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How to spot an outstanding digital transformation leader

At Bodhi, we’ve helped our clients hire some of the best digital transformation leaders that advance digital journeys, bring innovations to market and develop a strong transformational culture.

Here are 5 common characteristics found in exceptional transformation leaders.

Customers are their number 1 priority

Customer service is no longer a business differentiator, but a business fundamental. Customers dictate the speed at which brands must move, and customer journeys must prevail over established business processes.

Effective digital transformation leaders seek to fully understand the customer experience through a human-centric approach and apply digital technologies against that. They embed this focus across the entire company, not just in customer-facing roles, creating a continuous, closed feedback loop between the customer and the organisation.

They drive innovation through ecosystems and partnerships

Demand for personalisation, convenience and great experiences are a challenge for companies to meet on their own. By forging partnerships, the best leaders challenge sector boundaries to become more agile at scale.

Most leaders understand the value of partnership networks, but those at the top are more aware of the challenges involved in providing value to both parties. From combining team cultures to ‘open architecture’ approaches, organisations must be absolutely clear in the agreements that govern business relationships – from ownership to managing co-developed innovation. This requires a sharp leadership focus and maturity.

They avoid jargon and speak plainly

The most talented digital transformation leaders bridge the gap between business and technical audiences by speaking plain English to all. Their understanding is comprehensive enough that they can translate the most sophisticated concepts into terms that co-workers from any background can grasp.

They practice humility and manage expectations with care

The real superstars of digital transformation tend to be more humble and modest in their claims compared with those that make bold, extravagant claims in an effort to impress.

They put in the hard work, spending time and effort behind the scenes to make things actually happen. They don’t lead organisations through elaborate ventures of elevated hope and anguished failure. They choose to patiently test and learn. In the end, these superstars build exponential results through learning and persistence.

They identify and nurture talent with new incentives and strategies

As the war for talent intensifies, successful leaders address the skills gap more proactively and develop a human-centred approach at the centre of solving the problem. By deliberately connecting their business and workforce strategies, they are able to build skilled, agile teams that drive competitive advantage.

Rather than relying on short-term fixes, they combine their ability to accurately identify and forecast the talent they need for long term success with competing to "outdevelop" their competition through upskilling and reskilling to future-proof their current workforce.

In summary

The most effective digital transformation leaders bring together different concepts to create solutions far better than just the sum of their parts. They’re curious and hungry for information and input that enables them to successfully transform from the current state to an improved, future state. They view the world as a spectrum rather than siloes, understand the subtleties of the connections between disciplines.

If you’re looking for the right digital transformation leader to move your business forward, our specialist solutions will enable you to find them. Get in touch with our experts today on 0330 335 0464 or email


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