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Gartner Symposium Keynote 2013

I just attended the keynote session on the Gartner Symposium, delivered by Dave Aron, Nick Jones, Peter Sondergaard, Hung LeHong.

First of all: it was extremely professional in all ways. In many ways a show. Style and format was top-edge performance. And impressive in front of 4500 delegates.

But content is king.

The main message that I found relevant is that the rapid change of how technology affects business – all kinds of business – also redefines how we should think about the roles management takes and especially IT managers. The skillsets required from CEO’s today is obviously vast: leadership, strategy, finance, HR, legal. And other areas that is considered as generic skills every CEO needs to have in their toolkit.

Technology management, though, is typically «outsourced» to other roles like the CIO/CTO with their IT department. And quite too often considered as a cost-center to keep under control as any other necessary commodity.

Technology management will in the (near) future be an asset every manager has to have a skillset within. By 2020 every leader will also become a digital leader, according to Gartner.

I believe they have a valid point here. And this is not about CEO or board directors increasing their technical skills or capabilities, but to understand the fact that technological disruptions increasingly gives opportunities – or worst case business set-backs if you are caught off-guard.

So if I was to specifify x skills that top-level management for the future needs to have in their toolkit, it would be:

  • Have a deep understanding of the overall technoogical trends in the market.
  • Assess the disruptive nature of technology, and use it to your advantage.
  • Make technology a core skillset in all levels of the enterprise.
  • Embrace innovation.

What do you think will be a basic required skillset for future (digital) leaders?