The IFIDZ regularly conducts studies on the topics of leadership culture in the digital age, both independently and in collaboration with renowned institutes. These studies provide profound insights into the current situation, but also into change processes.
Meta study 2019: Leadership Competences in the Digital Age
“Which competences do leaders need in order to lead successfully in the age of digitisation?” To find answers to this question, the IFIDZ analysed 61 studies and surveys published between 2012 and 2018 on the topic of “Leading & Leadership” looking at aspects such as:
- Which competences do leaders need – according to the studies – in the digital age?
- Which new competences are expected from them? And:
- Which competences are most relevant for leadership success?
Meta study 2017: Leadership in the Digital Age
The meta study analyses 30 studies published between 2012 and 2016 on the following range of topics:
- Which competences are really relevant for leaders in the digital age?
- Which skills obviously play hardly any or a minor role? And:
- What is the significance of “digital” and “agile” versus “analog” competences?
Trend study Alpha Intelligence
What leaders of tomorrow need
The study which was conducted in September 2014 in collaboration with the F.A.Z. Institute, analyses the relevant soft skills of leaders in the digital age. A survey was conducted amongst 100 first and second management level executives of companies in Germany – quoted by company size and industry, applying the methodology of Computer Aided Telephone Interviewing (CATI).
Network intelligence and an empathetic approach are emerging more and more to be crucial skills for successful leadership. Thus, confidence in dealing with new media is one of the fundamental attributes that enable the strategic establishment and the careful maintenance of those indispensable networks. Within all of that, however, the focus is on the human being: the person behind the employee, the customer and the supplier. As a result, personal contact is becoming imperative – especially and in particular in the digital age.
Strategically established and carefully maintained networks save costs and time on the path to success, according to the interviewees. Within a company, digital networking enhances team building, but also establishing networks beyond the boundaries of the company. Particularly the women amongst the executives surveyed state that the importance of cooperation networks has increased significantly.
Today’s communication has many channels and takes place with ever increasing speed. Still, interviewees attach particular importance to considering the person behind the customer or the supplier. Personal contact is and remains important. Also, despite the growing communication needs, a leader should not lose sight of the overriding objective.
Successful leaders of the future will be those who are well-versed in using new media. They need to be able to communicate well and interact trustfully with their staff. This is the result of an open question without pre-determined answers to chose from, with regard to the most important capabilities of successful leaders. For younger executives, media competence is less important – it is likely that this age group simply sees it as a given so that it doesn’t spring to mind in the context of an open question. Women, however, also put emphasis on leadership personality as an important factor for success.
From the surveyed executives’ perspective, hierarchy and authority don’t classify as advisable tools of staff leadership. Those who want to lead must act genuinely and bear the interests of the employees in mind. Development and training, an open approach in dealing with “knowledge of domination” and conflict, but also respecting the individuality of each person are particularly important.
Executives with leadership experience of less than five years are generally younger than their colleagues with many years’ experience. They have a different perspective on leadership culture: networks and networked thinking are significantly more important to them. But in terms of transparency, openness and conveying values they less often expect the growing trend of networking to have a positive effect. They consider communication skills to be particularly important for leaders and believe that the ability to work in a team is essential.