Digital leadership and technical empathy – Insights gathered by Lisa Herbert

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I attended a session on Digital leadership and technical empathy during the South Coast Summit.

It was delivered by Steve Compton (  is the MD of a company called Changing Social – they specialise in adoption and change management, business apps and automation with a specific focus on helping end-users adopt new ways of working through Office365.


He had a couple of points that resonated with me:

  • The increase of user adoption during covid was a false positive – it was survival not thrival (thriving).
  • Industry keeps talking about 10 years of digital transformation in 12 months, but it was 80 % people 20% tech that actually did the transformation.
  • Because users were unable to control the change and could not forecast new change needed, users need skills and leadership in the digital adoption that we are all embracing.


What the pandemic highlighted did was:

  1. Expose lack of digital skills. And this includes leaders who must be taught digital skills to be able to lead by example.
  2. The new world needs us to champion holding inclusive meetings , being deliberate about this not just doing for the sake of ticking a box.
    1. People in your teams meetings cannot hear – so put up the word tracker
    2. People cannot see well so be clearer and use the tools available
    3. Users cannot concentrate in large numbers so be aware of the tools available for meeting rooms and collaboration
  3. Digital skills gaps with varying age generations – it’s a thing that we joke about but it affects the opportunities we have to connect with clients.
  4. Expose the fragility of hiring – fragility of skills and communication regarding this


So what hasn’t changed is age of CEO’s – age 50

But they may not be digital leaders – weren’t born the cloud, they are used to physical presence in the office , AND ‘working out loud’ is not natural and is annoying – sharing your work with a view that others may find it helpful and you may get the help you need.

But digital leadership isn’t just for leaders – Steve uses an ‘ABC’ for digital adoption:

  • Accessibility and digital inclusion – not just for ‘disabled’ not always obvious , so needs discussion and a campaign
  • Build behaviour change and adoption capabilities – otherwise your current workforce will be left behind . Basic change management principles
  • Create culture of collaboration to spur innovation – stop trying to get your staff to the office
  • Extracting tacit information from people’s heads – via teams, thinking about data is more than just files and folders.
  • Engage colleagues – back to back meetings – need to create check ins
  • Viva insights to see what your collaboration network is doing


The next action for me is to work a way of getting this actioned within our own workforce at Infinity.

Lisa Herbert​

IAMCP UK Marketing Lead


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