Leading By Design

How to be human in a digital world


Leading people in a digital world means embracing technology without digitising yourself or others...

it means leveraging our humanity…

The digital world of e-commerce, AI and blockchains is here to stay and with it, a radically different way of doing business that has literally limitless possibilities.

This digital landscape is unpredictable, full of unknowns and unexpected changes. All the conventional standards of communicating, cooperating, and doing business, have gone out the window and in their place, we have a blank canvas and the opportunity to co-create a brave new world.

The question is do we understand the implications, and do we have the courage to rise to the challenge?

The rapid advance of technology is ongoing, and the thinking of yesterday is largely irrelevant today. Incomplete knowledge is a fact of life in a digital world, and nobody has all the answers. Solutions cannot be planned or preconceived in such an unpredictable, changing world. It’s a new kind of thinking that redefines the meaning of design that is being called for. None of this has ever happened before, so the only way forward is to design things from scratch, bottom-up. What we need is leadership that enables, fosters, and allows that. That’s why we have called this program Leading by Design – but unlike the learning outcomes it isn’t set in stone.

Success for leaders today is not about knowing, planning or precedent; it’s about knowing how to cope with uncertainty and complexity better than the competition.

Nobody knows for sure how all this will unfold, because it hasn't happened before, and we are all making it up as we go along. What we believe is that being a leader in a digital world is about many different skills and qualities but above all it is about being human. The digitisation of almost every sector is transforming what we do and how we do it, and it is our ability to understand how we as humans interface with the technology that will define our role now and in the future.

To achieve this, leaders at every level need to first understand and communicate with clarity the purpose and context of the digitisation of our business and how it benefits our customers, our business, and our people. We need to get comfortable with not knowing exactly how things are going to pan out and what the future holds, to let go of the need to know and to focus instead on the present and what needs to happen now with courage, integrity, and resilience.

The way we do things around here and who we are as a business or a brand, are no longer relevant in the new world. The focus of our attention has shifted irrevocably away from us as a global brand, to the end user, our customer, and how they experience us.

It’s not about who we are, it’s about who we are becoming in collaboration with our customers. This is the very essence of iterative design thinking, and it is also the very essence of a coaching and growth mindset. The leaders of today and tomorrow are those who ask rather than tell, who listen before talking and who are most interested in hearing those with a different opinion and another perspective. Who are we and what are we for? What is the aspiration? How will we get from where we are now to where we want to be? What do we need to do now to achieve the best possible experience and outcome?

Key Program Features

Leading by Design is an extended process of self-coaching and self-organised e-learning that provides the framework and roadmap for leaders at all levels to reflect and create their role as a partner and collaborator in the digital transformation of their business.

Using a combination of extreme honesty, true pragmatism, bottom-up design and on-the-job application, LBD offers an exciting, engaging and thought-provoking journey and alternative route to succeeding as a leader.

Being a leader in a digital world is about understanding the technology, its impact and its potential. But that’s just the context… not a promise of success. What leaders in a digital world must also have to succeed is courage, authenticity, agility, resilience and creative bottom-up thinking.

We fully expect and welcome debate and discussion between those who are naturally biased toward the intellectual, cognitive, knowledge and skills-based side of this, and others who are less interested in the technology itself and lean towards the intuitive, reflective, creative side of the same coin.

It is through listening to ourselves and to each other, and having discussions like these that we can together forge the way forward. The format, flow, content, and delivery of the program is designed to reflect these core beliefs and principles.

The result of a really good bottom-up design process is not just great solutions and products, it’s also a sense of purpose and meaning on an individual, team and organisational level and a working environment of balance, harmony, and wellbeing. If we play our cards right and leverage both the technology and our humanity, we can create a great experience for us, and for our customers, and co-create a better world. This is the purpose and desired outcome of Leading by Design.

Learning is focused in this 3 areas:


Organisational context, Strategy & Vision Complexity, Change Sense-making

Exploring organisation digital journey so far. Why is your organisation digitalising? What is the impact? What is the organisation already doing now? And what it will do in the future? What are the challenges? What are the opportunities? Leading people in a digital world begins with understanding and communicating the deeper meaning or significance of things. It means being able to turn data into information, to put it into context, use discernment and make decisions in a complex and uncertain environment.


Nurturing talent Collaboration Facilitation Communication Coaching

Leaders of people in a digital world need to be able to spot the areas within their business that need to be improved and to grow, and to identify and develop talent that will support the transformation process. Facilitating conversations, a coaching mindset and creating space for collaboration that leverages diversity is all a part of this. Being competent and confident achieving this in a virtual environment with remote teams is foundational. In a world that is in danger of becoming ‘digital dependant’ it is essential that leaders are able to create space for creativity and human interaction, whatever the environment.


Authenticity Agility Creativity Resilience Design thinking

Now is the time more than ever, to be ourselves and to have the courage to be open, honest, and what Brene Brown would call ‘wholehearted’. Choosing authenticity means cultivating the courage to be emotionally honest, take responsibility to set personal boundaries and exercise compassion with ourselves and others. Mindfully practicing authenticity is a must have for today’s leaders and those they lead. Radical change in any industry or business needs leaders who are agile, resilient, and able to make decisions in a complex, ambiguous and ever-changing landscape. Leaders who are unwilling to change and who are not proactive will not survive. Design thinking means different things for different people, in the context of this program, it means taking a user-centric human approach and leveraging new technology to solve complex problems and create great products and customer experiences This is often called bottom-up design, and it’s essentially about facilitating creative and critical thinking about where we are and where we want to go. It’s a coaching approach to design.

Framework and Timeline

This learning experience starts with two assessments, the first focuses on the necessary core leadership skills and mindset, and the second on the necessary core digital skills and mindset

People Leadership Skills & Mindset Assessment:

  • How am I doing when it comes to leading myself and others?
  • Am I satisfied with my current performance? If not, what needs to change?
  • What gaps do I have and how will I fill them?

Output: My strategy for success in leveraging people in a digital world.

Digital Skills & Mindset Assessment:

  • How well do I understand the technology that is driving digital transformation?
  • How well do I understand the impact, implications, and potential of digitalisation?
  • What gaps do I have and how will I fill them?

Output: My strategy for success in leveraging technology in a digital world.

This self-assessments that provide focus and food for thought. These can be debriefed during individual/group coaching sessions when personal goals for the program are defined. This can also be done in a self-coaching format for an entirely digital learning solution.

The modular design features self-coaching, self-learning and a smidgeon of classical leadership theory and skills, because some things about the old world are definitely worth keeping. As with all our programs, and whether we are in a digital, virtual or F2F setting, we favour facilitated learning over teaching, and so do all our participants.

The roadmap of this diversified learning experience depends to some extent on the results on the assessments, and how each participant chooses to proceed through the modules. This can be done in collaboration with their coach facilitators or through self-coaching. In this way this program is a learning journey that is genuinely tailored to the individual and self-organised.

This program is a 6 month process of self-organised learning on our digital platform, where you pick up the knowledge and theory of leadership, interspersed with a series of coach- facilitated, virtual sessions where you get to reflect, share experiences and practice using new skills and models, with your peers. The digital element features content that is interactive, thought provoking and inspiring. As you move through the content you can share ideas and insights with your peers, comment on theirs, and get support from your facilitators and colleagues. The virtual sessions are an opportunity to reflect on your learning journey, delve deeper into key topics and practice key skills in a safe space.

The next steps

Are you ready for your leader to lead with power, integrity and engagement?

Book your FREE discovery call with a TNM Lead Trainer

Next Steps

Get your leaders excited about developing and nurturing amazing teams. Book your FREE discovery call with a TNM Lead Trainer today to find out more about this program and book your places.
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