Most executives out of touch with business: Cognizant-MIT study

Most executives around the world are out of touch with what it takes to lead effectively and for their businesses to stay competitive in the digital economy, says a Cognizant study done in collaboration with MIT Sloan Management Review.

The report titled “The New Leadership Playbook for the Digital Age: Reimagining What It Takes to Lead,'' was done based on a survey of 4,394 global executives from over 120 countries, 27 executive interviews, and focus group exchanges with next-gen global emerging leaders.

As per the study, only 12% of respondents strongly agree their own business leaders have the right mindsets to lead them forward, and only 9% agree that their organisation has the skills at the top to thrive in the digital economy. Only 13% strongly agree their organisations are prepared to compete in increasingly digitally-driven markets and economies.

A large majority, 71%, of respondents believe that they are personally prepared to lead in the digital economy. The same group scores significantly lower when asked whether they possess specific digital skills, such as using data analytics to influence their decision-making (55%) or advocating for the use of machine learning technologies in their organisations’ operations (50%), as per the study.

While 82% agree the new economy will need “digitally-savvy” leaders, less than 10% strongly agree their organisations have the right leadership to thrive in the new digital economy. Also, just 40% believe that their organisations are taking the necessary steps to build robust digital leader pipelines.

“A generation of leaders in large companies are out of sync, out of tune, and out of touch with their workforces, markets, and competitive landscapes. What got them to their current exalted status won't be effective much longer — unless they take swift action,” said Benjamin Pring, report co-author and director of the Center for the Future of Work for Cognizant.

“Allowing unprepared senior executives with outdated skills and attitudes to stick around forces next-generation, high-potential leaders to move on to new pastures, which harms morale and ultimately shifts the organisation further away from where market demand is heading.”

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 9:11:56 AM |

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