In the recent Leadership summit organized by MCCIA in Pune, we had eminent speakers share their thoughts on the current business environment and structure of the organisations. They also shared various tips to lead the business to success.
We are living in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and ambiguous) world where today becomes yesterday and we can be taken by surprise. There is a complete paradigm shift, and hence it is quite possible for the organisations to lose relevance if they don’t adapt fast enough. Following are the key pointers that were touched upon in the summit:
- Current Business Environment:
Today’s business environment has changed from complicated to complex. A complicated environment can be correlated to a game of chess where we have limited opening moves. As the game unfolds, the possibilities of potential moves increase. Hence, the players gradually get prepared for the future uncertainties.
However, a complex environment is like a game of snooker where every stroke is full of uncertainties and innumerable probabilities right from the start. Hence, a leader needs to address this disruptive world with a more comprehensive approach.
Aftermath of recent surgical strike operation on the Line of Control is another example of VUCA. Once the strike was carried out, it was difficult to predict the possible counter moves from the opponent, leaving no scope for planning a programmed response.
- Proposed Organisational Structure:
Now the question arises, what should then be the structure of today’s organisations? The earlier organisational structure had a committee approach with no intermeshing of departments or key groups. An organisation with compartments will soon lose its relevance. The old businesses with a conventional approach have either vanished or are finding it difficult to survive in today’s world of disruption. Models of the past like reductionism, super specialization and core competence may not work in future. Thus, need of the hour is to have shared awareness within various groups of the organisation and a fluid understanding. Role of a leader is to lubricate the system to reduce friction.
- New Leadership Styles:
Following are the leadership styles that were recommended by the speakers in the summit:
- Tenacious: Flying against the storms will help overcome any situation.
- Nurturing: Nurture one person at a time to make future leaders not followers.
- High flyer: The ability to fly high and swiftly come down will help leaders be adaptive.
- Wholesome Leadership: A combination of connecting with the inner self and expanding the leadership context outwards to embrace the whole planet. A model of Shubh Sankalp (good intentions) and Shubh Laabh (successful end results) is recommended.
- Leaders should have the ability to see things differently, be imaginative, build the culture of speed and trust, know behavioural science and have tolerance for ambiguity.
Such leaders will sail the organisation through all the uncertainties and lead it to new heights.
- In a nut shell:
In the VUCA world, leaders need to be able to take fresh and divergent perspectives and yet be able to reach a shared understanding. Remember, it is a complex world; we need to choose our battles carefully and take up one thing at a time. Recruit the best pilots and trust them to fly your best plane. Connect to inner self to draw the positive energy. Build bridges to people through emotional trust and lead with prudent balance of empowerment and governance.