Interim Solutions Showcase – April 2019

I was intrigued by the title of an event being held by the Devonshire House Network – “Adapting to Tomorrow’s Business World”, so I thought I should put my “Friends” box sets aside for an evening and venture out.

The speaker was Ann Francke, the CEO of the Chartered Management Institute, a leading authority on management and leadership in the UK (with over 100,000 members). She is also a well-known author.

The evening was wide-ranging, covering topics such as automation, productivity, the changing needs of young people, an ageing workforce, shifting work patterns, how to hold onto talent and mental wellbeing in the workplace.

Ann’s “no holds barred” approach was refreshing. I thought it might be useful to summarise some of her views:

  • Organisations in the future will need to have more of a “Purpose” to get people out of bed in the morning – sentiment has changed and social media quickly magnifies shortcomings…
  • Human judgement will become more important as AI, automation and robotics progress
  • People will need to adapt, as disruption goes through the roof; workers are likely to have several careers in their lifetime
  • Flexible working will become the norm
  • Better solutions really do come from diverse Boards – but is “One & Done “really good enough?
  • 24/7/365 – stress is commonplace and we must talk about it…
  • If individuals are given purpose, respect and autonomy, they function much better. If we allow people to be themselves (and not stereotypes), it benefits employers and workers
  • Leaders will need to be inclusive, inspire trust, share thinking, encourage people, admit mistakes, live their values, have purpose, devolve decision-making and be more human in general.

Plenty to think about…

On reflection, I don’t think that we can let this “genie out of the bottle”, without planning ahead to help workers adapt, retrain and continue to contribute (the societal cost is surely too high). In the current climate, however, I don’t have great faith in this being delivered by government. Sorry to be negative.

On the positive side, however, I believe that the leadership qualities Ann has suggested above are nothing new – good leaders have always looked like that. We just need to agree that the days of the “stereotypes” are gone, and that a more open approach is preferable.

Please have a look at the profiles of some excellent Interim leaders. If any could be useful to you, or if we could help with someone with an alternative skill set, do get in touch.