Analogue or Digital Leader?

Dear colleagues

Bhaduri and Fischer in an excellent two page piece in the Forbes business magazine asked ‘Are You an Analog or Digital Leader’?

While directed at business leaders a number of us have found it works equally well with school leaders – and school leaders at all levels

Where do you sit?

I’d be very surprised if most on this list did not fall into the ‘digital’ category’.

Reflecting on feedback from last week it bears noting that Australian universities have been running post graduate digital leadership programs in information services for 20 plus years

I’m suspecting we are looking at hundreds, likely thousands of graduates. I’ll let the likes of CSU and QUT fill in the numbers

In marked contrast in 2016 there are still no post graduate digital leadership programs for existing or aspiring principals

The Tasmanian Department has had an excellent in house program for aspiring heads on Leading a Digital School. There could be others but….

Coincidentally a UK colleague – Roger Broadie – and I posted yesterday the short blog we had been working on ‘The Critical Importance of the Principal’ ( – a piece that reaffirmed our findings that schools while not experience any significant digital evolution and transformation unless it has a head willing and able to lead a digital school

One could proffer the thought that Australia has a plethora of school principals operating in an analog mindset who through school based decision making are determining the fate of appreciably better prepared digital leaders

Many of you currently in school leadership roles you might give thought to the following

Roger and I in running the online programs for those aspiring to lead a digital school are working in the main with what are in essence the school’s ‘chief digital officer’ (CDO)

As indicated in the article carried in this month’s Educational Technology Solutions on ‘Chief Digital Officers and the Governance of the Digital Ecosystem’ that person – the CDO – can be an A/P, director of information services, e-learning coordinator, director of ICT. It maters not what the position title might be – what is vital is having a visionary digital leader able to shape the school’s total digital ecosystem.

What we are slowly beginning to see – like in industry – is that the future CEO’s/principals are starting to come from the digital leadership ranks

Long way to go but..

Mal Lee

Author/educational consultant/publisher JP
PO Box 5010 Broulee
NSW 2537 Australia

Mobile 0414 405 962
Ph – + 61 2 44 717 947

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