e-Leadership – Digital Skills for SMEs: There is a job to do!: Latest figures and results from the European initiative

Innovative e-leadership positions in Europe are estimated to be around 620,000 in 2015. Demand is estimated to reach 776,000 in 2020. Europe requires up to 200,000 e-leaders by 2020, i.e. 40,000 per year. Without further action Europe will not be in a position to create this number. There is a job to do!
According to the e-leadership scoreboard which correlates closely with GDP data as well as the NRI (Networked Readiness Index) countries like Ireland, Belgium and the UK perform better on e-leadership maturity than indicated by economic and technology maturity. Policy makers in the other EU member states may want to learn about how different policies may affect e-leadership practice.There is growing recognition in digital skills and e-leadership skills policies prompted by the e-Skills Agenda and subsequent e-leadership skills initiatives of the European Commission. Member states have started to engage in public debates and develop appropriate responses.

Development of multi-stakeholder partnerships in the e-leadership field requires key stakeholders to agree on action, help promote awareness of the topic and boost training. Today, only eight member states have taken decisive initiatives on e-leadership education and training. Elsewhere the extent and consistency of policy-making is still limited and most countries lack a master strategy and continuous attention to e-leadership in policy-makingWhen develop e-leadership training for SMEs it needs to be borne in mind that the requirements of SMEs are specific, diverse and hands-on. Training formats needs to be focused, short, flexible and affordable. New training offers are emerging and diverse pathways to e-leadership are indispensable. Five pioneering universities and business schools set out to engage with gazelle and entrepreneurial SMEs to develop and pilot suitable training and education formats. These pilots in five EU member states have been very successful and can help the diversity of other training providers to follow along the same lines.  Policy recommendations address the topics: research and training, stakeholder coordination, monitoring and benchmarking and policy commitment.

These are some of the results from the European Commission initiative ‘e-Leadership Skills for SMEs’ which has (November 2015) released the final report and the brochure summarising these.

Brochure and Final Report: e-Leadership – Digital Skills for SMES available for download here.