As we near the end of 2015, we are now closer to the year 2030 than the turn of the millennium. So much has changed in the corporate world over the past 15 years, from technology and advertising to recruitment and skill sets.
From a leadership perspective, change represents a challenge. While it is relatively easy to purchase new technology and hire people with specific skills, you have to be aware of yourself falling behind.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report that millennials will make up 50 per cent of the global workforce in just five years. This workforce demands unique approaches and exudes different qualities which forces leaders to change their style to match.
So, what is the next generation of leadership? Here are five habits to think about.
1) Focus on collaboration
To lead a successful business in the future, leaders need to understand the merit of collaboration. It is no longer necessary for CEOs to shut themselves away from the team and develop projects and solutions by themselves, as shared ideas and values can achieve so much more.
According to Queens University of Charlotte in the US, around 75 per cent of employers believe teamwork and collaboration is important to the business. However, only 27 per cent of employees get communication training at present.
2) Taking an innovative approach
As mentioned above, all team members in the 21st century have a voice. Regardless of whether it is right or wrong, everyone wants to have input into key decisions and project directions.
The trick for business leaders is to fuel this fire and then ensure innovative and fresh ideas get the focus they need to drive the business forward. Consider breaking teams into smaller units to maximise innovative ideas and get different departments working together as one.
3) Adapting to change
Business leaders face many more risks than in years’ past and dealing with these potential problems is vital.
According to the Allianz Risk Barometer of the top issues in 2015, business interruption and supply chain risk was the top concern, attracting 46 per cent of respondents. This was followed by natural catastrophes (30 per cent), fire/explosion (27 per cent), changes in legislation and regulation (18 per cent) and cybercrime (17 per cent).
To address these problems head on, business leaders need to ensure risk management frameworks are in place and regularly reviewed.
4) Creating a clear vision
A CEO’s time today is very stretched and while they may have had time to help the team work on projects in the past, this is now taken up with meetings and strategy discussions.
As such, it is important to create a clear vision and culture from the ground up. This ensures that when you are absent, your team is still thinking about a shared vision and business values.
The Seapoint Center for Collaborative Leadership explained this in more detail in a post as part of its The Future of Leadership Series.
‘As companies continue to expand, lack of a guiding framework will cause more serious problems unless leaders at all levels understand this is one of their primary responsibilities,’ the post read.
5) Talking to other leaders
Becoming a strong leader in the future doesn’t have to be a solo journey. There are tens of thousands of business leaders looking to embrace this next generation of skills .
Whether this comes in the form of mentoring or group discussions, discussing issues with like-minded individuals allows you to bounce ideas and suggestions around before implementing them in your own enterprise. By investing in your own skills and values, you can meet the needs of a changing workforce and a changing corporate landscape.