Modern Leadership

Leaders today need to embrace disruption and challenge teams to lead and engage differently

Julie Howard, NavigantIn this era of disruption, innovation and opportunity, leaders are being tested like never before. The global tidal waves of digital transformation and cultural evolution are challenging businesses to respond, adapt, and thrive. Leaders today need to embrace disruption and the speed with which it occurs, and challenge ourselves and our teams to lead and engage differently. The half-life of everything we do now is much, much shorter than it used to be, and the likelihood that it will shorten further is inevitable. Accordingly, our leadership skills must also evolve from those that we may have relied upon previously, including in our most recent past. 

The question is not how to lead and manage amidst this backdrop, but rather, how do leaders move out in front of this new environment to create thriving, innovative, and productive cultures that have the potential to set our organizations apart? The answer is in collaboration and connectivity. At Navigant, we consistently nurture a culture of collaboration that encourages employees to reach out across organizational boundaries. Enabling employees to self-organize around client opportunities, citizenship initiatives, and policy recommendations can build trust, confidence, and organizational momentum. "As leaders, our ability to identify the disruptors that challenge our organizations, to facilitate the right connections for our teams, to introduce an alternative voice, and to connect with various audiences is more critical than ever before."

Julie Howard
Chairman and CEO, Navigant

Another critical consideration is that leaders alone cannot adequately seize the opportunities before us. We need to connect talent and ideas in entirely new ways if we intend to grasp the opportunities simmering in our midst. Crowdsourcing within organizations offers the potential to create powerful new connections that can lead to innovation and clever problem solving that may not have otherwise been immediately apparent. At Navigant, we invited our employees to contribute to our long-term strategic planning process through a curated online brainstorm that yielded high-quality, constructive input, and perhaps that one idea that propels the organization forward in ways we couldn’t imagine.

We also need to constantly connect our organizations with the myriad of external resources available to help anticipate and respond to the changing needs of clients and customers. The ability to tap into expertise and to network in new ways is becoming the fabric of innovative organizations. At Navigant, our success is supported beyond the boundaries of our organization through rich relationships with clients, standards bodies, and industry best practice organizations.

As leaders, our ability to identify the disruptors that challenge our organizations, to facilitate the right connections for our teams, to introduce an alternative voice, and to connect with various audiences is more critical than ever before. Maintaining an open, external posture and welcoming new points of view – and often, new collaborators – are critical skills for leading and succeeding in this modern age.

 

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.

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