Digital Leader – the Importance of Trust in the Digital Age

How can we still work efficiently and purposefully in the future? How does digital transformation change leadership behavior and what distinguishes a digital leader? If the observations from many workshops, keynotes and processes show one thing, it is that in an innovation-driven company the classic leadership image no longer works. In the digital age, there is no longer a need for top-down organization; rather, trust and openness are the guarantors of success. The Digital Age Mindset builds precisely on this understanding. We need to know what moves our customers and our employees so that we can walk the path into the future together with them.

Trust solves many a barrier. If we trust our manager or our contact person in a company, we automatically have a more open and transparent way of dealing with him. Examples such as ebay or Amazon prove this. Customers trust that they will find the products they are looking for with them and therefore don’t even look in on other dealers in the first place. In the classic trade, for example, the men’s outfitter had a similar trust, as he knew exactly how to talk to which customer through his customer insights. An art that unfortunately got lost in the digital age.

In order to convince people of the importance of an innovation or a new process, a high-trust culture is needed. Only if we as a company and as entrepreneurs go out of the purely transactional relationships can we do persuasive work. It’s a tough challenge for management in the increasingly digitizing companies to sell the legitimacy of a new way, but a digital leader knows that it’s his only chance for the long term existence of the company.

Trustworthy digital leadership also has an impact on sales processes. While in the past negative experiences were only known between the salesperson, the customer and their immediate surroundings, a wrong interaction can directly influence thousands of people and cause sales to collapse. We must not forget the power of digital platforms, especially in business management. News about dissatisfaction with a company’s products and practices is spread faster than ever before and affects all current and potential customers and even employees.


Digital Leader and the Culture of Trust

If you now ask yourself how you should build up a culture of trust in your own company, you will unfortunately have to go a little further. You have to observe and analyse exactly what moves customers and employees.

Everyone ticks differently and wants to be addressed according to their philosophies. Whether analog or digital, whether innovative or classic. All factors play a major role in the success or failure of a change process.

Therefore, you should regularly seek a trustful exchange with your employees and customers, have the courage to ask critical questions and incorporate the opinions of your target groups and stakeholders into your digital strategies. In this way you not only practice a good Open Innovation Process, but also strengthen the confidence of your interlocutors in your abilities and your willingness to adapt to them.

Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker is an innovation profiler, future strategist and media expert who helps companies understand the opportunities behind technologies such as artificial intelligence for the next five to ten years. He is the founder of the consulting firm "Alexander Pinker - Innovation Profiling", the innovation marketing agency "innovate! communication" and the news platform "Medialist Innovation". He is also the author of three books and a lecturer at the Technical University of Würzburg-Schweinfurt.

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