Quotes from an interview with HBS Working Knowledge:
That framework is changing now. The Internet is redefining software. The Internet is redefining the role of computing and communication and their interaction with each other. I still dont understand the new framework. I dont think any of us really do. But some aspects of it are pretty clear. Its proven to be not computing based but communications based. In it computing is going to be subordinated to the communication task. It is going to be very heavily dominated by the increasing portion of all intellectual property being created in digital form, stored in this platform, and therefore ready to be transported in digital form.
None of us have a real understanding of where we are heading. I dont. I have senses about it. But decisions dont wait; investment decisions or personal decisions dont wait for that picture to be clarified. You have to make them when you have to make them. And try not to get too depressed in the journey, because theres a professional responsibility. If you are depressed, you cant motivate your staff to extraordinary measures. So you have to keep your own spirits up even though you well understand that you dont know what youre doing.
You can promote intuition. You can recognize the innate aptitude of people to grasp what cannot be spelled out and cannot be shown by data, to be in tune with those vague attributes on the other side of that vague valley. And put them in positions where they can act on their intuition. But having said that, this presumes that the person making the promotion has a grasp of the situation. Which goes right back to where you started with your question. The senior leader has to have the understanding and the confidence in his conviction.