The digital evolution that has shaped the last few decades will be rapidly overtaken by other revolutions, such as Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain, amongst others. We will be moving from a production-led economy to a creation-led one, in which creative intensity will be key. Knowledge will soon be totally decentralized.
A shift in leadership models
Many (r)evolutions are taking place in the business world. The traditional leadership model, based on a pyramid-like hierarchy, is increasingly challenged. Whereas traditionally the presumption was that leaders were more competent than their team members, now leaders are not expected to know everything, but they should be able to bring competences together from individuals. Attitudes are more important than aptitudes and value is generated through co-creation and co-working, with an impetus to see silos and hierarchical levels abolished.
This new desire to create together will affect the whole organization. To capture the extraordinary opportunities this offers, leaders will have to find new and different ways to create and capture value.
An evolving leadership role
Leaders must anticipate and face resistance to change from within their organization. Their role will dramatically evolve as they will have to establish a new vision that redefines their company’s mission, objectives, business model and above all impose a new customer intimacy culture, in which collaborating and experimenting with clients becomes the company’s true R&D.
Experimenting to innovate and create, moving from pyramidal to transversal structures to increase speed, promoting flat and collaborative co-creation, unleashing energies by allowing mistakes and giving top priority to permanent engagement with customers are just some of the challenges that new leaders must overcome to build truly liberated “F-Form” companies. These are organizations that give employees almost complete freedom to take the actions that they, and not their superiors, consider best to meet the company’s business objectives.
To harness new capabilities, leaders need to accept new attitudes and behaviors based on networks. This new organization need to boost co-creation. Trust becomes key. Life-long learning must be adopted.
Leaders – at all levels – need to create momentum, mobilize their teams to overcome fear, help them to develop a fresh perspective on what they do and discover other new messages.
In an F-Form (2) company, trust unleashes employee initiatives and responsibility and accelerates agility. The ‘Makers’ in Silicon Valley is a growing phenomenon. They promote active learning. Their motto is “learning-through-doing.”
Learning through doing
For over 30 years, StratX has developed leaders from top companies around the world. In our sophisticated business simulations, we encourage teams to revisit the way they create and deliver value, take calculated risks, experiment and learn from their mistakes. Everyone must contribute and take an equal share of responsibility.
To know more about how these active learning initiatives have dramatically impacted these leaders’ careers – and their company’s success – contact Yann Cartier at yann.cartier@stratX.com by filling in our contact form.
1. The term liberated company, popularized by the book Freedom, Inc. by Brian M. Carney and Isaac Getz, refers to an organization which, according to the authors, unleashes employees’ initiative and responsibility by treating them as adults.
2. The notion of liberated or “freedom-form” (F-Form) company was further formalized by Isaac Getz in his 2009 academic article "Liberating Leadership: How the initiative-freeing radical organizational has been successfully adopted" in California Management Review, in which he describes it "as an organizational form that allows employees complete freedom and responsibility to take actions they decide are best.