With 67% of Venture Capitalists saying they do not believe that current organisation leaders have the leadership styles fit for the future, what do we need to change? A study by PWC said that two thirds of C-Suite Executives across all sectors agreed on two things that had the greatest impact on their organisations’ success:
- Clarity of Vision and Purpose
- Passion for Execution of That Vision
While much is made of the need for innovation and transformation, the same study stated that 54% of change programmes fail or are not sustained. What we do know is that the challenges we as individuals and organisations face will continue as a result of geopolitical shifts, urbanisation, digitalisation, demographic and social change and climate change.
Leadership styles need to be disrupted, but what does that mean? Trust in leaders has declined and respect for experts has reduced. Consumers, companies and individuals are connected and collaborating and sharing. We now have distributed information and knowledge and information is no longer a guarantee of power. The role of the leader in steering us through this complexity is critical to success. Leaders can no longer depend on hierarchy and need to adopt different practices. According to Robert Kegan, conventional leadership styles limit our ability to transform our organisations and, in some cases, actively prevent it. We need to overcome our immunity to change in order to transform and we have to start with our leadership. We need to consider the whole system, support consideration of different perspectives, ask questions of our own assumptions and how we can take a different view, provide clarity of purpose and provide an environment where individuals can align their personal purpose with that of the organisation. We need to create and encourage distributed power and accountability where decisions and work get done where it needs to be done. We should demand a learning environment where experiments, prototypes and sharing experiences are positive and expected; where timeframes of learning are accelerated and we anticipate future possibilities. The complexity challenge requires leaders to show they do not know the future and that there are many possible paths. They need to show ways we can prepare for the unexpected and embrace it as more information.
The real disruption to come is in the way we lead.
If you would like to know more about how we are working with organisations on disruptive leadership and leading in uncertainty contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +44 (0)333 987 5072