Author: Tone S. Ringtstad (Founder and CEO at Culturengine)

Working shoulder to shoulder with a robot will be a challenge, we get that. Leading it, in reality, will be even a bigger challenge. The good news is that it will be a while for most of us.

You may, however, as a leader, already next week be faced with the fact that a part of the value chain is outsourced to technology. There will be a software or an app or may be even a robot that will be responsible for a part of the company service or deliverables. Great for the corporate value creation, may be not so great for the person that used to have that job, or for you as a leader who used to lean on that person….?

So the key question is, how can we design a culture that is aligned on the road to the digital world. What kind of new work processes do we need to design? What are the values we need to be really good at to make that work? What is the cultural gap we need to address?

Our experience in leadership and cultural design points to three critical core values for coping with the digital entry:

Accountability – you need more than ever to know what you are accountable for, what your leadership is expected to result in. What you are accountable for will help you appreciate and integrate technology with a more holistic approach.

Synergy – which parts or resources are more dependant on each other in the digital reality? Who is involved, and how can you create ownership for a shared effort to embrace the digital strategy?

Agility – your ability to lean in and appreciate and build on change, and reset your mindset as you go along, will be critical. Are you open to new ideas? Will you explore and take risks to find new ways to results? How you, the leader, is fit to do that, might be your key question in the digital future.

Leadership the traditional way is under attack. Building the right culture will prepare the ground for digitalisation. Thinking this sounds like the soft side of business may be your worst mistake. We believe that if you can manage the cultural part, chances are that you will do good in leading the digital part, too.

It is this time of the year that strategies and new annual plans are launched in many businesses. How does the digital culture process show up in your KPIs, your predicted bonus schemes and specially your leadership evaluations?