Leadership – Critical Now More Than Ever

Leadership more important now than ever

“Never before has leadership been so critical, and never before has it seemed in such short supply.” – Gary Hamel

That is not to say that Gary Hamel and Polly LaBerre pin the responsibility of poor leadership on the individuals in those positions, but on the “top-down pyramidal structures” that they work within.

The pace of change within the business environment has increased, and continues to do so. In today’s IT-driven landscape, the bombardment of continuous new data also makes it impossible for a small team of executives to keep up – And our organisations are becoming ignorant faster as a result. Consequently companies are burdened with the task of being forced to adapt and operate in an environment of fierce competition. By centralising direction, resource allocation and strategy development, companies are under utilising the talents of their workforce, and putting too much strain on those positioned at the top.

This monopsony of ideas at the top of the corporate hierarchy restricts the innovative and adaptable capabilities of companies. In their HBR article Announcing the Leaders Everywhere Challenge, the authors suggest that, in order for organisations to have a “leadership advantage” and maintain their relevancy, we need to reassess our organisational models. To do this, we need to do away with leadership monopolisation, enabling all employees who are capable to have a leadership responsibility.  Those members who don’t have these innate capabilities need to have these skills fostered through “talent models”.

We need good leaders who can unleash the human capabilities within them – engagement, imagination, initiative and passion. These will be the qualities that will drive the success of companies as we move from an economy based on knowledge, into one increasingly based on creativity.

McKinsey & Company had a conversation with author and influential business strategist Dr Gary Hamel about why our leadership models need to change, and the step-by-step process in which these changes could be implemented. See the interviews below.

Gary Hamel elaborates why our organisations future success relies, not only on changing our leadership models, but our idea of what true leadership is.

Gary Hamel lays out the direction he thinks leadership models need to go in, and the ways businesses can make this happen.

Gary Hamel spoke on management innovation and building organisations fit for the future at the Business Influentials series in Auckland on May 27th, 2014.