Getting your organisation ‘fit for the future’ should be top of any leader’s priority list
What are the importance of organisational fitness? Thoughts from Hemsley Fraser’s Director of Business Solutions, Dr Val Sedounik.
Getting fit isn’t just for individuals; organisations need to make sure that they are ‘fit for the future’ by reviewing their leadership approach, culture and structure. Not only that, but by creating a better way of working.
Dr Val Sedounik, Director of Business Solutions, said: “Today’s customers are more informed and more demanding than ever before, so if you don’t exceed their expectations or if you’re slow to respond, you’ll lose their business.”
To effectively navigate organisations through complexity and adversity, leaders will need to shift their mental models from a heroic to a post-heroic leadership approach. “Leaders have to understand that their role isn’t to tell people what to do,” said Dr Sedounik. “Instead of the heroic approach of leading from the front, they need a more collaborative approach that supports and encourages knowledge workers. 21st Century leadership is about setting the context – by helping employees make sense of a complex, fast-moving world – and breaking down information and ambiguity so that people have clarity about their direction, roles and accountabilities. Managers still have an important – but very different – role, as coordinators and connectors of knowledge workers, allocating resources and shifting priorities as required.”
The culture required in organisations ‘fit for the future’ must be customer-focused, with employees passionate about their jobs, communication is open and clear and where the company is responsible about its actions and social values. In a future focused organisation, the structure is likely to be more decentralised and adaptable, to make agile working more feasible; also boosting collaboration with cross-department teams organised by customer need not structural legacies.
By taking incremental steps towards this aspirational ‘fit for the future’ structure, it can lead to better performance, more customer satisfaction and significantly enhanced employee engagement.
“Today’s customers are more informed and more demanding than ever before, so if you don’t exceed their expectations or if you’re slow to respond, you’ll lose their business ”dr val sedounik
“Organisations have to recognise that continuous transformation is an important survival strategy,” said Dr Sedounik. “The building blocks needed to support this are 21st Century leadership practice, a collaborative culture and a flexible and agile business structure. Ultimately, the biggest challenge in becoming ‘fit for the future’ will be persuading people at all levels to shift their own thinking, to see the bigger picture, and to step outside of their comfort zone to act differently.”
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