Perspectives on the future

Thinking - sHow we evolve and grow our thinking…

I recently wrote about the benefit of creating time to “just talk”, and how that should shape our thinking as we move more permanently, and hopefully more purposefully, into the era of hybrid working.

I was delighted to receive such a great response from those who read it and found it both timely and relevant to their current ruminations on the topic. It’s genuinely lovely to hear your thoughts in response to these pieces, so thank you.

What was most apparent in those replies was the recognition of changing demands, on the organisation, on its managers and on its leaders. And that many of us are starting to rethink the value and purpose of a whole bunch of historic attitudes and practices in respect of our people.

This isn’t entirely new, nor is it entirely pandemic-related. Many of the changes have been long in the making, often heralded as being driven by Millennials’ expectations, but more often stemming from long-term technology trends shifting the balance of work ever further from individually performing repetitive tasks, towards collectively solving complex problems.

It is this bigger shift that brings everything we have inherited from the industrial age, about management, incentivisation, structures and supervision, about the nature of leadership itself into question.

The calls over recent months for a full return to office-based working, primarily from large financial sector institutions as well as government, all of whom are invested and entrenched in traditional, industrial-age models of hierarchical management, shows not just a lack of vision but a profound failure of their leadership to adapt: a failure to develop new thinking, new practices, and a new understanding of what people need to perform at their best in the evolving context of modern life.

More deeply, it reflects a leadership’s failure to grow, to evolve their attitudes and beliefs, to challenge why it does what it does in the way that it does it, and to move beyond “it was good enough for me at that stage in my career, so…”

That’s why receiving those notes about timeliness and relevance is so uplifting. It shows me how widely these same questions are being asked, and wrestled with, across the sector, and how useful it might be to pull a conversation together on them.

And so, by popular demand (it’s true – at least three people have asked when I’m doing the next one), I will be kicking off a new series of monthly(ish) webinars, from December ’21 through to May ’22, that will focus on growing and expanding our perspectives, and on how we might start to rethink everything from empowerment to inclusion, to strategy and impact.

The series will start on Tuesday 14th December with the topic of this article: Leadership.

As per the last series, many of the sessions will include a special guest alongside me, and all of them will open up to (and try to stimulate) questions and insights from you, that will help to draw out new ideas and perspectives, new opportunities to grow the impact of our organisations, and perhaps to grow ourselves a little along the way.

Email me if you’d like to join the December session.

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