As digitisation disrupts industry ever more profoundly, a distinct blurring of lines between the boundaries of our physical and digital worlds is emerging. Industries are morphing to embrace the smarter, more agile ways of digital interaction and engagement, and organisations are exploring how to bring on board leaders with the innate ability to adapt to and create this change. To unlock the growth potential stemming from digitisation, businesses require visionary leaders who can mirror the agile and changeable characteristics of this new opportunity. Leaders who can shape the corporate culture, as they journey along a transformational path, and who can inspire this transformation in the teams they lead. Leaders who can quickly pivot, adapt and change direction in the ways they serve their customers.
The uncertainty brought on by COVID-19 has required many organisations to explore new ways of working for both business continuity, and to minimise the impact of the pandemic on employees, customers and shareholders. Overnight, many organisations scaled up to move their entire workforces to remote working, they worked overtime to assess the impact of legislative, regulatory and customer changes and managed forced, rapid changes within their ranks. The velocity of these changes continues to spiral, as leaders and board members look to ramp up their efforts to access data points, to gain a holistic view of their organisation’s ability to manage change.
A data-driven world
Leading a data-driven culture – one in which decisions are informed by analytically derived insights, is a key quality of tomorrow’s leadership team. A strong leader needs to be able to quickly analyse a problem or opportunity with hard data and execute rapidly on it, to keep pace with the changing market. They need to explore how to combine the forensic, data centric side to decision making, with self-awareness and a clear vision to reflect upon the impact their decisions are having on society, on customers and on the organisation as a whole. Undoubtedly, leaders will be considering how to cast a customer centric lens over data driven decisions, to balance trustworthy facts, alongside the more intuitive and engaging accompanying story. Boards will be simultaneously looking to regularly assess their leadership team, and create plans, to ensure long term sustainability and commercial success. The importance of understanding c-suite bench strength and providing continuing leadership development opportunities through the use of leadership assessment, psychometric testing and a methodical approach to talent development, is a key success indicator in leading organisations through periods of robust change.
In an era of change, there’s no room for executives to work in silos from one another, the best decisions will be made by engaging with internal and external stakeholders, being humble and adaptable to landscape changes and having vision for the longer term despite short-term uncertainty. We’re seeing an increasing need for organisations to hire leaders with the ability to adapt to change, work to create better results through stronger team dynamics and to reflect on their impact through analysis of a wide range of hard and soft data.
For advice on Leadership Advisory, Assessment or Executive Coaching, please contact Catherine.