Business leaders are becoming increasingly aware that what worked for them in the past and led to their success is no longer working. Relentless change is now the norm, and with this comes the need for visionary, agile, resilient leadership who can manage the performance of their people and organizations through this new business environment – much like a conductor guides an orchestra of different parts through multiple different stages of a musical piece. Recent estimates indicate that up to two thirds of companies of all sizes today will cease to exist in the next 5-10 years. The bottom line is that in order to survive, leadership and business approaches have to change.
Recognising that producing 21st century-fit leadership will require a different approach to leadership development, Henley Business School in the United Kingdom commissioned Professor Peter Hawkins to lead a two-year global research project with a team of partners to investigate the experiences of both senior leadership and upcoming young leaders to establish what needs to change and how. I was privileged to be one of the research partners, having fascinating interviews in top South African companies. Whilst some of the information we gathered is now becoming widely recognised, the results of the research also contain many unexpected surprises.
The report “Tomorrow’s Leadership and the Necessary Revolution in Today’s Leadership Development” has recently been published. It provides a useful road map for navigating this convoluted, interconnected 21st century world of work, for evaluating the progress your organisation is making in key areas, and some tips towards ensuring it continues to stay relevant to all of its internal and external stakeholders going forward.