Next Generation Leadership in a World without Boundaries 

Are boundaries falling away?

The Deloitte 2023 Global Human Capital Trends report has been published this week and it contains tonnes of fascinating insights. 10,000 business and HR leaders from around the globe responded to the survey, and the answers prompted Deloitte to conclude that “we are entering a boundaryless world”. The traditional assumptions that:  

work can be organised into clearly defined processes; jobs can be categorised and contained wholly within the organisation; work occurs within the four walls of the workplace; and organisations can centre their decision-making around shareholders and the bottom line”  

…are being replaced by a new landscape that requires agility, innovation and openness to change. 

A few stats caught our eye in the report: 

  • New leadership capability is needed at all levels of the organization to mobilise workers and teams for achieving new outcomes. Yet only 23% of organisations in the survey say their leaders have the capabilities to navigate a disrupted world.”  

How then, will organisations develop their leaders to support them with the capabilities they need to navigate the changing landscape with confidence? Undoubtedly core skills programmes help, although we suggest that performance coaching brings much greater, sustainable, and lasting value. 

  • “Organisations with higher worker involvement in designing and implementing organisational change were more likely to experience positive outcomes. Specifically, those that cocreate with their workers stated they were 1.8x more likely to have a highly engaged workforce, 2x more likely to be innovative, and 1.6x more likely than their peers to anticipate and respond to change effectively.” 

Collaboration is one of the ICC Five Pillars of High-Performance and we advocate the need to involve employees in key decisions, particularly around values and purpose, so that they are represented and feel engaged with the direction of the organisation. It takes longer than a simple ‘tell and sell’ but reaps huge rewards! 

  • “To lead in a boundaryless world, organisations and workers should activate their curiosity, looking at each decision as an experiment that will expedite impact and generate new insights”. The survey encourages organisations and leaders to “think like a researcher” when making decisions. 

We forecast this becoming one of the biggest challenges facing organisations over the near term, particularly with workforces operating at high speed, and pressure to make decisions quickly and achieve results ahead of deadline. Deloitte’s report adds an element of risk to decision-making – “look at each decision as an experiment”. It will be interesting to see how many organisations demonstrate the courage to embrace ‘being a researcher’ with the knowledge that some experiments might fail…. Would you be brave enough? What’s your plan? 

To read the full report, click here

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