How 21st Century Human am I…

This might seem a slightly odd question without the right context.  The context is the DXC Leading Edge Forum has recently published a number of articles focusing on this very subject, with the key message that Leaders (Executives )need to become 21st century humans first before they can lead 21st century organisations

This is quite a jump from old/traditional organisations where it was almost expected that the Chairman and the Board were naturally a long way away from understanding their workers.  Nowadays, it has been proven many times that a successful leader has to lead by example rather than simply by dictat.

The sort of questions that get posed are:
– How do you keep up with the Digital Skills Gap
– How does Digital Immersion help
– How to develop a Digital mindset and culture
– Do I really know what Digital Disruption is and how can I ensure I am the disruptor rather than am disrupted

What does this mean for the leaders/executives who already consider themselves to be technlogists; Its about situational awareness (cue Wardley Maps as one would expect such a technologist to be already very aware of many of the areas within this topic group…or are they and in fact potentially ignoring a lot of the core themes that are facing them every day

I am going to very simply augment each of the areas described for the 21st Century Human and provide just one  or two potential examples that a technologist could deploy:  These are just examples and would expect many more to be proposed to provide an holistic view:

Upgrading digital tools and abilities – two example here as there are two points. Firstly ,research one specific disruptor in the market such as Shared Ledgers/Bitcoins. Secondly not only read about Agile development approaches but get yourself immersed into and be active in an active Agile project

Developing personal brand and purpose – is your linkedin profile what you really want people to think of you? Do you separate work from business posts?

Listening and learning – of course, listening and learning to the “right people” – For listening – check out who you actively follow on Twitter. (Plug for Lewis Richards – ) For learning – immerse into specific areas of data analytics and data modelling ; are you using a good selection of news feeds that filtered enough to be good for your needs

Exploiting digital to amplify productivity – it would be nice to have “get in your self driving car” but we are not quite there yet, so something a bit more 2017 such as using an workplace tool that is more than simply a to-do list. For example, the whole set of Atlassian tools from Trello to Confluence

Collaborating at speed – do you regularly spin off a discussion thread on one of the social media platforms you use? Are you using multiple platforms (twitter, facebook, yammer , slack) to maximise collaboration or is it all getting overwhelming…

Leading by example – its an obvious point, but be the leader rather than the follower.  Actively fork some content on Github and propose some content changes to be pulled in. (note: this doesn’t necessarily need to be actual “code” of course). Is your “tech” helping or hindering e.g. are you carrying too many devices that all do similar things, have you got some Apple Airpods yet…

Using a structure and examples as above, allows the Executive/Leader to get the very best and formative view of what 21st Digital actually means.  From this base it allows a significantly more proactive approach to right-skilling in the 21st Century organisation , understanding what digital disruptors could be relevant, and overall ensure that the digital culture is at the forefront of the organisation



Xlabs brochure:

LEF 21st Century Human test

LEF 21st Century Human interview with Dan Hushon




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