Three ideas for leaders to be more successful in the 21st century

ideas 19

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: François Ortalo-Magné, Dean, London Business School


A confusing, overwhelming, fragmented, unstructured deluge. This is how business leaders often described their context. Yet, as the top executives of their organisations, they understand the importance of remaining informed and vigilant about their fast-shifting landscape.

Building on insights from researchers at London Business School, I find that, in the current interconnected and fast-changing world, leaders are most effective when engaging with their teams and broader stakeholders, providing them with time to reflect and the safe space to playfully experiment and offer unique perspectives.

Here are three specific ideas for leaders to be more effective in the 21st century.

1. Develop contextual awareness and system leadership.

Tammy Erickson, Adjunct Professor of Organisational Behaviour at London Business School, addresses the need for new approaches to organizational design and leadership in the current knowledge-based economy. Success has become closely linked to the ability of organizations to nurture innovative and collaborative behaviours, openness to new ideas and the ability to engage people around meaningful work. Research has also shown the “wisdom of crowds” —the idea that groups make better decisions than individuals.

As a result, leaders should increasingly harness the knowledge and energy of their teams and the entire organization. “It is also critically important that leaders make strategic decisions by carefully considering the demands and expectations of their stakeholders,” writes Ioannis Ioannou, London Business School Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship. In other words, current times require both greater contextual awareness and system leadership skills from leaders.

2. Combine top-down clarity with bottom-up initiatives.

Freek Vermeulen’s work highlights the importance of combining top-down clarity with bottom-up initiatives. The first aspect of good leadership is the ability to develop, communicate and implement a clear strategic direction from the top. The second aspect of good leadership is the ability to enable bottom-up contributions to fit this top-down strategic direction. It is the responsibility of the leadership to create the conditions and culture to empower people to contribute to the overall objectives from wherever they sit in the organization.

3. Create a space for collective learning and experimentation.

Engaged and motivated employees are instrumental to the success of any organization. This can be promoted by making sure people feel they can express themselves in their work, experiment and learn new things as well as feel a sense of purpose in what they do. One concrete way to make this happen is through the creation of experimental safe zones to allow for playful interactions and social bonding. “Experimental safe zones create intrinsic motivations, which are much more powerful than extrinsic motivations because they unleash creativity,” writes Dan Cable, London Business School Professor of Organisational Behaviour.

With these questions and challenges in mind, the World Economic Forum has developed its Strategic Intelligence platform. Transformation Maps are the core of the platform, providing the ability to create a customized, interactive map, which applies expert-designated insights to the specific strategic priorities of users. The maps open up avenues for leaders to support their teams in working together—to understand the context for the development of their strategic priorities, and to communicate about complex issues in a visual way.

Leaders can leverage the maps to inform their own perspectives and those of their teams as well as create space for collective exploration and strategic conversations. The World Economic Forum’s maps are one interesting way to jumpstart some of the shifts addressed above, rethink the way our teams work and bring organizations into the 21st century.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

German stock market is not affected by the Greek debt revolution while Athens is running out of time

Merkel had it her way with the refugees & immigrants but can Greece and Turkey deliver?

Summer pause gives time to rethink Eurozone’s problems

UN and partners appeal for $920 million to meet ‘dire needs’ of Rohingya refugees

Future fit: 3 ways fashion can be more sustainable

Better ID card security to curb document fraud

Monday’s Daily Brief: biodiversity and forests, labour and road safety, women’s rights, and fallen UN staff remembered

The European Parliament hemicycle in Strasbourg (Copyright: European Union, 2017 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Mauro Bottaro)

EU Parliament sends controversial copyright law reform back to discussion

Industrial products: Lifting the last impediments in the EU single market

EU and New Zealand launch trade negotiations

Four major resources for new European young entrepreneurs

Digital development: technology-enabled, but human-centric

This is what the gender pay gap looks like in eight countries

The Stray

Why people with disabilities are your company’s untapped resource

What brands get wrong about China – and how to put it right

Global Talent – Professional Internships

It’s just electronic cigarette, don’t worry?

What next for Europe? Three (completely) different Davos views

UN chief welcomes re-opening of key Gaza border crossing

A silent killer: the impact of a changing climate on health

Japan should reform retirement policies to meet challenge of ageing workforce

Facts and prejudices about work

“No labels for entrepreneurs!”, a young business leader from Italy cries out

Electronic Cigarettes: Are they really as safe as we think?

TTIP’s 11th round major takeaways and the usual “leaked” document

Germany’s strong anti-bribery enforcement against individuals needs to be matched by comparably strong enforcement against companies

UN rights chief slams ‘unconscionable’ US border policy of separating migrant children from parents

Why this city is paying people to move there

The remote doctor, can it ever work?

This new form of currency could transform the way we see money

These are the fastest trains in the world

1 in 4 Africans had to pay a bribe to access public services last year

Antitrust: Commission fines Google €1.49 billion for abusive practices in online advertising

On International Youth Day the European Youth Forum calls for true youth participation

Want a fairer society? This economist says he has the answer

Permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) on the table of NATO Defense Ministers amid US concerns

Close to final agreement on the EU Banking Union

3 things to know about India’s space programme

Rising insecurity in Central Africa Republic threatens wider region, Security Council told

EU and Australia launch talks for a broad trade agreement

A Sting Exclusive: “Paris is the moment for climate justice”, Swedish MEP Linnéa Engström claims from Brussels

Parliament toughens its position on banking union

UNICEF warns of ‘lost generation’ of Rohingya youth, one year after Myanmar exodus

Central banking in times of complexity

Climate change: ‘A moral, ethical and economic imperative’ to slow global warming say UN leaders, calling for more action

Draghi’s 2018 compromise: enough money printing to revive inflation and check euro ascent

Nordic noir: The unhappiness epidemic affecting young people in the world’s happiest countries

Trump blocks US warmongers from bombing Iran

Trump ostracized by his party and world elites but still remains in course; how can he do it?

Capital Markets Union: Making it easier for smaller businesses to get financing through capital markets

Further reforms can foster more inclusive labour markets in The Netherlands

Afghanistan: UN ‘unequivocally condemns’ attack in Kabul

MEPs criticise “America first” policy

An economist explains why women are paid less

Madagascar: UN chief commends leaders, State institutions following ‘historic milestone’ election

There is a forgotten solution to climate change that we must invest in – nature

Job vacancy data reveal better prospects for Britain, stagnation in Eurozone

Commission adopts €4 billion investment package for infrastructure projects across 10 Member States

EU fundamental rights under threat in several member states

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s