Leadership and strategic management in the digital era 

Theme 1: Transformational leadership 

The fourth industrial revolution had a profound influence on our world and our lives and is changing the way we are doing business. Universities are no exception and are experiencing new demands from business, students, and government. Due to the fourth industrial revolution, Vice-chancellors are experiencing tremendous pressure to digitally transform their universities.

This crucial transformation of universities, however, requires the transformation of its leaders and the development of leadership capacity. The digital era, in which relationships with all stakeholder groups play a pivotal role, requires a different type of leader with different skills than what was required in the industrial age and the information age. Characteristics and skills such as intuition, empathy, and the ability to work with paradoxes and uncertainty are now leadership essentials. Asking the right questions is now even more important than having the answers. Leaders are furthermore now expected to be learners, listeners, adapters, storytellers, nurturers, and synthesisers. Relationships now lead when it comes to attracting, retaining, and rewarding business and outweigh transactions. Connection and not competition has become the benchmark.