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A. understand the concept of e-leadership;
B. know where to find the tools for e-leadership.

e-Leadership has crucial importance for companies and industry to excel in their business operation. e-Leadership is key to using new digital technologies for innovation and transformation, managed in a relevant organisational context and embedded in the business strategy.

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e-Leadership skills are the skills required of an individual to initiate and achieve digital innovation:
Strategic Leadership: Lead inter-disciplinary actions and infuence stakeholders across boundaries (functional, geographic)
Business Savvy: Innovate business and operating models, delivering value to organisations
Digital Savvy: Envision and drive change for business performance, exploiting digital technology trends as innovation opportunities.
SMEs and start-up companies also show diversity in their technological, organisational and value chain set-up, and hence have different needs for e-leadership skills, so a framework for e-leadership leaders has been developed.

In line with the e-leadership skills definition, any education for e-leadership should serve the primary goal of exploiting digital technologies for innovation.  e-Leadership offers may address all three competence areas, or focus on one or two of the areas when they complement existing skills and competences.

e-Leadership exploits nascent or emerging technological trends that are ready for deployment, and consequently it adapts to the evolution of digital development and its deployment in the market. Current major trends such as Mobility, Cloud Computing, Big Data analytics, Social Media Technologies, Internet of Things, Customer Experience IT and IT Security need regular revisiting so as to keep up to date.

These technology trends need to be discussed with SMEs. We did so, and then we engaged with successful SMEs, including fast growing gazelles eager to expand across borders. Theoretical definitions of e-leadership and emerging technology have to be confronted with real life leadership demands, SMEs‘ needs for skills, and where barriers impede feeding insights into the design of educational leaders.

What you need to know:
e-Business skills (also called e-leadership skills) are the capabilities needed to exploit opportunities provided by ICT, notably the Internet, to ensure more efficient and effective performance of different types of organisations, to explore possibilities for new ways of conducting business and organisational processes, and to establish new businesses;
ICT practitioner skills are the capabilities required for researching, developing and designing, managing, the producing, consulting, marketing and selling, the integrating, installing and administrating, the maintaining, supporting and service of ICT systems;
ICT user skills are the capabilities required for effective application of ICT systems and devices by the individual. ICT users apply systems as tools in support of their own work, which is, in most cases, not ICT. User skills cover the utilisation of common generic software tools and the use of specialised tools supporting business functions within industries other than the ICT industry.
Global Knowledge Economy Talents: include the capacity to generate innovation, ability to lead in cross-cultural environments, ability to manage virtual teams, collective and individual capacity to address new issues. A clear example of how important such skills are can be found in many global companies for which innovation is vital. A study carried out by INSEAD for Logica, for instance, showed European companies tend to be less prone than their competitors to mix cultural and professional backgrounds in research teams. Collaborative innovation (often web- based) requires brainstorming sessions (typically by video-conference) and strict implementation strategies (when innovations have to be brought to market and turned into products and services) for which leadership takes different shapes and requires different skills.

Companies can resort to different strategies to fill skills needs, including retaining talents already in-house, training existing staff, sourcing talents through outsourcing, and new recruits. Kaplan et al. (2012) find that to retain and train talent already in-house, technology organisations are increasingly encouraging a combination of technological expertise and operational and project competencies, and, for example, actively rotate high-performers across technology domains and into business and operational functions, provide training that helps technical staff understand the business better, and allow high-performing staff to engage with external communities. External skill sourcing strategies are found to include sourcing whole teams, and maintaining a portfolio of locations – including in city centres or near universities to attract cutting edge technology talents.
The main skills gaps identified in Kaplan et al. (2012) relate to management capabilities (operational, risk, program, project, business relations, stakeholder, vendor and supplier). Business schools and universities should react to such findings and adapt their courses accordingly, by offering new types of curricula for ‘dual thinkers’, and/or by offering new modules in existing programs, especially in technology programs, which may be the way to obtain the required curricula changes more rapidly.

How to?
(from The European e-Competence Framework for ICT professionals)

(Source of illustration:

The European e-Competence Framework is structured around four dimensions reflecting different levels of business and human resource planning requirements in addition to job/ work proficiency guidelines:

Dimension 1: Five e-Competence areas, derived from the ICT business processes: PLAN, BUILD, RUN, ENABLE and MANAGE
Dimension 2: A set of reference e-Competences for each area, with a generic description for each competence. 32 competences identified in total provide the European generic reference definitions of the e-CF 2.0.
Dimension 3: Proficiency levels of each e-Competence provide European reference level specifications on e- Competence levels e-1 to e-5, which are related to the EQF levels 3 to 8.
Dimension 4: Samples of knowledge and skills relate to e-Competences in dimension 2. They are provided to add value and context and are not intended to be exhaustive.

It can be argued that within the 5 competence areas, in particular some of the skills described under PLAN, ENABLE and MANAGE (see the list below) are at the cross-over between ICT professionals and e-leadership skills, much like the changing role of CIOs found in INSEAD (2011) and IBM (2011) discussed in Section 2.4.
Source: The European e-Competence Framework 2.0, (last accessed 09.03.2012)

Implementing your vision
Moving successfully from vision to implementation will require a strong level of engagement from all stakeholders involved in creating, using and acquiring the skills necessary for competitiveness and innovation.
This will hence require a list of priorities that should:

1. Be based on a coherent, set of principles acceptable by all stakeholders and in which they would recognize value for the pursuit of their own objectives and responsibilities.
2. Be limited in number (between 5 and 10, which can be easily operationalized over different time frames).
3. Be defined in a crisp and readable manner, allowing each type of stakeholder to interpret/adapt them to their own respective environments, constraints and objectives.
4. Be linked to equally crisp definitions of typical actions to be taken by each category of stakeholders separately or jointly (and then leadership should be identified).

Find out what it is an eLeadership and why it is relevant for industry, by watching the following video.

Watching this video you can find out the importance of e-leadership.


1. Managers should become Web literate and should encourage members of their team to do the same.
2. A strategic planning process should be adopted to develop Web strategies.
3. Organisations need to develop policies regarding the use of social media.
4. Members of the organisation’s should be encouraged to start a blog or an online presence
5. Human resources, marketing and communications departments should be encouraged to experiment with social media.
6. Organizations should learn about common barriers and pitfalls of adopting Web tools.
7. Sole ownership of Web strategies by the IT department should be discouraged.


Constant need for collaboration across networks and leading by influence.
Implement agil and adaptative processes.
Importance of accessing and analysing information.



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