Managing Change or Becoming Obsolete

[ED NOTE:  Alejandra Aranda, President and Founder of Cornerstone Santiago, is a member of the AESC Regional Council of the Americas. She comments on a recent AESC global survey in La Tercera, a daily newspaper published in Santiago,]

The latest annual survey by the AESC (Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants) identifies the issues that most concern companies when looking for leadership talent.

Not surprisingly, executive search firms believe that COVID-19 will continue to be the number one external force their clients will face this year.  That said, it comes as no surprise either to learn that the primary topics of discussion on executive search revolve around leaders who can drive change.

But when you study the results closely, this catch-all concern for driving change needs to be more closely defined or qualified. The learning, or the change effort, must be directed to what companies require today.

You see this in the survey’s supporting data. “Hiring Leaders who can drive Change” (#1 topic) is closely followed by “Attracting Diverse Talent” and “Attracting Digital Talent.”  Talent managers need to consider these three needs as one. Without change management, diversity and digitization as active priorities, today’s organizations cannot be sustainable over time.

And it is worth asking if we fully understand the depth of these changes and whether we are carrying them out not just at the corporate and collective level, but also individually.

For example, we have to ask ourselves if we really understand the new digital environment in which our businesses operate, regardless of whether or not we work in an area related to technology.  How do we handle the transformation of an organization if we don’t have a minimal understanding of this new language – one that increasingly becomes a strategic axis for any company that wants to be successful and develop in the current environment?

So, although it sounds obvious to say that managing change and being in a state of constant learning are keys to creating value within the organization, the real issue is that today the learning must be directed surgically to what companies require.

 The risk in not adapting, or of not doing it well, is falling into obsolescence.

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