Driver #5 – Leader & Manager Readiness

driver-5My previous posts have gone into detail into Drivers #1-4 and this final post will look closer at arguably the biggest challenge we have : Driver #5 – Leader and Manager ReadinessA survey conducted by Cegos Asia Pacific with STADA and Temasek Polytechnic at the end of 2013 concluded that leaders-in-waiting across many organizations are not getting the training and development they need to build the new skills required of the modern and constantly changing workplace. As a consequence they are among the least confident personnel within organization today. You can view the survey report here:(Source: Leading and managing in the 2020 multi-dimensional workplace – an Asia Pacific study - completed in Q4, 2013 by Cegos Asia Pacific, with STADA and Temasek Polytechic)As a training company I have to admit while we reinforce the importance of new skills within a leader / manager toolkit, such as Technology know how, social collaboration, remote leadership, cross cultural savvy, cross generational engagement and more; we very rarely are given the go ahead to actually do it. There are two common issues:
  1. Management training particularly has suffered over the past few years due to the Global Financial Crisis. This means that the training that is done has to be essential management skills, coaching and performance management. All needed of course, but there is simply no progress and no budget into the future skills we need to build now.
  2. In parallel with the above the budgets are back for personal development but there is a reluctance in some quarters to build these newer skillsets as it appears that the organizational strategy in terms of readiness for the future has not been properly defined. Therefore any training like this may not be aligned. Immobilized through a greater organizational immobilization.
So what are the key skillsets required of our future leaders and managers?Let me point to our survey as referred to above. Here are the top findings to advise the focus for our leader and manager development as we head towards the 2020s. In the context of my 5 Drivers for Change posts as we approach the next decade, they represent a starting point for consideration and action:
  • Developing and growing staff is the top leadership challenge now and in the future
  • Knowledge transfer across generations will become a greater challenge in the next few years as we welcome GenZ and engage an increasingly aging population of contributors in certain countries and companies
  • A good leader today can manage change and has strong collaboration and negotiation and conflict resolution skills - In the 2020 workplace, skills in technology, social media and collaboration will be increasingly important for leaders and are worryingly absent in many organizations today.
  • While many Generation X leaders-in-waiting already have some of these skills they lack essential managing, leading and coaching skills due to lack of investment during and after the Global Financial Crisis
  • A lack of capability and confidence to lead among Generation X is the single biggest barrier to effective leadership that needs to be tackled by organizations now
  • Leaders need to evolve from micro-management to a more collaborative leadership style
  • Technology has the most important role to play for leaders in learning and development
  • To develop their leadership skills, our leaders-in-waiting need hands-on experience, coaching and talent mobility opportunities
  • Training programmes for leading a cross-generational & cross-cultural workforce need to be more future focused to be effective
Very little has changed in the past year or two and an increased sense of urgency around leader / manager readiness for some organizations remains a key requirement.How prepared are your HR and Management for the challenges of the changing workplace as we head to the 2020s?