Why Leaders Cannot be Complacent

Embracing Change

Innovation acts as a catalyst for change, and sometimes with change there can be a discontinuity with the old ways and models. Today, disruption driven by technology, customers and artificial intelligence is rapidly increasing. The Business Times (October 4, 2018) has this to say: “Organisations that are actively embracing digital transformation and new technological opportunities are seeing significant, measurable results and gaining a competitive advantage.” For this reason, it is imperative that leaders are prepared to navigate an ever-changing and unpredictable environment.

Be Prepared

New technology has the power to change the status quo. Corporations like Blockbuster, Blackberry or Kodak that did not transform quick enough, have been swept away by other companies that were primed. It is important for business leaders to understand developments and analyse the strategies they have in place. This will help to prepare them for the shifts an emerging technology may unleash. There is a high price to pay for not being prepared – 40% of Fortune 500 companies that existed in 2000 were no longer around by 2010, and that rate of extinction has held. Leaders cannot be complacent – they must be continuously prepared for new challenges.

Engage Your Employees 

While the push to think disruptively must come from the top, there is a need to engage the workforce for the best results.  In a MIT Sloan Management Review, author Jane McConnell emphasised the importance for leaders to practice participatory decision-making. By engaging the workforce, management can tap into a great source of information on clients and competitors and market intelligence. Leadership style can also be less directive, and more transformational, where leaders inspire their team through effective communication and create an intellectually stimulated environment. Future-ready leaders can then be capable of providing direction, alignment and commitment in their teams.

Cultivate Leadership

Leadership needs to be cultivated while embracing disruptive thinking. The ability to think disruptively can help leaders create value in new ways to support long-term growth. Leaders must be able to let go of assumptions about where competition and risk may come from, have a plan for a range of scenarios, and be prepared to look beyond long-established models.

Disruptive leadership is not about change for the sake of change. It is about integrating change into the modus operandi of the company. A dynamic leader will have to deal with a variety of competing priorities. Disruptive leadership translates into action and delivery: a leader will act with speed, urgency and decisiveness. They will be able to interpret and visualise the future, while engaging employees and key stakeholders. They will lead from the front with humility. They should have an adaptive mindset in a disruptive environment with the ability to continually re-position the business. Progressive companies are focusing on the development of their leaders and those who want to succeed should follow suit.

DecodeHR will be running a series of leadership development workshops that focus on transformational leadership and design thinking. Please get in touch if you would like to receive an invitation to these workshops.

Reference Sources :

1) Leaderonomics - How The Emergence of the Disruptive Leader Is Changing The Game

2) B&TMagazine - Customer Disruption; It’s What The Game Changers Are Doing

3) Harvard Business School - How Technological Disruption Changes Everything

4) McKinsey&Company - Disruptive Technologies: Advances that will transform life, business, and the global economy

5) Fast Company - 5 Habits Of Truly Disruptive Leaders

6)The Wall Street Journal - Disruptive Leadership: A Recipe for Success

7) The Business Times - Disruption, Technology and Opportunity

8) Dzone  - How to Ensure Digital Transformation Success: Build an Engaged Workforce

9) TEC - 9 Common Leadership Styles: Which Type of Leader Are You?