Critical Capabilities for Leading in a Complex World | ABC Business

Critical Capabilities for Leading in a Complex World

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A business starts with leadership, a vision with the ability to inspire and the strength to lead others to produce an action of value. In essence, this assumes the values of ‘the way we do things around here’ and authenticates leadership style.

As the new wave of Millennials, Generation C (1995 - 2007), become ready to enter the workforce, a company's culture is becoming younger and more dynamic. It is one thing to develop this complexity and another thing entirely to wield it effectively. Some principles of leadership never change - but others do, in response to evolving technology and workforce demographics, and here are some timely leadership tenets to keep in mind for this year.


Create an Environment of Leadership

Leadership is a set of actions that align, excite, or propel a group toward a common goal. Creating an environment for leadership or “visioning” is about creating a compelling picture of the future. It is a process of articulating what members of the organisation may be able to create in the future and the social motivators needed to inspire action.


Scaling Collaboration

Networking is no longer about advancing a career. Instead effective leaders are looking at strategic ways to compete internationally through establishing partnerships and associations. Embracing networking as a way to foster collaboration while serving business goals inspires creativity and is important to establish new channels and markets, and spurr successful alliances. The advent of collaborative technologies such as Slack and Trello have evolved to prevent the hoarding or siloing of information, in turn creating a culture for collaboration, sharing and an open playing field for inquiry and advocacy.


The art of being self aware

Leadership demands the expression of an authentic self. The ability to encourage followers through the legitimacy of a leader’s actions echoes that you are not only who you say you are, but you have the integrity to follow through. Imbuing staff with confidence by demonstrating your ability to implement your actions, thereby increasing legitimacy, has gained importance with Gen-C seeking real-world role models with honesty and integrity.


Inspire Engagement

Engagement can be defined by a level of commitment as a result of the interaction with the organisation’s reason to be, that goes beyond the day to day transactions. This establishes the value employees exhibit and engenders a sense of commitment. A younger emerging generation of employees have the desire and need to feel part of something - and to know what they're doing is worthwhile. This generation cares deeply about creation, curation, connection, and community and value actionable inspiration as key reasoning for following people.


Cultivate Learning Agility

Building a culture for learning agility, is a necessary capability in an evolving business context. Learning agility is a complex set of skills that allows us to learn adaptable capabilities. Organisations need agile leaders to move ahead successfully in volatile times and to create influence for others to adapt and learn. Gen-C are proving themselves synonymous with personal development, and searching for meaning. Learning develops a deeper appreciation for the contributions different business units make to reaching overall strategic goals, and demonstrates additional skills needed to grow people capability.

Using your complex self requires a degree of self-knowledge and the willingness and ability to share that self-knowledge. A business culture is an amalgam of the businesses’ activities, past and current. It goes almost without saying that the exercise of leadership is complex and over time, a leader develops an extensive repertoire of roles. It is one thing to develop this complexity and another thing entirely to wield it effectively. 

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