Digital IQ – Upping executive digital ebility (or digital ability) as opposed to intelligence

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I have been using the term Digital IQ for quite some time as a way to describe a person’s digital aptness.  It has a singular flaw as a term: people might mistakenly believe that it’s just about digital intelligence. As much as we need to understand the digital phenomenon, there is a greater need for business leaders to act digitally.  I propose talking about digital ebility.

I do, therefore, I am

ebility - I do therefore I am, The Myndset digital marketing

more than a wedding vow…

The issue with most senior executives is that they tend to believe that knowing about digital is enough.  They tend to wish to delegate digital as opposed to doing it themselves (at work, at least).  Intellectually, we all understand that digital is important.  An executive that hasn’t registered the rise of social media and/or mobile marketing has been living in a cave (with no connection, literally, to the real world).

Digital ebility means “being” digital

ebility, The Myndset digital marketing

The issue is that a high Intelligence Quotient is far from enough.  Thus, when I think of digital savviness, I tend to want to include the right digital mindset.  Notwithstanding that the need to “get digital” varies in intensity across different sectors, there is a very real need to act digitally, not just understand digital.  {Click to tweet} To go beyond the IQ limitation, I thought I might coin another term: digital ebility (or digital e-bility).

Three levels of digital ebility

There are three scopes to measuring an executive’s digital ebility that take the digital savviness beyond a simple “understanding” or digital intelligence, per se.

  1. Awareness of the digital landscape, understanding of the options and opportunities therein.
  2. The appropriate digital mindset to exploit those opportunities in a sustainable and profitable manner for the business.  (This is a blog post unto itself, of course.  I would generalize the digital mindset as being comfortable with the new 5E’s of marketing).
  3. Being digital: A hands-on appreciation of the digital media and tools, going all the way up to walking the talk (i.e. being actively present on social media, authoring a blog, etc…).

The nature of the ongoing digital transformation is that the landscape is changing daily.  Thus, the words of a consultant or the article in a leading magazine are but a snapshot at a specific time.  “Getting digital” means knowing how to evolve with the time, to be able to evaluate the nature of the next wave of new digital initiatives and to help chart a course that embeds the best of them into the business plan and processes.

Understanding digital is not enough to lead change.  Being the change you want to see happen in the organization requires experimentation and hard-wiring learning into the daily flow.  {Click to tweet}  It takes being prepared to experience digital personally.

Your thoughts and reactions are welcome!

15 Comments, RSS

  1. […] However, one cannot forget the technology altogether. That becomes too comfortable as well. As much as one needs to focus on the strategic imperatives and the softer tissue elements of transformation, there is undoubtedly a need to get more geeky, too. For example, it’s just not tenable these days to be investing so heavily in Facebook mobile ads or Google adwords without having an acute awareness of the User Experience (first and foremost) as well as some of the more technical aspects. Take the startling upshoot of Pokemon Go. Many executives will now have heard about it; but how many have bothered to figure out how it works and how to play? Of course, Pokemon Go is not relevant for the vast majority of businesses, but it is bound to have an impact on consumption and digital habits. So, I continue to hammer that it’s important for executives to up their digital IQ. […]

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