Changes in the composition of the workforce in recent years are gradually establishing a new type of business leadership. In 30 years of global management positions, including with talent acquisition and development firms, I have not experienced such change in the conditions for successful management in such a short time. And the pace of change increase.
Perhaps most influential in the changes affecting the workforce is a specialization of positions and a trend by organizations to involve more subcontractors and self-employed people.
The demand for generalists in the labour pool is shrinking in favor of specialists and recruiting these specialists to full-time positions is becoming increasingly difficult. When vacancies occur, companies tend to remain at the reduced employment level and increase the proportion of hired consultants and the self-employed.
An increasing proportion of a company’s production, IT, security, accounting and logistics are carried out by hired staff, often self-employed, rather than people employed by the company.
This may make it easier to meet specific employment needs, but it is changing management style. In the past, shareholders and board members were the main preoccupation of management and fashioned the goals and strategies of leadership. Today, new stakeholders and groups also want to be involved in managing an organization or company.
This requires a different leadership style from the company’s senior management and CEO. Soft targets such as the company’s mission and values are becoming increasingly important in the mix that binds together everyone in an organization, regardless of the form of employment, to pull in the same direction and ensure that the business flourishes.
Authority Means Authentic
Management’s authority in the form of formal titles and positions means less, while its behavior and the extent to which it is perceived as “authentic” is rapidly increasing in importance.
The motivation of the employees and freelancers becomes the most important concern. Concepts such as values and corporate culture become increasingly central and many companies are actively working with these concepts today.
It is de rigeur to establish the Employment Brand which communicates the company’s concern for a welcoming workplace that respects the individual. The success of companies in talent acquisition stands and falls by the extent to which the company can communicate, and is perceived to represent, a worthy corporate identity.
The individual behaviour of leaders must match what the company conveys or wants to convey. The most important success factor will be to have leaders who can create and nurture a positive corporate culture motivating disparate groups.
Culture is a Priority
The successful leader prioritizes corporate culture and identity, motivation and authenticity. He or she makes sure to be a personal, genuine representative of positive values.
This calls for independence and discipline as well as empathy. If, for example, an employee violates the corporate compact, such as we are seeing with the current #metoo movement, it must have consequences, regardless whether the worker is male or female or holding a management position.
Many companies are just beginning to face these issues. They are challenging for all parties and will most likely demand changes in management styles and team building to achieve the image you as a company would like to reflect on the market.
How well is your company prepared for these changes?
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