New Organisations & Leadership for a New Era

In today’s world, leaders face unprecedented challenges and opportunities. The landscape is shifting due to the climate crisis, global health challenges, changes in social values, globalisation, technological advancements, and the emergence of digital-native generations. To thrive in this era of turbulence and disruption, leadership must evolve.

Factor10

It’s what Factor10 is founded on: We believe that real leaders in this brave, new world achieve outcomes through a deep sense of purpose, connection, meaning, and humanity. And importantly, this context required a new type of leader and new approaches to developing leaders.

The Covid-19 pandemic amplified this vision. As leaders navigate a brittle, anxious, non-linear, digitised, and chaotic world, the pressure, paradox, change, and challenges they face are exponential.

While creating forward movement and delivery in high-performance environments remain the cornerstone of leadership, how this happens matters greatly.

Ten Major Shifts Facing Organisations 

McKinsey & Company 2023 Report

1. Increasing speed, strengthening resilience

  • Approximately half of the survey respondents feel unprepared to react to future shocks.
  • Organisations that can quickly bounce back from crises can gain significant advantages.

2. ‘True hybrid’: The new balance of in-person and remote work

  • About 90% of organisations have adopted hybrid work models.
  • Providing structure and support for in-person and remote work activities is crucial.

3. Making way for applied AI

  • AI isn’t just for enhancing operations; it can be used to improve organisations.
  • AI is being used for sustainable talent pipelines, improving work processes, and making data-driven structural changes.

4. New rules of attraction, retention, and attrition

  • People are reevaluating their attitudes toward work.
  • Tailoring employee value propositions to individualised preferences can help close the gap between what workers want and what companies need.

5. Closing the capability chasm

  • Organisations need to build institutional capabilities to consistently outperform competitors.
  • Announcing digital elements in strategies without having the right capabilities is ineffective.

6. Walking the talent tightrope

  • Organisations need to focus on matching top talent to high-value roles.
  • Research shows that 20-30% of critical roles in many organisations aren’t filled by the most appropriate people.

7. Leadership that is self-aware and inspiring

  • Leaders must balance budgets while retaining key people.
  • In the current uncertain economic climate, the focus should be on matching top talent to high-value roles.

8. Making meaningful progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion

  • Many organisations prioritise diversity, equity, and inclusion, but progress is often lacking.
  • Leaders need to identify opportunities for progress within their organisations and in society at large.

9. Mental health – Investing in a portfolio of interventions

  • Despite many organisations offering well-being programs, global health and well-being scores remain poor.
  • Organisations must systematically address the causes of mental health and well-being challenges.

10. Efficiency reloaded

  • Over one-third of leaders in the survey prioritise efficiency.
  • It’s about more than managing crises; it means deploying resources more effectively.

Five Fundamental Leadership Shifts 

Here are the shifts that can unleash a new era of sustainable, inclusive growth for companies looking to outperform in this disruptive environment.

1. Beyond Profit to Impact:

For decades, many organisations focused solely on maximising profits for shareholders. While financial success remains crucial, leaders must go beyond profits and seek to maximise value and impact for all stakeholders. 

This shift requires leaders to:

  • Align the organisation with a clear and shared purpose.
  • Define the value to be created for all stakeholders.
  • Contribute positively to society and the natural environment.

2. Beyond Expectations to Wholeness:

Leaders must move beyond their identity as professionals and show up as authentic human beings. This shift involves expanding awareness and consciousness, developing emotional regulation, and practising well-being as a skill. Authenticity fosters trust, compassion, and stronger relationships within teams. Leaders who embrace this shift are better equipped to navigate uncertainty and change.

3. Beyond Command to Collaboration:

Traditional hierarchical leadership models are giving way to networked leadership teams. Leaders should empower and guide self-managing teams, fostering collaboration, transparency, and trust across the organisation. Encouraging people to work in small entrepreneurial teams and promoting horizontal transparency can lead to more adaptable and powerful organisations.

4. Beyond Control to Evolution:

Companies are moving towards becoming learning organisations that continually evolve, experiment, and adapt. Leaders must shift from controlling processes to coaching teams in the mindset of discovery. 

This shift involves:

  • Operating in short cycles of decision, action, and learning.
  • Reprioritising initiatives to execute today’s business while co-creating tomorrow’s business.
  • Engaging and leading people in the face of ongoing significant change. 

5. Beyond Competition to Cocreation:

In a rapidly changing world, companies should create new value for stakeholders by reimagining their business models and industry ecosystems. Leaders need to evolve from planners operating with a scarcity mindset to architects who shape new business models and systems, leveraging abundant opportunities and resources. 


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