Leadership – The Time Is Now!
The way businesses operate has never faced so much change. The level and pace of change are not just limited to the business marketplace; it’s technology (artificial intelligence, virtual reality, machine learning…) and the power to predict both customer and employee behaviour. How we communicate and share information, influenced by social media and how we share our thoughts and concerns with the world – with Glass Door and Trust Pilot becoming organisational Trip Advisors’ for employees and customers.
There is also change happening in the demographics of the workforce. PWC have shown that by 2020 millennial’s will form 50% of the workforce. Governments and countries are in a state of flux, our leading think tanks can no longer forecast or influence outcomes of elections, generational dictators are being overturned. Such seismic occurrences that are affecting so many facets of our lives are unparalleled.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” Peter Drucker
There is a new worldview. The way we work and the needs and expectations of our workforce and customers have shifted. Organisations now have to take heed.
The rising stars of the recent era have got to where they are by seeing a gap, by being agile and being able to engage a workforce and a market for their product. To do that on scale requires aligning and developing a communal tension that engages enough minds that something magical happens.
That tension does not come from the 1980’s school of JFDI management, nor does it come from the late 1990’s unethical remuneration packages. In Dan Pink’s book ‘Drive’, he shows that traditional methods driving performance and motivating people created consequences that would effectively put the creativity and transformation we seek in reverse.
In this week’s budget, we saw that UK Plc has yet again failed to meet its growth targets and our performance has been downgraded placing additional pressure on the people businesses rely on to turn this around. Businesses and people grow through investment and I’m pleased to see a shift in both the political and organisational understanding of this starting.
Critically leaders need to ask the following questions:
How does the changing dynamics affect my organisation?
What do these changes mean with respect to satisfying markets, employee and customers demands?
What does today’s logic mean for my organisation – who do our stakeholders need us to be?
As a leader what does that require of me?
Organisations do not change quickly and many people do not find it easy either. For a leader, if you have become successful by operating one way, you become attached to that. Notably, 95% of what we are attached to has formed and remains unconscious. However, it still forms part of your identity, what you feel you are known for – your brand. Until leaders understand their brand and performance they limit the control over the impact they have.
The culture and performance of an organisation is a byproduct of the role its leaders play and have played in its inception, journey and present. Change can come from any direction, but ultimately it is an organisation’s leadership that sets the climate, mantra and focus that can enable that to occur.
The approach to delivery will be unique to each organisation and each leader. For each will have a unique recipe in terms of marketplace and stakeholder’s needs and identity. Each leader will hold their own lens on their leadership role and their individual motivation for that. Ensuring that they are tuned into their organisation and the messages that the organisational system is providing them with means a leader will get stronger insights and understanding of the way their organisation responds and performs. Leaders that do the work to recognise who they are as a leader and what’s driving them can then start to look to fill the gaps in performance; developing the thinking and strategies they need to employ to drive their business.
THE LEADERSHIP QUESTION:
True leadership comes in relationships; from influence, creating alignment and building trust and belief in the work that needs to happen. When you think about people that have had the most influence in your life it will not be because they controlled and directed you. An approach often seen in leaders operating with lower levels of awareness and confidence and therefore leadership development. They will have known you well, created challenge, not always comfortably so and inspired you to go further and to know more about yourself; that enabled you to push for greater levels of achievement.
START WITH THESE QUESTIONS:
What are my beliefs about leadership?
How have these been formed?
Who has influenced me the most in my life?
What was it about them and what did they do to create that influence?
Armed with information and insight we can start on a path to understanding ourselves, our environment and where we should be exploring to help us move forward.
We work in partnership with clients and organisations to deliver successful transitions. Our development programmes and coaching are focused on enabling the insight and understanding that stretches and challenges performance. We support clients to develop strategies as well as their understanding and awareness to operate more effectively, aligning with the challenging remit of leadership.
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Director & Coach
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