What does leadership mean in an age of perpetual change?
Source | www.weforum.org | Renate Wagner
- The role of leader is prone to more upheavals than others.
- Allianz SE has identified four key characteristics of successful leaders.
- Businesses can’t control external trends, but with astute leadership, they can control how they react to them.
Business models, the nature of work and the composition of workforces are changing radically. Only companies that transform continuously will remain competitive. Successful transformation depends crucially on whether a company’s leaders have the right mindset and skills.
For companies in the midst of digital transformation, the ability to adapt is the single most important skill, according to a 2016 Harvard Business Review article. Adaptation has to start with people. New roles emerge and old roles evolve; others that have existed for decades are disappearing. Companies need to be able to develop and cultivate new, digitally integrated skills.
While almost all jobs are subject to change, there is one kind of role which will change more than most in these times of uncertainty, volatility and complexity: the role of the leader.
Out of your control
The drivers of change are largely out of our control. Take demographics. For the first time in history, companies are now employing up to five generations simultaneously. Globally, generation Z and millennials – with their rather different career needs and aspirations – will soon dominate the workforce. Work patterns are changing, with more people working from home or on the road or in flexible arrangements. In a globalized world, more people are working across geographies and many teams are international. Technological innovation and changing customer expectations underpin the need for continuous business transformation. The boundaries between sectors and functions are blurring. Networks play bigger role in the workplace.