For all the PR that’s put out about them, deep down, many business leaders are actually quite reluctant to embrace change. They may talk the talk but, when it comes to actually walking the walk and acting on what they claim to believe, mmmmm …
That’s one of the reasons why there is such a failure of leadership across the globe. It’s become glaringly obvious that certain political and business leaders really don’t know how to change the way they think to ditch outdated perspectives in order to move forward and, more importantly, take those they lead into a new dispensation.
Let’s face it, if a leader can’t change, then those they’re leading won’t change.
Let me give you an example from personal experience …
Some quick context: As part of HR Future’s purpose to help people and their companies move into the future, we are authorised resellers of a world first, one-of-a-kind Artificial Intelligence, developed in South Africa, It is proving to be a lethal weapon in the war against what I call organisational loss, caused by the five Cs – Capacity, Competence, Collusion, Compliance and Corruption.
It is already being used by banks and insurances companies around the world, as well as by the US Government and 22 US State Agencies.
Naturally, we have engaged with companies which will benefit greatly from implementing the technology, and this engagement has been at a very senior level because of the strategic nature of the technology.
The technology has the ability to thrust a company into the future in dramatic ways, but here’s the thing.
When we take top flight leaders through what it can do, it goes right over their heads. That’s not because it’s complicated – it’s actually profoundly simple and user friendly. While they claim they understand what the tech can do, everything they do and say after that contradicts what they’ve just said.
I’ve naturally exercised my mind around why this is so and, based on my extensive work over the past two decades helping people move into the future, have come to the conclusion that most of these leaders actually have very little strategic foresight to grasp what lies ahead and what they need to do to adapt to current, let alone future, conditions.
I was talking about this to the original developer of the technology, observing that the tech has demonstrated beyond question its effectiveness in dealing a mortal blow to corruption yet few executives have seen this, choosing to tough it out with yesterday’s solutions for tomorrow’s problems and he made an interesting comment. He said (speaking of himself), “I sometimes feel like I’m a doctor who has arrived at the scene of a motor accident where there are injured people who are being helped by members of the public who won’t allow me, as a doctor, to assist the injured.”
So, as a leader, take a good look at yourself and ask yourself if you have allowed yourself to be blinded and deafened to innovative ideas to manage change. We all know the old chestnuts like not expecting a different result from doing the same old things, but are you REALLY prepared to be open to completely new ways of doing things?
If you lack strategic foresight, you will miss the significance of insights, ideas and technology that will help you move into the future, and you will become increasingly frustrated and, worst of all, increasingly irrelevant. And when you become irrelevant, your career comes to a grinding halt.
Just because you’ve never seen or heard something before doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work. Allow your mind to be like a river through which things flow, rather than a dam that collects and doesn’t let out. Keep an open mind, develop strategic foresight so that, when new ideas cross your path, you recognise the opportunities they contain. Then take action. Spectators don’t win anything – it’s the players on the field who do!
Alan Hosking is the Publisher of HR Future magazine, www.hrfuture.net and @HRFuturemag. He is an internationally recognised authority on leadership competencies for the future and teaches experienced and younger business leaders how to lead with empathy, compassion, integrity, purpose and agility. He has been an Age Management Coach for two decades. In 2018, Alan was named by US-based web site Disruptordaily.com as one of the “Top 25 Future of Work Influencers to Follow on Twitter“. In 2020, he was named one of the “Top 200 Global Power Thought Leaders to watch in 2021” by peopleHum in India. In 2022, he has been named on the Power List of the “Top 200 Biggest Voices in Leadership in 2022” by LeaderHum.