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Unlocking leadership capability in a collaborative economy

Business leaders in Australia and New Zealand face a number of pressing issues as they look to the future. Our insights tell us that in order to unlock opportunity and drive growth through to 2020 there must be a shift in leadership capability, it is no longer enough to be a leader in isolation, making decisions with little or no input from others.  

collaborative economy In fact, recent research by Deloitte states ‘The Australian collaborative economy is worth $46bn. Companies that prioritise collaboration are five times more likely to experience a considerable increase in employment, twice as likely to be profitable, and twice as likely to outgrow competitors.’

Leaders, who seek advice and new perspectives by collaborating with peers both internally and externally, have a greater opportunity to accelerate their businesses and own capabilities. So what does this mean for business leaders today?

We asked two of our professional CEO mentors and coaches at TEC, Trent Bartlett and Jerry Kleeman what they think the biggest obstacles in shifting leadership capability are;

Trent Bartlett, WA CEO Mentor

The world is collaborating like never before, evidenced by no less than the explosive growth of the collaborative or sharing economies and social networks. Organisations need to learn and adapt in this constantly changing environment, and so the connections we build across and beyond organisations become increasingly important.

Organisational leaders are being challenged to create more open, connected and collaborative cultures, which can increase employee engagement and boost innovation. Many CEOs see collaboration as key to their success with innovation. They know they cannot achieve their innovation targets using internal resources alone. So they look outside for other organisations to partner with.

As a CEO, your organisation is likely to be either disrupting or being disrupted – how are you seriously going about unlocking the power of collaboration to drive innovation?

Jerry Kleeman, SA CEO Mentor

Collaboration is increasingly critical for organisational success.  Disruption of markets, technologies, and global connectivity is changing so rapidly that it is vital that leaders collaborate both inside and outside of the organisation.

Leaders need to empower and encourage employees and “inside” assets to collaborate in order to innovate and move with the speed needed for modern success.  This does require extra effort in breaking down silos and truly working in teams. Just as importantly, leaders need to collaborate with external entities to understand and capitalise on the opportunities in front of them. Partnering and collaborating with outside organisations and individuals opens up a world of opportunities at speeds seldom seen before.  Of course, managing all of this collaboration is a skill in itself for senior level leaders.

Collaboration is not just a objective companies should aim for – it is a very much a strategic priority with tangible results, and it is something leaders must influence within their organisation.