The accelerated pace of human progress owes much to the relentless advancement of technology and digital innovation. The horizon of our future is brimming with exciting promise. CEOs today continue to prioritize growth in their organizations through technology and talent.

This evolutionary trajectory inherently mirrors Darwinism concepts, where prowess in talent and technology enables growth and success. The fittest will survive and thrive. Not surprisingly, 60% of the global top 10 companies are tech, valued at a staggering $10 trillion. They are consistently defying conventional growth rates. Apple, Alphabet (Google) and Amazon got this right; it's their strong digital workforce developing innovative business-tech capabilities to power competitive growth and build sustainable resilience.

However, while celebrating this technological revolution, our gaze today must pivot toward governmental and global enterprise institutions, the linchpins of society and progress. Upon closer inspection, the prevailing reality disappoints most of us—namely, up to 75% of digital investments flounder by missing deadlines, overshooting budgets or failing to yield anticipated outcomes. Extensively profound, this issue remains insufficiently defined and tackled. We commissioned research that spotlights a poignant revelation: 93% of leaders attribute these digital failures to deficiencies in talent, culture and skills.

Contrarily, McKinsey touts GenAI as the top priority for CEOs in 2024. Yet, history reveals that it's not GenAI; it's us—humans—first. Let us illuminate this through the example of a real-life predicament someone might face as a technology executive and global CIO (we'll call this executive Andrew):

Andrew's day dawns with a torrent of reprimands from his CEO, demanding an immediate digital strategy centered on GenAI, without further budget and resource allocation. Pressed by this ultimatum, Andrew convenes with the GenAI project team, only to be greeted by disheartening revelations: Team disengagement is at 50%, with the other half oblivious to GenAI's essence, and consultants leveraging anxiety to try to capture an additional $5 million contract.

As if these issues weren't enough, two crucial team members defect to a competitor, enticed by promises of a more lucrative remuneration. Betrayal and disillusionment set in—a symphony of unrealistic demands from the CEO, lackluster commitment from the team, greed from consultants and scorn from business leaders. In this context, failure seems inevitable. Andrew resigns while ahead.

This tale, sadly commonplace, epitomizes a landscape devoid of performance, progress and digital sustainability that is rife with talent, culture and skills deficits. Andrew's team is fatigued, disenchanted and misunderstood, grappling with a lack of strategic vision and understanding of GenAI beyond superficial online glimpses. The situation is untenable. What can Andrew do differently?

"Digital fusion" can help. It's an organizational state that involves pivoting toward a human-centric approach to digital transformation. Echoing the adage of winners attributed to Zig Ziglar, "You don’t build a business. You build people, then people build the business." This paradigm stresses the cultivation of missing soft skills—business acumen, communication and political astuteness—within technology teams.

Gartner's Christie Struckman gives us 14 power skills to focus on. This is insightful research guidance. Namely, it suggests we focus on soft skills, not specific tech skills, that can help deliver the exciting promises that digital can deliver.

Exploring how winning digital leaders do things differently is worthwhile. We can see they relentlessly invest in upskilling their digital workforce and building a culture of performance across three specific areas:

1. Growing The Individual: They ignite a growth mindset and fuel positive motivation. This gives individuals resilience and daily energy. They cultivate trust to harness the power of diversity. This creates courage, vulnerability and openness.

2. Building The Team: They inspire a collective vision to define their North Star. They power team collaboration that solves real business problems. This is about cross-functional teamwork and impact. They prioritize coaching their leadership team to drive impact at scale.

3. Changing The Organization: They influence change that inspires, and they obtain support to create a sustainable future. They spark innovation by fostering involvement from all. Most importantly, they master communication to influence and drive change.

The crux lies in redefining the value of human capital within the digital realm—an opportunity to break the cycle of failure rates. Focusing on attracting, nurturing and retaining the right skills and culture fosters a high-performance team. True digital potential rests not solely in GenAI or emergent tech, but in a dedicated, skilled and engaged digital workforce—a testament to "digital fusion." This is tomorrow, and the next winner will be a contributor to our exponential human progress.

Check the original article here: The Human Answer: Beyond GenAI And Tech Marvels (