“Managers will need to relinquish their own power in favour of collaborative approaches, both inside and outside their organisations. In some cases, this means abandoning many of the behaviours that propelled leaders to the top of their organisations in the first place.” These, according to Wendy Montague, head of leadership and talent practice at Hay Group in Australia, are some of the key changes organisations can expect in the next two decades.
These shifts are in response to the global management consultancy’s report on the global trends that will impact organisations, employees and managers over the next two decades, and the key competencies required of successful future leaders.
The report, Leadership 2030, examines global trends— globalisation 2.0, climate change, demographic shifts, digitisation, individualisation and technological convergence—and their impact on leadership and organisations.
“Shifting trends indicate that the next generation of leaders will need to be adept conceptual and strategic thinkers, have deep integrity and intellectual openness, and find new ways to create loyalty among employees,” says Montague.
Hay Group explains how these trends will impact executive leadership:
1. Globalisation 2.0: As globalisation accelerates, the new business world will be characterised by increasingly diverse teams and declining loyalty between organisations and employees. The balance of power will shift to Asia, a global middle class will rise, and greater inter-connectedness will result in greater volatility in the economic markets.
Leadership impact: Companies will need to be more agile and collaborative to manage the global/local divide; their leaders will need to be flexible, internationally mobile and culturally sensitive, and they must have strong conceptual and strategic thinking capabilities in order to manage risk and cope with the dangers and uncertainties associated with globalisation.
2. Climate change: Rising emissions and temperatures will be further aggravated by growing residential and industrial waste in developing nations. The scarcity of strategic resources like water, minerals and fossil fuels could trigger price hikes and violent conflict.
Leadership impact: Organisations will be forced to lower their eco-footprint, adapt to rising operational costs and restructure along sustainable lines; leaders will need outstanding cognitive skills to balance the competing demands of financial success, social responsibility and environmental custodianship, and must act as change agents, advocating environmentally responsible business practices. 3. Demographic shifts: As the world population grows and ages, demographic imbalances are emerging, leading to skills shortages in some areas and increasing migration.
Leadership impact: For organisations, fewer people means the war for talent will continue to rage; leaders will need to attract, motivate and retain increasingly diverse teams and find ways to develop and promote the growing numbers of international migrants, women and older people into leadership positions. 4. Digital lifestyle and work: Technology will continue to blur the boundaries between private and work lives, will broaden generational divides, and will shift power to employees with extensive digital skills—particularly the rising class of “knowledge workers”, who can work anywhere.
Leadership impact: As organisations become increasingly virtual, leaders must recognise and harness the critical skills of digital natives, foster collaboration between them and traditional workers, and encourage high levels of openness, integrity and sincerity to build reputation in a more transparent world.
“To thrive in the future, leaders will have to become more nimble and adaptable, guiding organisations to revolutionise their cultures, structures, systems,” says Montague.
Join the CIO New Zealand group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.