Digital transformation needs leaders not managers, says Socitm

Written by Rebecca Hill on 1 December 2016 in News
News

Councils need to identify and develop leaders that will offer staff support, rather than control, if they want to succeed at public service reform, according to a report.

Briefing says staff want leadership that supports, rather than controlling, them - Photo credit: Pexels

In its latest briefing, Socitm, the association for IT professionals in the public sector, argues that leaders are needed to sell digital transformation to elected members, partner organisations, influential local groups and vocal campaigners.

The briefing, Developing Digital Leadership, which aims to promote the body’s leadership academy, said that managers may “get things done” but don’t usually set out a vision of what they want or sell it to others.


Related content

Local leaders must 'grasp the nettle' in big data analytics, says Socitm
Digital innovation needs local leadership, says Socitm
Socitm: Traditional management structures ‘unsustainable’ in digital age
Smart working and modern workplaces: a Microsoft webinar


Democratisation of the workforce and an increase in flexible working means employees look for leaders who will offer support and guidance, not control, it said.

“They want to see a compelling, shared vision, not a straitjacket of bureaucracy and constraints, so that they can best self-direct their own efforts to the desired ends,” it stated.

Socitm said that digital leaders need to do more than just understanding the potential of new technologies – they must also be able to see how to make the most of those technologies in the context of their city or region.

“Then they need to find among their colleagues people to share the vision and turn it into reality, providing them with ongoing support and energy, ensuring that the negativity of naysayers does not derail the initiative,” the body said.

The briefing sets out the qualities it associates with good leadership, such as being open minded, analytical, credible and calm under pressure, but said that leadership is more than a check-list of technical skills, describing it as being “closer to an art form”.

It follows a number of other reports and position statements from the group that have called for digital leaders to address the way councils structure their workforces.

This includes calling for senior leaders to become role models for better use of technology and branding top-down, rigid management hierarchies as “unsustainable” systems that could stifle innovation.

Share this page

Tags

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM READERS

Please login to post a comment or register for a free account.

Comments

Craig Cockburn (not verified)

Submitted on 11 December, 2016 - 18:13
I find it utterly incredulous that 5 years after GDS went live, more than 10 years after government services first went live online and more than 20 years after e-commerce started that digital transformation still needs leaders and current senior managers still don't get it in terms of savings, efficiency and meeting user needs. What epoch have these people been living in and what have they been paid to do?

Related Articles

CDDO offers £160k for chief technology officer to set cross-government strategy for digital profession
5 August 2022

Cabinet Office unit is seeking a technology leader whose remit will include spearheading DDaT professionals’ efforts to decommission legacy system

FOI: Scottish reform proposals would bring commercial suppliers in scope
5 August 2022

Labour party to introduce bill intended to increase transparency and accountability 

Trade department sees rise in fraud and data breaches in FY22
4 August 2022

DIT claims the use of digital tools has helped with detecting fraudsters 

UK Space Agency launches probe into staff experiences of bullying and harassment
3 August 2022

Government body hires specialist firm to undertake review after report shows one in five workers claim they were bullied or harassed last year

Related Sponsored Articles

Fuelling the UK’s digital economy
12 July 2022

Ed Stainton, Director of Major Government at BT, on accelerating initiatives to drive growth through responsible, inclusive, and sustainable technology