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Consultancy Blog

Leadership in digital times

12th April 2016

We are constantly doing our bit to understand how to respond to the challenges of leading an organisation to success in a world increasingly driven by digital technologies. There is a clear need for change, agility and strategic understanding of the new forces impacting on business, customers and new ways of working.

So how are you doing so far?

As a leader in your business, organisation, industry or sector now is a great time to stop and take-stock of your own skills, understanding and capabilities when matched against this context.

• How well do you think you’ve done so far?
• How capable do you feel in meeting the challenges over the years ahead?
• Do you know where your weaknesses are?
• Do you recognise those skills which you most need to develop at this time?
• Does your strategic planning process now embrace digital?
• Do you have the right people around you to make the changes needed? 

Digital Leadership Chart

As you reflect on the answers to these questions, also consider:

• By 2020 we are expecting the UK to reach internet saturation point, i.e. those who want to be connected on a regular basis will have the ability to be connected (January 2016 the figure stood at around 85%)
• Active social media users in the UK now totals 38 million people (59% of population)
• 33 million (51% of population) of those people are accessing social media on their mobiles
• 77% of people have purchased a product or service online in the past 30 days


• One quarter of businesses will lose market share due to digital incompetence by 2017
• Business failure to respond to digital has seen some major companies fall – Kodak, Nokia, Blockbuster and many others
• 80% of data today is unstructured and largely invisible to computers – and yet data production is anticipated to be 44 times higher in 2020 than it was in 2009
• Cloud storage for business data is becoming standard, but at the same cyber security and risks of data loss are increasingly becoming a focus
• Hardware will continue to get smaller, faster and more powerful – and robotics will enter into mainstream business use within the next 10 years

So…. how are you feeling so far? Perhaps a better way to reflect on these issues as they affect you and your role in business is to map yourself into the matrix below:Digital Leader Matrix

Source: Based on Forrester Research, Inc

Digital Leader style

Leaders of the future will need to be collaborators, capable of putting together and mobilising teams of an open and fluid nature. Bringing people with expertise alongside those representing the views and experiences of customers, and understanding how to develop business strategy which feeds from data-driven insights and intelligence. And these leaders will be change-makers and change-agents – people who know how to embrace ideas, test them, fail and move on to find more success ahead.

Cosmic has spent several months now looking at these significant challenges and how business leaders in the region can respond effectively and gain the new skills and strategic understanding they will need.

To access a copy of the first White Paper published today please register your details here.

We’re keen to hear from business leaders across the South West as we further develop our research into digital leadership if you would like to find out more please email: 

Cosmic will shortly be announcing a new digital leadership programme, as an introduction to the programme, we are running free taster sessions the first two being held in May at the East Devon Business Centre. Please click here to find out more and book on a session. (More dates and venues will be confirmed for June and July shortly).