Wednesday, 13 March 2013

ASTD Conference 5 - 7 March 2013 - Part 3

Click here to jump to Part 1 of the ASTD Conference feedback.

Next up was Agustina Mendez from the Hay Group, a global management consulting firm.

"Leadership 2030 - Leadership Characteristics of the Future"


This was a fascinating presentation giving a glimpse into the potential future and attempting to predict the kind of leadership competencies that will be required of leaders in the near future. To take an educated guess into the future the Hay Group partnered with Z_punkt, a company specialising in future scenario planning. Z_Punkt identified 20 "mega-trends" of the future that the Hay Group then worked with from an HR and leadership perspective to tease out the competencies that would be needed under these conditions.



A "mega-trend" was defined by Z_punkt as a trend which would have global consequences due to the scale of impact, the reach of the trend and the time-frame during which the trend would take place. In her presentation Agustina only had time to look at 5 of the 20 mega-trends, but the full research report can be purchased from the Hay Group. The 5 trends from the presentation were:


  1. Globalisation 2.0
  2. Individualisation and value pluralism (the blurring of the line between work and personal life)
  3. Demographic change
  4. Climate change and environmental impact
  5. Digital life-style
Agustina also referenced research the Hay Group  had done on different kinds of leadership styles one of which was titled, The Indian CEO, the other was The Chinese CEO. Both reports present a refreshing picture of new emerging global CEO styles which are very different (some would say more ethical) than the reigning European CEO and US CEO models.

Some of the insights from Agustina's presentation:
  • Globalisation 2.0
    • There are  now 2 billion middle class people on the planet -a huge growth in the last few years
    • Globalisation is influencing organisations to adopt more "flattened" organisational structures so that information can flow more easily across global boundaries - this is challenging traditional heirarchical reporting structures
    • Individual loyalty is increasingly to the person's social network and not the institution they work for. This is reflected in the fact that instead of one individual resigning from an organisation, an entire team will move at once.
  • Individualisation and value pluralism
    • 59% of employees in Germany changed jobs in the last 5 years
    • People are seeking personal fulfilment in the workplace, whereas previously they would be content to work for money and have a meaningful personal life after work
      • This is causing a convergence of private and working lives
    • We are seeing more unconventional CVs where it is clear that the person was seeking meaning in their life rather than a vertical career progression
      • Lateral career movements are more common in these CVs
      • The search for personal fulfillment is more evident in these CVs
    • We are seeing the rise of what Richard Florida has coined "the creative class" which is involved in creativity across the whole process of product or service design from formulation to creation to implementation of the idea
      • Many people in this group are not happy being micromanaged in their work and want to be self-directed and creative to a greater extent than we have seen before
  • Demographic change
    • We used to hear about the brain drain and now we hear about the brain cycle which is when people have emigrated to the developed world from a developing country, and now decide to return home to their native country, often bringing with them valuable skills and experience
      • This is what Bruno Rouffaer referred to as happening with the Turkish population of Europe, many of whom are now immigrating back to Turkey
      • This trend has been exaggerated by the financial crisis of 2007-8 which has made many developed countries less attractive than some of the the faster growing developing countries of the world 
    • In 2009 there were 7 Western industrial countries amongst the 10 biggest economies in the world, by 2050 it is predicted there will only be 3
  • Digital life-style
    • This has significantly increased the power of customers in a business relationship, making them key partners in the whole value chain of a business and empowering them to shape the end product and the way in which it is produced
    • It now requires a transparency of operations that was unheard of in previous times
    • The (post) heroic but overwhelmed leader:
      • Linked to digital life-style is the issue of ethics in leadership - how do we predict when our leaders are about to bring a scandal to their organisation and damage its reputation? This was never a question in the pre-digital life-style era but now its a primary business imperative
      • A cornerstone leadership competence emerging out of these mega-trends is a kind of curiosity of genuinely wanting to know "how my behaviour or style as a leader is perceived (felt) by you" - also known as caring

 Agustina ended her presentation with this statement to leaders, "if you are only in it for the title you are not going to be able to stick it out in the job - its just not sustainable."
You can download Agustina's presentation here.