Why Future-Minded Leadership Is What Your Company Needs
It’s no secret that times are changing rapidly, leaving the future of organizations and businesses in uncertainty.
Let’s face it, the world is becoming increasingly complex, and that partnered with the increasing demand for remote work and a shift towards a gig economy means that the process of leading these organizations must change drastically too.
Demographics and values are shifting, environments are in constant rapid change, and the need to be resilient in these fast-paced conditions is higher than ever.
How has leadership changed?
In just a few years, the ‘norms’ of working have been turned on their head, and so have the ‘norms’ of leadership.
In the past decade, we have seen a shift from a more autocratic style of leadership within businesses, where decision-making was largely centralized, to a far more democratic style; something that was only accelerated by the pandemic and the rise of the once-abstract ideas of remote working.
This decentralizing of leadership has led to far more flexible and collaborative leadership styles.
We are now in a time of accelerating change, with fast-paced environments and the rapid development of new technologies making the working world far more expeditious.
But times have also become far more uncertain, first with the pandemic and now with greater economic worries. So, the time for new, exciting, and youthful ideas to promote fast growth and development within a company has never been more necessary.
What is the future-minded leader? And why is future-minded leadership beneficial for your company?
So, what does the future of leadership look like in this new and ever-changing environment?
It starts with future-minded leaders. But what does this mean? How can we identify and become the future-minded leader?
A future-minded leader is an individual that has the qualities of a forward-thinking, proactive, and adaptive person, ready to face new challenges that arise within a business environment.
As the name suggests, one key characteristic of a future-minded leader is being open-minded to new ideas and strategies whilst creating a solid vision for the future. Leaders of the future must be able to embrace technology, shift to a new focus of innovation, and understand the corporate responsibility their company has in an ever-developing world.
What other characteristics define a future-minded leader?
1. Strong emotional intelligence
In professional environments, there has been an overwhelming shift to a greater focus on mental health, wellbeing, and welfare over the last decade. As a future-minded leader, creating a positive workplace culture where these focuses can be safely explored and understood is a key characteristic in the future of leadership.
This is especially key when looking to the future, as generations entering the workforce now value emotional intelligence especially highly. Research from the National Institute of Mental Health suggests that the highest incidence of severe mental health issues occurs in 18-25 year olds, whilst 73% of the Gen Z population report they have feelings of loneliness.
These statistics show the psychological pressures and stresses the Gen Z population are facing. And yet, the youth is the future…
Being future-minded means looking to those who will be at the core of the company in the future and working with their needs.
So, in order to face these challenges and continue with positive business and employee growth and development, emotional intelligence for future leaders and building an emotionally intelligent workplace culture is a must-have.
2. Culturally aware with a focus on diversity and inclusion
As workforces are diversifying and businesses are globalizing and navigating cross-cultural differences, a future-minded leader will show a sense of cultural awareness whilst putting emphasis on the importance of diversity and inclusion. They will hold a strong sense of ethics and values, and see the value in both acknowledging cultural difference whilst promoting inclusion.
This creates a positive culture at work, opens up global business opportunities, and looks to the future as diversity continues to develop.
3. Able to navigate complex, rapidly-changing environments
We might have seen a whole lot of change in just a few years, but this change is showing no sign of stopping.
The rate of change is only increasing, and this fast-paced environment is only going to get exponentially faster.
Future-minded leaders understand this, and can learn and develop the ability to navigate complex, rapidly changing environments to keep up-to-date and on-top. Through the acceleration of AI and technology, the increasing global network businesses are subject to, the unstable economies that need to be navigated, and much more, change is inevitable.
So, your business needs future-minded leaders to traverse these waters for you to stay afloat.
Keep in mind that future-minded leaders might not all possess the same problem-solving techniques, but future-minded leaders will possess the qualities to find solutions to challenges quickly, efficiently, and creatively.
Find out more about the different types of problem-solving techniques that might be useful in the future of leadership.
4. Open to collaborative leadership and teamwork
Earlier forms of leadership, as we’ve mentioned, were far more autocratic, thriving on the idea of delegation. Delegation is, of course, still a huge part of leadership, however the idea of teamwork and collaboration is a far greater priority. Future-minded leaders adopt this leadership style not only to build a transparent and healthy workplace culture, but also to harness the benefits of a diverse pool of thinkers.
5. Technological intelligence
Right, so this is a big one. Technology has progressed a huge amount in just a few years, and this was only accelerated by the pandemic when employees had to harness technology to keep in contact and continue successful workflows. Over 50% of people believe that technology will determine workplace changes in the next 5-10 years. It’s this acceleration and huge development of technology and AI that demands technological intelligence from future leaders.
Future-minded leaders will already be integrating new and exciting technology into their leadership practices to prepare for the continued development and incorporation of technology in the workplace.
This not only safeguards against being ‘left behind’ in the business world as the pace of technological advancement is only set to increase, but it also allows leaders to facilitate collaborative work environments in more flexible conditions.
Investing in coaching to enable future-minded leadership in your company is going to be crucial. Get your leaders ready with our expert leadership coaching designed to prepare your top talent individuals for the uncertain future of business.