Graeme Codrington: Leading in a Changing World

Watch below Graeme Codrington‘s keynote presentation from 2012 ACTE Global Education Conference in Rome, Italy, and find out more information on his keynote…

Leading in a changing world

The keys to world class leadership in the new world of work

To be successful in the turbulent decade that lies ahead leaders – and all the people they lead – need to learn to deal with complexity, uncertainty and constant change. To do this effectively, the most important starting point is to understand context and be confident in identifying, anticipating and responding to the change drivers that will disrupt the future world of work.

Leading in a Changing World paints a vivid context for leadership in a changing world of work by identifying the three key drivers of change, namely, a changing world, a changing workforce and a changing workplace. From this platform three leadership imperatives emerge: engagement, agility and transparency. Finally, three essential skills are elaborated on for leading in the new world of work: adaptive intelligence, a balcony perspective and conversations.

Three reasons leadership has changed

The changing world is being driven by shifts and advances in technology, demography, globalisation and social values, amongst others. Depending on how much time we have available, we vary how deep a look we can take at these and other drivers of change.

The changing workforce picks up the theme of demographic shifts and values, and looks at how a new generation of employees is arriving in the world of work with a different set of expectations and values (views of what is ‘normal’, right and good) at just the same time that the oldest working generation is deciding to extend their stay in the workplace (or, to put it another way, the Boomers are deciding not to retire).

A new workforce in a new world are changing how we work, and will continue to put pressure on traditional notions of the workplace. Important themes in the future will continue to be flexibility in workplace conditions, remote and virtual teams, and all forms of contract working, diversity, complexity, speed and creativity.

Three new leadership imperatives

Engagement – the ways in which we engage with each other have changed, driven mainly by technology, but also by all of the forces outlined above. Leaders need to learn new approaches to engagement, and shift from a control mindset to influence

Agility – Keep growing, keep learning, don’t become rigid. Leaders need to be prepared to fail – and learn from it

Transparency – we have never had as much openness as we have now, both inside and outside our organisations. This changes the way in which a leader leads, requiring more openness, more disclosure and greater accountability.

The new skills for leaders to learn

Adaptive Leadership – leaders are increasing faced with adaptive challenges that can be defined as ‘knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do’. In responding to an adaptive challenge new learning is required. This stands in contrast to ‘technical challenges’ – a problem that can be defined and a solution that is known. In this context past solutions are relevant. But the world has shifted, and leadership needs to be much more adaptive than ever before.
Balcony Perspective – leaders need to find the balance between being involved in the details and maintaining a big picture perspective.
Conversations – The best leaders are masterful storytellers, using the narrative arts to share a compelling vision and inspire their teams.

Dr Graeme Codrington

Dr Graeme Codrington is an expert on the new world of work and multi-generational workplaces. He is a keynote presenter, author, futurist, facilitator and strategy consultant working across multiple industries and sectors. His unique style blends cutting-edge research, thought leading insights with humour and multimedia-driven presentations and workshops.

Graeme is the co-founder and a senior partner of TomorrowToday, a global firm of futurists and business strategists. He is also a guest lecturer at four top business schools, including the London Business School and Duke. He is a professional member of a number of associations, including the World Future Society, The Institute of Directors, the International Association for the Study of Youth Ministry, the SA Market Research Association, the Global Federation of Professional Speakers and MENSA. He has a Doctorate in Business Administration, a Masters in Sociology, an Honours in Youth Work and two undergraduate degrees – in Arts (Theology/Philosophy) and Commerce. He has three best-selling books published by Penguin, including the award winning, “Mind the Gap” and “Future-Proof Your Child”. He is currently writing a book on “Strategic Leadership Intelligence“.

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