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.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

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

Greenpeace’s saints and sinners in the tech world

Towards a European Republic

There is no recipe for a healthy mental state

EU guidance on the handling of visa applications from residents of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions

EU Parliament shows its teeth in view of 2014 elections

There are now four competing visions of the internet. How should they be governed?

The brain amidst COVID-19 pandemic

The UN came of age with the nuclear bomb. Time for it to step up to the AI era

The Chinese spirit

These are the world’s healthiest nations

Youth for Climate Change

George Floyd: these are the injustices that led to the protests in the United States

Can the US-Iran rapprochement change the world?

Brussels to tear down the trade wall with Mexico as opposed to Trump’s “walls”

The ECB tells Berlin that a Germanic Eurozone is unacceptable and doesn’t work

This South Korean company has built a 5G search and rescue airship

Welcome to the age of the platform nation

Spain will soon overtake Japan in life expectancy rankings. Here’s why

Hatred ‘a threat to everyone’, urges Guterres calling for global effort to end xenophobia and ‘loathsome rhetoric’

Why Trump’s tariffs are good news for US garlic farmers

The Juncker Plan at work: bringing investment back on track in Europe

UN Climate Action Summit concludes with insufficient EU and global pledges

Three of the world’s hardest-hit nations are preparing to end their lockdowns

Indonesia: Psychological impact on earthquake survivors turns villages into ‘ghost towns’

‘A trusted voice’ for social justice: Guterres celebrates 100 years of the International Labour Organization

Restrictions, unmet promises, unbridled violence in Sudan, a ‘recipe for disaster’, says Bachelet

COVID-19 is a threat to waste pickers. Here’s how to help them

World’s 1.8 billion youth must ‘have a say in the future of the planet’

Human trafficking cases hit a 13-year record high, new UN report shows

5 facts about the world’s most valuable company, Saudi Aramco

Transport Committee approves major reform of road transport sector

How Costa Rica’s environment minister talks to his daughter about climate change

How to build a paradise for women. A lesson from Iceland

Commission publishes the first report on the issuance of a Eurobond

Antitrust: Commission opens investigation into possible anti-competitive conduct of Amazon

Innovations for Content Professionals at the DCX exhibition 2018 in Berlin, in association with The European Sting

WHO and IFMSA as transcendent pillars for world improvement

At last Germany to negotiate the costs for a really cohesive Eurozone

Building social good – lessons from an Asian giant

EU budget for 2019: do more for the young, SMEs and the climate, urge MEPs

GSMA Announces Latest Event Updates for 2018 “Mobile World Congress Americas, in Partnership with CTIA”

UN court increases sentence of former Bosnian-Serb leader to life imprisonment

Impact Investment needs global standards and better measurement

Britain’s May won the first round on the Brexit agreement with the EU

Is Universal Health Coverage really available for all in the European Union?

Does the West play the Syrian game in Egypt?

The blackened white coat of the doctors

The Sahel is engulfed by violence. Climate change, food insecurity and extremists are largely to blame

Efforts to save the planet must start with the Antarctic

Reading this alone? Recent surveys reveal the curious truth about loneliness

Far more needed to ‘confront the world’s climate emergency’, UN chief tells ASEAN Summit

ECB settles the bank resolution issue, makes banking union tangible

Our food system is pushing nature to the brink. Here’s what we need to do

Brexit deal approved by the European Parliament

Rule of Law: European Commission takes new step to protect judges in Poland against political control

These are the OECD’s most productive economies

West Africa ‘shaken by unprecedented violence’, UN envoy tells Security Council

Now doctors can manipulate genetics to modify babies, is it ethical?

UN receives ‘Humanium’ wristwatch gift, symbolizing peaceful transformation

How nudge theory can help empty our plastic-filled ‘drawers of shame’

More Stings?

Advertising

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