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Leadership & Management

Leadership trends 2020

Health Industry Hub | December 16, 2019 |

During a time of ongoing organisational disruption, Forbes encourages leaders to explore how the rapid change can serve as an inspiration to help them envision futures that were not possible recently.

Here are the important leadership trends and business drivers to consider over the next three to five years.

1. Disruption is accelerating. Organisations must continue to monitor trends and disruptions and look for ways to leverage them for strategic advantage. It’s often noted that businesses must recognise the importance of disrupting or get disrupted. The question for organisations and their leaders is how to monitor these trends and create an advantage.

2. Adaptive leadership is a must. As companies evolve to respond to disruption, leaders need to elevate the quality of their leadership. The challenges businesses face are adaptive: leaders need to change themselves and their organisations. Organisations face problems that can’t be solved with their current thinking. Dr. Ron Heifetz, Harvard, talks about adaptive leadership as a practical leadership framework that helps individuals and organisations adapt to changing environments so they can effectively respond to recurring problems.

3. Organisations need to innovate who they are and what they offer. Organisations need to build innovation into their culture. This means they need to get comfortable updating what they do and how they do it to meet evolving strategic goals. In addition to elevating their leadership, leaders must update the overall systems, processes and cultural beliefs that underpin their organisations.

Leaders at some of the world’s largest companies said they plan to abandon the long-held view that shareholders’ interests should come first amid growing public discontent over income inequality and the burgeoning cost of health care and higher education.

This level of change could mean a significant overhaul of how companies operate. Innovation must be a priority to transform organisations. Effective innovation requires creating clear accountability, assigning people, measuring results and allocating financial resources.

Attracting and retaining the right people will become increasingly difficult with changing job requirements and growing skill gaps. According to IBM Institute for Business Value’s Enterprise Guide to Closing the Skills Gap: “Arguably, one of the greatest threats facing organizations today is the talent shortage. Executives recognise the skills gap. They know it’s both real and problematic. But most of their organisations don’t appear to be actively or effectively tackling the issue.”

“Compounding the issue, new skills requirements continue to emerge, while other skills are becoming obsolete. And it’s all happening quite rapidly.” Organisations must elevate their focus on the impact disruption will have on their workforce. This includes focusing on topics like creating real diversity and inclusion.

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4. Digital transformation drives and destroys value. Organisations must become more effective at leveraging digital tools. The lines between the physical, digital and biological worlds are becoming more blurred. Many organisations are now using some form of robotic process automation (RPA), business analytics or artificial intelligence (AI).

Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all aspects of a business. It is a trillion-dollar industry, but 70% of all digital transformations fail. The most successful organisations will break the code on implementing these tools effectively and efficiently.

5. Human resilience remains critical. As organisations accelerate the pace of change, people are often overloaded with current work and transformation work. The people who make change possible hit a point of diminishing performance that impacts their ability to deliver. Employers must provide work environments that maximise employee performance.

One important factor is creating an environment that ensures employees connect the work they do to their values. Employees also need to own their personal resilience. They can build resilience by ensuring they are taking care of their physical health, engaging in a mindfulness practice that allows them to observe and manage their thinking and building healthy connections inside and outside of work.

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6. Sustainability and the human/planet interface are essential. We continue to see an acceleration in climate volatility, high costs to businesses from weather events, lost biodiversity and environmental damage.

Addressing this trend will require everyone to act. Many organisations are making progress.

As we envision the future, we can elevate the quality of our organisations’ leaders.

Reference: www.forbes.com


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