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Leading Change in the Digital Era: Dr. Gizelle Williams

Meet Dr. Gizelle Williams, a remarkable alum of the DaVinci Institute and a 2022 Doctoral graduate.


Her thesis, entitled: "A conceptual framework for developing leadership capability within organisations in the digital era," highlights the importance of leadership development in the ever-changing digital world of work.


Dr. Williams understands that change is constant, and businesses are impacted by global and technological shifts that influence how they are structured and managed.


The digital world of work, marked by technological advancements, demands a different type of leader. Her research aims to shed light on the leadership capabilities required in this new world of work and the developmental implications for organisations.


Throughout her career, Dr. Williams has been an advocate for leadership development and talent management. She started her journey with a degree in Industrial Psychology from Wits University, and has been registered as an Organisational Psychologist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa since 2002. After achieving her Master's degree, she entered the workforce at South African Breweries in Human Resources. From there, she did some people management consulting with Hay Group and YSC and entered the marketing and communications field in 2007. She then headed up HR for three different networks: VWV Group, where she was the HR Director, TBWA, where she was the Group Talent Director, and Publicis Groupe Africa, where she was the Chief Talent Officer. In 2020, Dr. Williams and her business partner founded Kryptonite Digital, a company that partners with organisations to take their people on the journey of digital business transformation.


Dr. Williams' research is intended to shed light on the leadership capabilities required in the digital world of work, and to explore the developmental implications thereof. The key contribution of the study is a conceptual framework for developing leadership capability within organisations in the digital era. Of which mindsets, perspectives and skills required in the digital world of work are critical contributions. The notion that these capabilities are to be developed in a vertical, organic way.


Her journey to completing her qualification was not without its challenges, but her grit and resilience, coupled with a deep curiosity for the unknown and her need to make a real difference, helped her persevere. The journey has also taught her about the importance of remaining humble and always open to new learning. She has also found her voice amongst the myriad of other expert voices.


As she sets her sights on expanding Kryptonite Digital to the world, Dr. Williams has moved to Spain and has set up Kryptonite Europe. Her advice to a student embarking on this journey is to keep your eye on the prize, never give up, and never doubt yourself. With hard work and determination, you too can make a real difference in the world and be a leader of change.



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