Leaders of the future will not only need to inspire and influence people but understand, incorporate and leverage data, agility and design thinking to redefine strategies and business models. The aim is to become the future rather than be a part of it.
With emerging technologies rapidly redefining the existing ways of work, and the ever-increasing demands by a more data-driven generation of consumers, business disruptions are the cusp of the reality of today. To stay abreast in this environment of change, leadership is a skill of competency with the power to guide a company through the transformation.
Business disruptions are the pertinence of the transient market:
- So what can a leader do?
- How to guide when what you have been leading your people into is disrupted?
- How to be relevant but still hold on to your roots?
In the years that many of us have staged our careers upon, the market has transited from technology adoption to technology acceleration. Ironically, such eras stand as a testimony to how strong leadership based on age-old principles helps cope, or rather, GROW with the new.
A personal observation derived from experience has indicated that the following values can help you conquer and thrive in this formidable market:
1. Excellence – When a product or service is aiming for quality, agility and flexibility become a part of the brand. Excellence lies in being uncompromising.
2. One Team Spirit – A “scattered” organisation needs to be avoided. Thinking alike aides in churning ideas with new effervescence while maintaining the same brand identity. It highlights individuality on a larger and more united scale.
3. Customer Value – Humility is key. Staying true to who the brand serves is paramount. This helps the company understand its audience better and be a step ahead in providing what they need. Let’s consider the Talent Acquisition function. With the advent of convergence of artificial intelligence, machine learning, global mobile connectivity, Internet of Things and heightened computing power, the emphasis is to be laid on continuously augmenting the recruitment process in the organisation, by increased adaptability, in order to free it from transactional activities. This requires us to not only build a digital mindset but also train on creative analysis. The larger focus of the leadership thus should be on designing agile operating models: organisation structure, tools and methodologies.
Exciting organisation-wide transformations will be primarily in the following four broad areas:
- Organisation Design
- Technology Acceleration
- People Development – To ensure that the workforce is equipped to excel at tasks that technology won’t do well
- Leadership Principles – To embrace new mindsets, new behaviours, new structures, innovation and data-driven adaption
Capability building should be a high strategic priority for companies to build the workforce of the future. According to a McKinsey survey, even though the capabilities needed by the company have evolved, but methods of building those skills are still obsolete. The most successful and effective companies are those who focus on sustaining skills and linking learning to business performance.
Reliance has been exemplary when it comes to surviving massive changes. Keeping the legacy product the same, our brand has evolved to include the new and the necessary. Existing practices of sustainability and innovation are Reliance’s guiding ideas.
Conclusively, upholding a unique open leadership style can be the foundation of leadership during disruptions. To communicate, collaborate and commit – all that creates a more inviting aura at work helps. To keep the archaic strictness of hierarchy at bay and have a friendlier approach is what makes a leader current. To become the future rather than be a part of it is the aim to be achieved.
Believe it or not, the digital tsunami is impending. You can choose to ride this wave or get consumed by it.