Leading in a Digital World - September to November 2024

This programme supports senior leaders transforming their organisation to address the challenges and opportunities presented by our digital world. The programme was previously titled Digital Champions.
5 days

Available dates

Tuesday 03 September 2024

9:00 am - 4:00 pm

(5 days)

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It’s a difficult time for countries across the world and here in Scotland we share the world’s economic challenges and the impact of climate change.  The Leading in a Digital World programme brings together practitioners and executives from across the Scottish public sector, to discuss how digital transformation can help meet some of the challenges we face as a nation.  The programme offers practical tools and techniques around digital transformation.  Feedback has consistently shown that delegates rate highly the chance to discuss work through emerging opportunities and the key challenges faced in delivering transformation.

An additional benefit to completing the programme is becoming an Alumni and having access to a network of over 300 public sector leaders.  The Scottish Digital Academy delivers ongoing support for Alumni by way of webinars and in person events.

What will you learn?

The aim of the programme is to support leaders in understanding how the role of new technologies and new ways of working and leading can better respond to the challenges public and third sector organisations face today and in the future. 

The programme will be delivered over 5 days:

Day 1 – 3 September (in person) in person at Atlantic Quay, Glasgow

Public Sector Transformation 

At the end of the session participants will:

  • Be able to articulate what is meant by public sector transformation, digital leadership, and how these terms relate to your current strategic and operational priorities.
  • Have reflected on and assessed the digital maturity of your organisation.
  • Have begun to identify what strategic and tactical approaches you need to apply to different areas.
  • Identify and prioritise the key challenges you are facing, when leading digital transformation in your organisation.
  • Have begun to get to know your peers in the cohort, identifying shared challenges.

Day 2 – 4 September (in person) in person at Atlantic Quay, Glasgow

Systems Leadership

At the end of the session participants will:

  • Recognise what aspects of leadership are changing in a digital era and why.
  • Articulate the characteristics of a systems leader, reflecting on own strengths and gaps.
  • Understand the importance of continued collaboration.
  • Identify the broader digital landscape relevant to achieving your transformation goals.
  • Explore future challenges and how to lead through them.

Day 3 – 23 October (online) via Microsoft Teams

Culture – Changing mindsets and ways of working

At the end of the session participants will: 

  • Understand the connection between transformation, design and agile.
  • Articulate skills required within your organisation for digital transformation.
  • Know how to bring together people with diverse skills to address challenges.
  • Articulate how human-centred methods and approaches can be employed by them and the value that might add to their roles and teams.

Day 4 – 12 November (in person) at Victoria Quay, Edinburgh

Design Sprint

At the end of the session participants will:

  • Recognise some of the factors that need to be in place for them to become more human-centred leaders in a digital world.
  • Use human-centred/agile approaches to come up with potential solutions to the challenges you have identified collectively.
  • Identify their role as leaders for enabling and mobilising this way of working.

Day 5 – 13 November (in person) at Victoria Quay, Edinburgh

Future Thinking 

At the end of the session participants will:

  • Have a clearer idea of what actions they can take now, and in the future, individually and collectively.
  • Learn and share expertise with and from others, potentially covering topics that the programme was not able to cover.

 During the programme, you will:

  • Learn what is meant by public sector transformation, digital leadership, and how these terms relate to your current strategic and operational priorities, and broader policies in the Scottish context.
  • Explore digital maturity and identify your own challenges.
  • Learn how digital methods can support human and team-centred approaches to design, and how these can lead to innovation and enhance digital customer (and employee) experience.
  • Run through a strategic challenge to understand the interconnections between technology, organisational change and service delivery.
  • Reflect on the skills, capabilities, ethical considerations and behaviours modern leaders need to enable digital transformation.
  • Learn how to identify, nurture and recruit digital talent, set up teams and establish roles to stimulate a digital culture.
  • Learn about new platforms that can be used as enablers to better integrate into existing processes to support digital transformation, including: processes, digital collaboration tools and the use of physical/online spaces.
  • Explore digital and information governance approaches.
  • Learn about underlying conditions and investment needed to embed digital culture, new ways of working, processes and platforms within organisations.
  • Gain understanding of the digital funding and investment landscape.
  • Learn about system leadership and the value of continued collaboration.
  • Identify other common challenges faced by Scottish public sector leaders and begin to create a tangible action plan to take forward in your own context.
  • Explore the Scottish Approach to Service Design, the Digital Scotland Service Standard and the Scottish Government Design Toolkit.


The programme is open to people who have responsibility and autonomy for aspects of digital transformation in their organisations.  

You must be a senior leader within the Scottish public or third sector, leading organisational change or transformation and/or with responsibility for digital services and products.

Applications must be sponsored by a senior colleague e.g. Director or Chief Executive where appropriate, so that you are able to commit your time to attendance on the programme. This will include a project that may be undertaken within your role to the benefit of your organisation and your own professional learning. 

Applications will be considered and offered to people on a first come basis.

Fees and funding

This programme is funded, but there will be a charge applied for cancelling less than 2 weeks before the start of the programme OR if you miss more than 1 day of the programme.  Attendees are expected to meet the costs of travel to and from meeting venues and/or overnight stays.

Additional information

It is essential that participants commit to the duration of the programme and that you book your diaries pending your acceptance on to the programme.

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