Obsolete Accelerating leadership capabilities

Accelerating Leadership Capabilities

Research indicates that almost one third of current skills could be obsolete in as little as five years’ time. This should serve as a wake-up call to any leader wishing to ensure their company remains competitive but in particular to those whose own professional development has stood still since they took up a senior leadership position.

The world of business is changing, and rapidly. The complex, volatile and fast-paced operating conditions that have prevailed for more than 10 years look set to continue. Added to this, digital technologies are changing what companies do and how they work. New roles and skills are going to be in demand and leaders must be equipped to lead their organisations through the next period of transformation, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).

Worryingly, new research carried out by Rialto points to a lack of confidence when it comes to the capabilities required for such transformational leadership. One quarter of the executives who responded don’t feel sufficiently confident in their skills as future leaders. Feelings stem from a range of factors including insufficient support, lack of relevant experience and a lack of opportunity to develop these capabilities. No single respondent in the network of senior leaders we quizzed believed that all of the leaders in their organisation were transformational and two-fifths (41 per cent) didn’t consider the culture within their organisation to be supportive of transformational leadership.

While this is only a snapshot of the findings they serve to underline the gap that prevails between existing leadership capabilities. And it is a gap that needs to be addressed given that three-quarters of the leaders surveyed are looking to move into a more senior leadership role within the next two years but less than a quarter (23 per cent) knew which action they needed to take to develop the skills they will require.

Having been alert to this capabilities gap, Rialto recognised the importance of finding new ways to help leaders assess how aligned their skillset is to the current market demands. They also need to understand how they can increase their net worth.

Agile Consultation

The outcome is the Rialto Accelerated Leadership Index (RALI). One of the findings that emerged when we were developing RALI (ralionline.com) was that the always-on, 24-7 world has meant leaders need a method of benchmarking their skills almost on a continual basis. RALI is based on insights and trends gleaned from five years’ extensive global research and is also backed up by interviews with executives in leading organisations across different functions and has been further validated across multiple sectors.

Good leadership development needs to help leaders compare themselves to the very best in their functional area. What will make a great finance or HR director in the future? It is impossible to forecast without access to real-time information and insight and this is what RALI sets out to do.

When former prime minister David Cameron made his final speech in the House of Commons, he signed off with the line: “I was the future once”. Last weekend, legendary Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger bid his farewell to the Emirates Stadium. There is often a sense of “what could have been” when any successful leader stands down. What if a few additions or adjustments to their skillset would have combined with all that experience and latent talent to deliver five years’ of even more brilliant success for an organisation? Sadly, in many cases, the leader or the organisation never gets to find out.

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