Dr Zara Whysall, Research & Impact Director at Kiddy & Partners August 18 2022

What are the main challenges driving the need for leaders to adapt their approach?

In this article, we explore leadership qualities that are critical today, but also for the changing demands of tomorrow.

The last few years have accelerated challenges previously considered to be ‘future challenges’ into the current day, particularly in relation to remote working and digitisation. 

The necessity for change overcame resistance. How ‘great’ leaders
are approaching this is different to pre-2020 and will continue to evolve as the pace of change is expected to increase. It is essential that HR and Talent professionals not only select, develop, and, with inflation only expected to rise and geopolitical tensions unrelenting, appoint leaders against the leadership qualities that are critical today, but also for the changing demands of tomorrow.

Employee needs and motivations are changing the way leaders are perceived

Employees now seek different working environments and traits from their leaders than before; and tensions between global and local needs need careful management. Employers are struggling to retain the best talent in the wave of the great resignation, and are being more demanding of clarity and strategy from leaders.

The pace of change is necessitating different ways of working

The increasing pace of change, triggered by the aforementioned challenges, digitisation, and shifts in social norms, demands more agile and team-based ways of working. It means consideration of how to maintain the benefits of human contact in an increasingly virtual world, how to build an office of the future, and how to address future skills gaps and shortages.

The need to be externally savvy to position the organisation for the future

There is still a need to be driving business growth in a global recession following
the pandemic, to remain economically and geopolitically savvy, and to
remain competitive.

The need for purpose

Leaders are facing demands for an organisational purpose driven towards betterment of society (e.g. sustainability and climate change, well-being or diversity
and inclusion), and are increasingly being asked to voice their opinions on
these topics, and will be held up to scrutiny for any missteps.

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