There is much buzz about “the organization of the future” as the top business focus around the globe. Indeed, in a world-wide survey conducted by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd, the focus takes first place among 11 other key issues facing executives today as they ask themselves how to keep their respective companies sustainable into the next generation and beyond.
This makes sense. What leader doesn’t want his or her company to move into the future successfully? Those leading realize that, as technology and shifting customer demands transform the business landscape, they will need to restructure the organization, including many processes, roles and responsibilities, and other moving parts in order to deliver services and products.
But leadership needs to change, too.
In order to lead the organization of the future, to support required new approaches, ways of thinking, doing, workforce shifts, and so much more, leaders will need to up their game.
Is your leadership up to it?
Or is it out of date?
Top tenets of the organization of the future include operating at a faster pace, adapting more quickly to market demands, acquiring new knowledge more rapidly, and embracing dynamic career demands.
What will the leaders of today need to do in order to prepare for this?
The answer lies beyond a traditional emphasis on horizontal development, which concentrates on acquiring additional information, skills and competencies.
Instead, leaders will also need to add a focus on their vertical development – developing more complex and sophisticated ways of thinking.
This only makes sense: a more complex world mean that the organization needs to respond in kind.
To do this, we need a more sophisticated way of seeing and making sense of things so that we can lead effectively.
Here are some highlights of vertical development. Do you reflect these in your leadership?
Strategic Thinking 2.0
Your strategic thinking sees many patterns and connections. Gone is the black and white thinking of the past. It’s time to become comfortable with uncertainty as the norm instead of having a high need for certainty.
Success is no longer defined as achievement of individuals and teams, but a realization of a shared vision. Change is embraced as a culture and is a collaborative, ongoing process.
Leading Across Boundaries
Are you focused on the success of your own area of responsibility? This will be termed “siloed thinking,” and replaced by working in partnership with other functions. Brain-trusting will become a regular way of thinking and doing.
How do you develop these traits and practices in yourself, your team, and your employee base?
Nick Petrie, author of “Vertical Leaders,” www.CCL.org, outlines a 3-pronged approach that can support your growth initiative:
Intense stretch experiences
Provide periodic “bursts” of learning stimulation by providing a challenging work initiative or project that stretches current thinking and skills.
New ways of thinking
Hold periodic meetings with an outside facilitator with the intent of challenging beliefs and behaviors to develop higher thinking. During these meetings, choose two to three difficult business issues to surface beliefs, biases, and mental models so that you can collectively challenge these and shift thinking.
Strong developmental networks
Use peer coaching to see through the eyes of different stakeholders and learn how to work on real-life issues incorporating multiple considerations.
As you review the suggestions above, you no doubt recognize that these kinds of shifts require dedication and time. However, without this commitment, your enterprise will probably become a casualty of the coming changes. Making the effort to meet the future now is an investment that will surely pay off today, as well as tomorrow.
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Learn the two vital parts to trust and how they can help you become a more highly effective leader.
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Patti Cotton helps executives optimize their effectiveness in leading self, others, and the enterprise. Her areas of focus include confidence, leadership style, executive presence, effective communication, succession planning, and masterful execution. With over 25 years of leadership experience, both stateside and abroad, Patti works with individuals, teams, and organizations across industries, providing executive consulting, leadership development, succession planning, change management, and conflict resolution. She is also an experienced Fortune 500 speaker. For more information on how Patti Cotton can help you and your organization, click here.