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Max St John

New case study: building digital leadership at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

I’ve just hit publish on our latest case study – building social and digital leadership at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The Consular Directorate at the FCO have been a client of ours for nearly three years now, and it’s been a privilege to go on a true digital transformation journey with them.

Working on what kind of leadership is needed for a digital world has been one of the most fascinating parts of that journey.

When I talk about a ‘digital world’, I don’t mean one where your senior team are all on Twitter. I mean one where all stakeholders – customers and staff – expect you to be more open, more authentic. One where you need to take more risks and act more quickly.

This isn’t about simply understanding social media and its implications (although that is deeply important). It’s as much about a mindset and the behavioural competencies needed to lead in a world that’s more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.

Social media is both a big driver of that change, and it also helps bring it home in a very visceral way – pumping real-time news, customer opinion and the voices of staff deep into large organisations. Getting used to being exposed to the conversation in this way – let alone engaging with it and bringing your real self into it is no small thing.

As a result, once I’ve helped people understand what digital means for them in their role, I’ve found that the questions they ask go way deeper. Questions like ‘what is my true leadership style?’, ‘how comfortable am I being myself online?’ and ‘how do I prove that it’s ok to take risks?’

I’ve found that it’s these are the questions that have the most impact.

Check out the case study

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One Comment

  1. I love this case study because it gets right to the heart of the challenge for digital: making practitioners of our leaders, and encouraging a more open way of working. Digital, in terms of platforms and technology, is almost incidental.

    Posted 21st January 2014 at 1:39 pm | Permalink