What Next and how do we get there?
There are a few things that are certain in life, and uncertainty of the future is one!
For years in business we have done what I call ‘the filing error’. We have filled our mental filing cabinets with information from current situations saying; ‘look that worked here, remember that, it will be useful next time’. Businesses have been made in predicting the future like this, deifying the process as ‘common sense’.
Things have changed and we think differently. What worked last time probably won’t now. Additionally if its knowledge based its dollar value is vastly reduced. Knowledge is now free, communication is almost instant, transparency is expected, and we have global resources. Did you see that coming? It’s frightening and many institutions are in denial.
On a personal note I see it in consultants who so often maximised income by confusing subjects by specialised language and siloed resources. My pet hate here would be the computer specialist who always made me feel an idiot. I now ring Apple ‘help’ who laughs with me about the issue, while helping me download the fix and only then asks for my warranty serial number!
The only real value is in human potential. Human interactions that create deep value and cultural potency, in a world that otherwise moves on, at a ‘click’.
Leading business voices place the effect of organisational culture as more important than the strategic plan, and 80% of this is attributed to leadership behaviours.*
So the future certainty is the need for this different sort of leader. A leader who can lead in this new world. I suggest it’s a leader emotionally in touch, demonstrating courage (a quality of ‘heart’), totally proficient in what was called, with a hint of despair, ‘soft skills’.
Of course these leaders will have consummate skill in an area – I’d call it their genius, this is why they are allowed to play! - while also being on a journey of constant learning, and enquiry. They will have strategic inputs for themselves of a wide range of materials and experiences and encourage their team’s members also in their individual genius. They will create great teams by joining members by their values, and find outstanding missions for their company that only come by multiplication of human potential. These will be profitable and they will create new classes of business and stay relevant, as constant change is here to stay.
Business was always about people, and it is personal. The class of leader to own this future will nimbly create hope and focus (clarity), and replace fear with confidence in an uncertain world. They will give useful feedback and will be fun as she will remember ‘rule no.6’ ** - Don’t take yourself so g…damm seriously.
*Prof. M Higgs HR, Mgt and OD University Southampton – 80% of organisational culture is attributable to leadership. London School of Economics says culture is 8 x more influential on performance variation than the strategic plan. Tribal Leadership NT Times best seller by Logan & King ‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast’.
** The Art of Possibility by B and RS Zander – Chapter 6. US National Bestseller.