Digital fluency is a term most often used in learning circles in reference to an individual’s ability to recognise and take advantage of the benefits of the technology available to them. We use the term corporate digital fluency to expand this concept into an enterprise-wide context.
Corporate digital fluency is most easily explained as a measure of the level of digital skill and knowledge that a CEO can bring to the function of successfully plotting their enterprise’s digital course.
More specifically, corporate digital fluency is an indicator of a leader’s foundational digital understanding, and their subsequent ability to recognise the commercial benefits of current and emerging technologies.
This should not be confused with actually being a technologist.
As Deloitte have identified, It is not a measure of a leader’s ability to be a technologist.state, “Digital fluency…doesn’t demand mastery of the technologies. Instead, it requires the ability to articulate the value of digital technologies to the organization’s future.“
Executive digital fluency as a concept goes hand in hand with process of corporate digital transformation. As the pressure grows for companies of all sizes to address their digital strategies and devise and implement transformational digital plans, considerable focus is being brought to bear on the digital fluency of the CEOs, board members and senior executives.
The concepts of executive digital fluency and digital transformation are so entwined that Deloitte and McKinsey consider the digital fluency of the CEO and senior executives to be a critical indicator of the likely level of adoption and ongoing success of a company’s enterprise-wide digital transformation process.
It is important to note that executive digital fluency does not only reside with leaders in, or from technology sectors and is not exclusive to a particular age group. More critically, it is not fixed – executive digital fluency can be learned and developed over time.
This is especially critical for CEOs and leaders who fall within the range of digital transitionals – a generation who fall between the pre-digital executive and digital native, and often report feeling overwhelmed and outrun by the rapid pace of digital advances.