Strategic Leaders for Disruptive Changes in 2019

Are you ready for changes in 2019?  If you are like most organizations, the answer is probably ‘no.’  Yet, today’s challenges require a different approach. In fact, businesses fight to survive in severe economic conditions. Shareholders replace CEOs like they change defective light bulbs. It is frequent and unpredictable.  In hopes of salvaging the latest struggling organization, executives usually implement quick solutions by cutting costs (which translates to mean people) and attempting to stop the hemorrhaging through technology. Yet, can today’s managers continue to do the same things and expect different results?  

Sadly, some managers foolishly rely solely on their experience to read market changes. Yet, the current market isn’t like the past! In many situations, managers are equipped to deal with the predictable.  Change that is either planned or incremental is addressed with a risk management approach. However, disruptive change is the hallmark of today’s markets. Disruptive change is sudden and unpredictable. Therefore, experience becomes a liability, not an asset. Organizations, using the old mode of operations, find themselves vulnerable. Established institutions fail. Unknown companies emerge to dominate new sectors. Clayton Christensen, author of Innovative Dilemma, attributes this phenomenon to disruptive innovation.  Therefore, survival depends on understanding the current markets and future trends.

 

Most organizations need strategic leaders to oversee disruptive changes. Strategic thinking represents a different solution for contemporary managers. Strategic thinking is more than careful planning of the organization’s work. Strategic thinking consists of two components, which are knowledge about the present and foresight about the future. Charles Handy, author of The Age of Unreason, argues “Discontinuous change requires discontinuous thinking. If the new way of doing things is going to be different from the old, not just an improvement on it, then we shall need to look at everything in a new way.”  Watt Wacker, Jim Taylor, and Howard Means, leadership gurus, suggest a visionary leader with the capacity of ‘living in the present’ while ‘living in the future.” Therefore, duality becomes a critical attribute of exemplary leaders in disruptive environments.

In summary, disruptive change is creating problems for most traditional organizations. Strategic leaders are needed.  Clearly, strategic thinking is different than routine planning of an organization. Unfortunately, some managers are unaware how this process can assist them in being competitive. Since contemporary organizations can no longer use outdated methods and cookie cutter solutions in this disruptive environment, managers must reexamine their operations. In fact, leaders must be flexible to sudden market changes. Therefore, effective organizations go beyond detailed planning to strategic thinking.

Please share your ideas on this topic.

 

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Building Emotional Intelligence in Today’s Leaders

In the movie Remember the Titans, the story follows the integration of two high schools. Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) is hired as head football coach in a very emotionally charged situation. At any point, something bad could erupt. Yet, the movie captures the attitude transformation of the team. The team captain, who was an All-American defensive player, finds himself complaining about the selfishness of another player.

Besides, this captain wasn’t supporting the head coach’s philosophy of becoming a successful team. Only when the leaders on the team supported the team strategy did the team start being successful.  Captains understand how to lead on their ships. In business, many managers do not know how to lead. Therefore, they are always lingering threats of a silent mutiny. How do managers stay engaged with their employees? In this discussion, we will examine how emotional intelligence can help today’s leaders better connect with their followers. Continue reading

Living Purposefully – Special Tribute to Coach Pat Head Summitt

Coach Pat-1

Amidst turmoil across the world, there is still good among us. Living in Tennessee, I had the opportunity to witness the exemplary character of Coach Pat Head Summitt, former head coach of University of Tennessee Lady Vols. I would like to pay my own tribute to this special leader in our community. Most people affectionately called her ‘Coach Pat.’

Coach Summitt lived a life of purpose from a humble beginning.  Her success in life was incredible: Coach Summitt achieved 1,098 career wins, the most in NCAA basketball history. She won 8 NCCA championships – and the Lady Vols never missed an NCAA tournament under Coach Summitt.[1] In one NCAA tournament, Summitt posted a 112-23 record, achieving a Division I record with the 112 wins. Additionally, she won two Olympic medals: one as a coach and one as a player, alongside numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. [2] Continue reading