Preparing your leaders for the now

Instead of developing leaders for future changes, one regional MD says that firms aren’t even ready for the challenges of today

“The essential skills are just not there and this creates what I see as a double challenge. We’ve got to upskill people now to bring their role into the management and operational space. We’ve also got to prepare them for the future because we’re in what’s called a great acceleration.”
This created a real problem said Jeremy Blain, regional managing director of Cegos Asia Pacific, especially as we are only four years away from the 2020s workplace.
While most companies acknowledged that leaders and managers weren’t ready for the future, most senior professionals aren’t even ready for the now, Blain said.
Employers should focus on four key capabilities – levers as Blain called them – to upskill leaders and ensure they are ready for any changes in the near and distant future.
  • Understanding technology
  • Managing a cross-generational workforce
  • Increasing diversity
  • Managing future workplaces
These are the key areas to focus on, Blain said, pointing towards a recent survey, Five Key Drivers for Change for the 2020s Workplace. The key result of this research was an overwhelming agreement that leaders and managers simply weren’t ready for the future.
“What was more startling was there was an absolute immobilisation about doing anything about it,” he added. “We’re a little bit behind just looking forward into the now, never mind the future.”
While this is a global issue, this immobilisation and lack of understanding is much greater in the Asia-Pacific, Blain said.
“Part of that is cultural and hierarchical within some countries. For others, it’s that they’re ignoring the problem. If we don’t get these fundamental skills for the future right now, this is going to bite us in the bum later on.
“As this pace quickens, we can’t afford to wait until the necessity of the future because by then it’s going to be too late – too many disrupters out there in the marketplace, highly competitive environments, talent leaving to find better organisations if they aren’t satisfied.”
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2020 vision: Five key things HR should do for future change
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