It was Alvin Toffler in his classic book, Future Shock who suggested that the real work of leadership was the need to learn, unlearn and relearn. In a world of exponential change this more true today than ever. Meg Wheatley said that thinking is the place where all intelligent action starts and yet, so often, those in leadership don’t think! There is no time to stop and think and operational efficiency is all too often the only area of focus and energy.
It is imperative that those entrusted with leadership understand the need to get off the dance floor and get on the balcony. It is from the balcony that you can see the emerging patterns on the dance floor. It is from the balcony that the insights, vision and perspective that are part of all good leadership can be forged. Each leader needs to find his or her own balcony. As a leader, without knowing how and when to access your balcony will cripple your ability to lead into the future; to lead effectively in the new world of work.
Discovering the difficulty of this in both theory and practice within the corporate context led me to developing the ‘ReThinking Leadership’ framework and presentation. This in turn led to ‘ReThinking Strategy’ and others are in the pipeline.
Already I have had the opportunity to present and teach the ‘ReThinking series’ globally in a number of corporate, business school and leadership development settings. The more of this I do, the more I am realizing how needed it is. I was recently asked by a CEO what I thought was the most important leadership necessity when it came to leading into the future: Without hesitation my response was, “Adaptive intelligence”. The need for both leaders and organizations to constantly adapt is a survival interpretative. Those who survive the future will not be the strongest, fittest or those with the biggest market share…it will be those who are the smartest around the need to adapt to the ever changing context.
In the ReThinking frameworks I explore exactly what this work looks like and how best to go about it. Mark Twain once said that it is not what we don’t know that gets us into trouble, but rather, that which we know for sure!
Consequently, the ReThinking Series will challenge current thinking, provide strategic insights at both a personal and corporate level, invite understanding and discussion, and is laced with a practicality and a gently rebuking humour that keeps participants thoroughly engaged throughout.