Last week I participated in a webinar focused on the social impact sector and the importance of utilizing the technology that will contribute to greater efficiencies, better responsiveness to stakeholder needs, and more innovation. The conversations touched on some of the specific technology products and apps being used by organizations, the importance of ensuring that human connection isn’t replaced by technical solutions, and, of course, the need for more funding. Granted, all of those issues are important, but quite honestly I’m not sure any of that will help if we don’t first invest in leadership.
Many of the issues that will ensure a digital savvy sector, are the result of a lack of three leadership components we're seeing as the root of so many of the complex issues we're all trying to address e.g. poverty, homelessness, food insecurity, racism, addiction etc.
These root causes seem to be the result of a (1) a lack of system thinking, (2) a need for more community or stakeholder-led development, and (3) more strategic foresight. It's more than building the internal capacity of individual organizations to use technology, it is much more about building the capacity of leaders at all levels to work externally to partner, collaborate, innovate, and ultimately transform our systems. Investing in the development and growth of leaders to ensure the competencies that are essential for future focused leadership would be a solid investment that will ensure and deliver excellent returns.