Having just returned from presenting at the ‘21st Century Leadership Revolution’ conference in Kuala Lumpur, I thought I’d share with you some of the essential aspects I covered in my keynote presentation about the Future of Leadership, and particularly how the way leadership and teams operate needs to evolve in 2023 (and beyond!) – and especially so with ongoing hybrid working.
By the end of 2022, nearly everyone we spoke to across the Public, Private and Not-for-Profit Sectors was exhausted. Across the board, people were O.O.O. – overworked, overwhelmed, and over it!
So, what can we do differently in 2023 and beyond?
We see 2 significant key shifts that need to happen – shifts that apply equally to hybrid, remote, and face-to-face environments:
- A transformation of how leaders and teams practically work together
We need to shift the balance to empower teams to take more responsibility and make the leader/team relationship more of a collaborative, 2-way street than it has ever been before.
- A quantum shift in leaders’ day-to-day leadership style (hybrid, remote, and face-to-face)
The quantum shift is a transformation to everyday Coaching Leadership. We need to better harness the power of Collective Intelligence.
Collective Intelligence (CI) is the body of knowledge that grows out of a group – when groups of people work together, they create intelligence that cannot exist on an individual level.
Collective Intelligence emerges when people’s contributions are combined to become more than the sum of their parts; for purposes ranging from leading, learning and innovation to decision-making, ‘collective intelligence’ can be understood as the enhanced strength, capacity and ability that are created when people work together (a bit like a bee or ant colony) to mobilise a wider range of information, ideas, and insights. To do this though, we need to do things differently.
With the continually increasing pressure leaders (at all levels) are under, I think it’s becoming unrealistic, and quite frankly, unfair to place the weight of a team’s world so squarely on the leader’s shoulders.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m NOT absolving leaders of their responsibility for leading their team – not at all! How a leader leads always has a huge impact on their team – be that positive or negative. And a leader is always accountable for their actions. Nor am I asking people to get out the ‘tiny violin’ and shed tears for their leader. 😉
What I’m saying is that in 2023 and beyond, to get the best out of teams, there needs to be more of a shared responsibility. We also need to acknowledge that managers are also staff -and also human – and hence have similar mental health and other challenges.
Today’s leaders keep getting pressure piled on them, usually from their bosses (don’t even get me started on the topic of myopic short-term thinking vs long term strategic outcomes! 🤦♂️). Finding the time and headspace to actually do the job they’re there for (i.e. lead the team!) – is becoming increasingly difficult. With the current state of the labour market and drive to cut costs, the reality is unlikely to change – certainly not for the better, anyway! So we need a shift in thinking.
At SCC&D, we see the need for teams and managers to evolve and operate more as a unified ecosystem of collective intelligence rather than the traditional ‘manager leads the team’ mindset. A symbiotic 2-way relationship with respectful ‘give & take’ rather than a one-way flow relationship of ‘leader to team’. More ask, less tell.
To give an example: so often when we run our team development and executive coaching programs, we hear people saying things like “I don’t get feedback from my boss;” “my manager doesn’t give clear instructions;” “my boss doesn’t know what I need.”
When I hear those sorts of things, I usually ask questions like: “what does your boss say when you ask for feedback?”
The reply is invariably along the lines of an indignant: “ummm, well, I sort of…well…I don’t really ask… BUT they should do it, I shouldn’t have to ask!”
In an ideal world, I agree: team members shouldn’t have to ask, and it is up to the leader. In an ideal world, a leaders’ job is solely to lead the team. However, few of us live and work in an ideal world.
Teams need to build a better 2-way flow of communication where people (teams and leaders) are empowered to proactively ask for what they need. Teams and managers need to build ongoing processes and ways of working (culture) to make sure respectful, 2-way open communication happens.
Developing processes and culture builds trust and psychological safety. Building processes and culture ensures people are more likely to be treated equally, and that everyone has a voice and a chance to be heard, not just the squeaky wheels or loud ones.
Coaching Leadership is the fundamental tool that builds the processes and culture that enable and empower people to share thinking, to be more open with each other, to collaborate better, to innovate more, to build deeper trust, connection, relationships, and engagement.
Our unique, innovative T.O.A.D.™ Coaching Leadership model is a proven framework to build those processes and culture that empowers teams and leaders to build and harness collective intelligence and take the team to a whole new level of trust, psychological safety, and performance.
Going forward, it’s time to start doing things differently. The world has evolved, so must leadership and teams. Coaching Leadership, powered by our T.O.A.D.™ Coaching model is the Future of Leadership. It is a proven tool to transform teams.
Clients tell us our T.O.A.D.™ Coaching model is highly effective as:
- A day-to-day leadership tool to build engagement, performance, collaboration, and innovation
- A practical day-to-day Leading Change/ Change Management/ Change Transformation tool
- A day-to-day ‘powerful conversations’ tool
- A powerful tool for better collaboration, analysis and understanding
- A briefing and debriefing tool
- A tool for managing up
- A tool for better meetings
- A great customer service & community engagement instrument
- A means to cultivate more innovation and ideas
- A great sales & pre-sales methodology to boost sales
- Applicable at all levels – top executives to front line staff
- It can be integrated into every other coaching, leadership, sales, and conversation models
Most time-poor leaders (the vast majority of us!) feel they don’t have time day to day to coach people. As a result, and often without realising it, the default becomes giving people the answers and telling people what to do.
However, although giving instructions and giving answers feels faster, it robs people of autonomy and purpose, and degrades innovation, collaboration and critical thinking. Leaders end up with less time because people keep coming to them for more answers and instructions. As one executive in a large NSW Government agency said when the penny dropped: “we’ve trained people to rely on being spoon-fed!”
Disengagement follows. Performance, psychological safety, collaboration, innovation, problem solving, and communication all decline; people leave; or worse, stay and do the bare minimum…the spiral down continues.
Our unique, innovative T.O.A.D.™ Coaching Leadership model changes all of that.
THE FUTURE OF LEADERSHIP – T.O.A.D.™ Coaching
The Future of Leadership is human ‘IOT’ – the Internet of Thinking: The Collective Intelligence of a group of people’s brains, that when effectively combined become greater than the sum of their individual thinking. As Aristotle said, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
When leaders create Collective Intelligence, people work together to create teamwork, leadership, learning, innovation, and decision-making that cannot exist on an individual level.
T.O.A.D.™ Coaching Leadership is the key methodology that builds Collective Intelligence in teams.
T.O.A.D.™ Coaching Leadership is The Future of Leadership.
T.O.A.D.™ Coaching Leadership is proven to:
- Improve productivity by up to 30% when implemented across an organisation
- Be applicable at ALL levels of leadership
- Improve performance, engagement, innovation, communication, and collaboration at all levels
- Enable, empower, engage, and develop your people
- Build a better culture of Psychological Safety and performance
- Get people to take more responsibility and ownership, think more for themselves, perform better and more autonomously
- Better engage and lead Millennials and Generation Z
- Improve Managing Up as well as managing teams and internal and external stakeholders
- Free up more of your time as a leader
- Get staff taking more personal responsibility and stimulate a ‘learning from mistakes’ and continuous improvement ‘how can we make things better’ mindset
- Overcome some of the critical brain biases like Groupthink & Satisficing
Our pioneering Leader as a Coach/ T.O.A.D.™ Coaching Leadership program is super-practical and based on the latest practical neuroscience, engagement, and human behaviour research.
It incorporates our unique, proven / T.O.A.D.™ Coaching Leadership model that gives leaders and teams the tools and processes to build a culture of Coaching Leadership 70% of the time: every day; every week; every month. If rolled out comprehensively across an organisation, it transforms leadership cultures – one client estimated a 30+% improvement in productivity!
We have seen the results: leaders and teams who make the transformation to Coaching Leaders stand the greatest chance of maximising engagement, productivity, collaboration, innovation, connection, purpose and performance.