Change and Redefining Leadership for a Digital Age

IMD Centre Research has just released a new white paper about leadership during this very digitally disruptive time. Have a read of it, it’s quite good.

It found that there were many similarities in leadership in stable environments and disruptive environments. And that there were some differences; it found that agile (versus non-agile) leaders were:

  1. Humble
  2. Adaptable
  3. Visionary
  4. Engaged

I think these are qualities that leaders in any environment should exhibit, partly because I don’t think there are many companies, organizations or environments that are stable anymore!

Additionally, they found agile leaders exhibited 3 behaviours:

  1. Hyperawareness
  2. Informed-decision making
  3. Fast execution

Again, I think these are skills that all leaders should be using in today’s reality. The pace of change in today’s world necessitates leaders, and individuals, in fact to embrace the above qualities and skills.

During a management committee meeting that I facilitated this week the topic of change was at the center – there was talk of people resisting change. I broke them into pairs and ask them to talk about a memorable change. Some struggled to even think of a change, until others starting sharing.

Some of their observations about today’s world and change were:

  • Blank out the pain of some change, recreate the memory to be bearable
  • Easier to accept it than fight it
  • Apprehension before and how normal change feels after the fact
  • Constantly challenged by change
    • Are we embracing it more?
    • Or is it so continual now?
  • How quickly you can adapt – if can’t change what’s happening then change attitude

What qualities and behaviours do you want to develop to lead change for your organization or yourself individually?