In the world of sport, there is always an off-season. A time to vary the pace and type of training, to take a rest, to review the season just gone and look ahead to what comes. Business doesn’t always offer the same clear-cut rhythm, but summertime is perhaps the closest many leaders come to an off-season.
Right now, we’re increasingly having conversations with our clients about “people problems”. The pandemic has changed how people think about work, and crucially, how they want to work, and what they’ll tolerate in their work lives.
You may have spotted a Portugese man o’war, also known as a bluebottle jellyfish, washed up on a beach over the last summer. As the ocean warms, they are travelling further north. Hopefully you didn’t pick it up, as it delivers a painful sting even when dead. What you may not realise is that these creatures can prompt powerful insights into collaborative leadership. Jonathan Males explains more here…
The Cynefin framework defines different types of problems and the leadership approach required to address them. It’s a helpful framework as we think about the success of the vaccine roll out – and to understand many other situations that we experience as human beings, and as leaders, navigating through challenging times.
The leadership skill of horizon scanning has never been more important – the events of the last year has demonstrated this in abundance. The ability to gaze over the parapet and the confines of your world, to anticipate and predict the future, and to then apply that insight to plan and contingency plan is absolutely core for any leader, and particularly if you’re responsible for the future direction of your business.
“It’s all about gaining altitude” said William Winstone as he framed the second in our four-module Leading in New Worlds programme “The ability to zoom in and out gives us different perspectives and a different relationship with the ground we work on – a bit like Google maps!” he added.
We remain in curious times, despite the welcome easing of UK lockdown restrictions. This marks a gradual return to activity for many business sectors, although it is too soon to tell what this really means, and we will continue to face an uncertain, ambiguous and potentially volatile future.