Organizations are facing a more competitive and complex business climate than ever before. Because of this, leaders need to update their competencies if they want to thrive and succeed in the modern-day world of business.
One of the most important steps is to keep abreast of new leadership and management trends that are redefining the landscape and the meaning of success:
1. Organizational structures will get flattened
The days of a leader being the smartest person in the room are going away. Organizations are evolving towards flatter structures. Therefore, they will need leaders who are comfortable in a cross-functional and collaborative environment instead of micromanaging their direct reports.
“Flat” organizations are defined by better communication between team members, less bureaucracy, increased morale, and the ability to adapt to change and make decisions faster. Employees have higher levels of responsibility in this context. In turn, this decreases the need for excess management levels and improves job satisfaction.
In 2020 and beyond, industries should expect a dramatic shift in hierarchy structures, especially those in startups and creative industries.
2. There will be a greater need to develop oneself
Leaders can’t sit back and think they know enough if they want to keep up with the rapidly-changing environment of technology. The default mindset should be that what you know today, is already outdated tomorrow.
Because of this, leaders should focus on non-stop development not just for themselves, but for their teams.
If you compare the 2020 job culture to 10 years ago, there is significantly less loyalty to employers from their employees. This means leaders need to do everything they can to improve staff turnover rates.
An excellent way to do this is to offer training and additional development alongside their role. Today’s workers value learning and adding to their skill set. If you can offer that to them, you have a greater chance of keeping them for longer.
3. Understanding how to approach the “talent cliff”
History’s largest workforce is moving into retirement in 2020, and firms must prepare accordingly. Job shadowing, coaching, and mentoring are just some ways organizations can help millennial leaders transition into their new roles.
Many companies who are facing the talent cliff approach the challenge by enrolling in apprenticeship programs and hiring apprentices so that individuals interested in the industry have a chance to get critical hands-on experience. It’s also a way for companies to give back to the community while increasing their workforce.
4. Spotlight on gender balance
Greater representation of strong women in leadership teams have been proven time and again to have better results for an organization. Therefore, any successful leadership development program should tap into one of its most underutilized resources – female leaders and managers.
Gender equality in the workplace goes beyond political correctness and fairness. It’s directly linked to a company’s overall growth and economic performance:
- Boosts organizational performance
- Better organizational reputation
- Improves the abilities of organizations to attract and retain top talent
- Enhances the productivity and efficiency of organizations
As a leader, you should be striving for equality and complete diversity in your organization.
5. Soft skills will take center stage
As leadership roles shift towards handling diverse teams with different areas of expertise and technical skills, there will be a stronger focus on developing one’s soft skills.
Soft skills include things like adaptability, creativity, emotional intelligence, and time management. It’s easier to teach your team the hard skills they need for their tasks, but it’s much harder to instill soft skills. It requires time and conscious effort. Developing your team’s soft skills is critical because failing in “soft” areas like time management can literally mean losing customers and clients.
Investing in this area, such as running training courses designed to develop soft skills, has been proven to boost workplace satisfaction, leadership potential, and work performance.
6. Leadership and management development will move towards a blended approach
In order to prepare modern leaders for success, it’s crucial for leadership and management learning journeys to evolve.
A blended approach to leadership development means employing various methods like 1:1 tutoring, on-the-go recorded tutorials, and online webinars to better engage leaders and break up the learning process into manageable sessions.
Because blended learning is so versatile and flexible, it’s easier to maintain as your business grows and scales up. This is especially important nowadays when remote collaboration and working from home are starting to become regular fixtures of the workplace.
7. The rise of flexible and remote working
It’s highly likely that one or more of your team members are already working remotely, such as contractors or if you have employees overseas.
Remote work set-ups improve work-life balance, offer greater flexibility, and allow your organization to acquire employees from a much richer talent pool. That’s why embracing it is so important to modern workplaces.
Harnessing social media, technology, and virtual communication platforms as early as possible will enable your organization to make the transition smoothly.
8. Get ready to train millennials
Millennials are next in line as new leaders, and workplaces should be ready to pave the way for them.
Remember that leadership styles and workplace cultures have evolved. Unlike previous generations, millennials greatly value diversity, having an active role in decision-making processes, flexibility, and other values that were not a priority for previous generations.
If you want to attract millennials with leadership potential, be ready to learn how their mind works and what they value deeply. Only then will you be able to connect with this generation and usher your organization into greater levels of growth.
Leadership will continue to evolve in 2020 and beyond
In a time of unprecedented and rapid organizational disruption, what it means to be a great leader is also evolving. As a leader, it’s important to recognize these shifts not as obstacles, but as openings that will guide the way towards the entire organization’s advancement. 2020 is both an extremely challenging and exciting time, and only leaders who see this as a wonderful opportunity will thrive.