Be a good leader in the agile era

  • Be a good leader in the agile era

The face and workings of traditional businesses are changing. This is due to the impact of new technologies on their business models.

To seize the opportunities of this transformation, today’s leaders must adapt and acquire the skills necessary for organizational success in the digital age. For companies, the stakes could not be higher: according to the latest research results, organizations with the best digital leadership skills exceed the performance of less well-off organizations by 50%. To be competitive, businesses need leaders who can quickly adopt a new mindset and adapt to changes in the external environment to deliver positive results.

Adapt to last

Business leaders in all sectors are now facing profound technological changes, digitalisation of information and globalisation. Markets are volatile, customers are increasingly demanding and the demand for new offers is growing. As Charles Darwin wrote in his day, “It is neither the strongest nor the most intelligent who will survive, but those who will best adapt to change.” The words written by the English naturalist correspond today well to the world of companies and their leaders.

According to Gartner, most organizations expect more than 40% of their leadership roles to change significantly within five years. Meeting the challenges inherent in the digital age thanks to well-equipped leaders; this is the effort that is now essential in the conduct of businesses.Those who succeed are those who empower their teams and know how to make their leaders agents of change.

New mindset new role

Most leaders have an instinctive urge to take control. This is understandable, but in order to promote organizational success in the digital age, they must first adopt new behaviours that involve more collaboration, coaching, team empowerment and agility. Yesterday’s leadership style, based on hierarchy and control, has lost effectiveness in the era of continuous innovation. The environment in which leaders evolve is indeed that of cross-functional and agile teams, in a context of rapid change.

The pressure to innovate is real and requires resilient, creative and customer-centric teams. To achieve this, they need leaders who encourage them to be more autonomous, to experiment and to develop plans to find the best opportunities.

The new skills of the leader

The leader of today is above all collaborative, and makes it possible to organize the work of teams focused on missions. For leaders, it is therefore important to adopt a new approach to build and influence, instead of dictating the way forward, and to become the vector of diverse ideas and initiatives. Considering the organization as a network and not as a pyramid is a prerequisite for maintaining collaboration between teams and creating a new mindset, which will foster the acceptance of the rapid changes in the digital economy.

If these skills enable companies to take the road to success, they are not innate for managers who must largely acquire them through training.The preparation of the leaders of the digital age is indeed essential, because “Of the more than 500 executives surveyed around the world, only 11% fully agreed that their leadership development interventions were achieving the desired results in a sustainable manner.” Leadership development is not improvised, and stakeholders need structured courses and personalized monitoring of their progress so that they can then put this learning into practice within their company.

You are not born a leader, you become one, and becoming one requires adequate training, based on your profile and your sector of activity. Every era has seen its decision-makers adapt their leadership to the new economic demands. Those of 2020 and future years are dictated by digital and technological disruptions. A company that wants to guarantee its success in this context must therefore provide its leaders with the support they need to find their places in this new framework.

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