Today’s business environment is all about connectivity, and as a consequence, connected leadership needs to be given priority. Modern leaders are all about interacting with their employees, partners, customers, and other stakeholders as a means of driving growth, loyalty, and profitability. It is somewhat of a stretch from the traditional way of doing things, where a rigid hierarchy and chain of command was how most organizations operated.

It’s for this reason why many modern business leaders use a military term like VUCA to define the current environment. VUCA stands for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, correctly defining business from a rigid and strictly hierarchical point of view.

The fact of the matter is that a lot has happened over the past two decades or so. There have been several economic recessions, coupled with the increasing use of automation and new technologies, as well as the widespread use of the internet and social media, let alone the growing demand for more transparency and accountability. All of these have brought numerous disruptions in the workplace.

In this context, it’s no surprise that the traditional command-and-control leadership, mainly based on the so-called prominent personalities such as Jack Welch or Steve Jobs, is slowly disappearing. In its place, a more empathetic style of leadership is taking shape – one that is keen on sharing power, rather than monopolizing it at the top.

The Concept of Connected Leadership

Developed by award-winning thought-leader, author, and CEO at Cirrus, Simon Hayward, the concept of connected leadership draws various elements from other leadership models from the 1990s such as “servant leadership” and “ethical leadership.” It’s also a natural progression from the “distributed leadership” and “complexity leadership” that defined the 2000s.

The distributed leadership model set the stage for a shared decision-making process as part of an all-encompassing framework of coordinated activity. The complexity leadership modelon the other hand, took it a step further and introduced the concept of agility in the workplace. This agility stands for an organization’s ability to quickly adapt and survive the highly disruptive VUCA environment, while still keeping to the company’s core principles and processes.

And while these models served their purpose during their time, today’s modern economy is defined by what can best be described as a type of complex interconnectivity never before seen on the world stage. Individual businesses connect with each other and their communities, which, in turn, connect with governments. Likewise, governments connect with individual citizens, who connect with their peers all across the globe. All of this market interconnectivity on a global scale requires an equally versatile and agile connected leadership.

In such an environment, organizations need to adapt to a seemingly never-ending string of unpredictable connections. An unforeseen action taken in one node will have repercussions across the entire network. This tidal wave of cause and effect will force leaders to extend their focus from their organization to a more comprehensive system of connected assets. 

Leaders also need to be well in tune with the events and processes happening in their company as well as the world at large. They need to keep a watchful eye on developing trends that may influence their organizations. It will allow them to make informed decisions to steer and position their companies following every wave that flows through this network. If you want to learn more, let’s connect on https://go.oncehub.com/GregNichvalodoff or greg@inscapeconsulting.com

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