader needs to act with passion and a sense of purpose. A leader needs to be disciplined enough to choose and decide what he really feels passionate about and he needs to envision the future: “I spend at least one day a week thinking about the next decade”, he says. “I think this is fundamentally important”.
For Verhart another crucial characteristic leaders need today is being able to orchestrate a creative team – not a management team like you learn at business school. “Look at you fellow leaders. What do they do right? What can you learn? Finally look at yourself. What has worked in the past? You might be able to learn from yourself”.
Also on the panel: Salim Ismail. He is training a new generation of leaders to manage exponentially growing technologies at the Singularity University. He outlines a problem for leaders of large companies. Once you try to introduce dire needed change, the whole system will start fighting you. For Ismail it therefore sometimes makes sense to create disruptive teams like shown by Apple. Andrew Goldstein from Deloitte Digital moreover emphasizes the importance for big companies to move quickly and to „go out in the ecosystem“.
Finally, the conversation shifts to the question whether the working culture in big companies should change to make them more innovative. Moderator Amol Sarva suggests that all meetings should be cancelled and replaced with some innovative communication technology. Which that will be? Maybe we’ll know at the DLD 2016.