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  • Tania Hodgkinson

Elevating Leadership Amidst Global Shifts: The Imperative of Adaptability and Resilience

The path to not just future ready but future shaping leadership and organisations



In an era marked by unprecedented changes across geopolitical, technological, and environmental arenas, the call for adaptability and resilience within leadership has never been more pronounced. Insights from McKinsey and the World Economic Forum delineate a future where these traits are not merely beneficial but essential for navigating the complexities of tomorrow’s business landscape.


Global disruptions underscore the urgency for leaders to embody adaptability and resilience. As businesses face the challenges of geopolitical volatility, rapid technological advancements, and pressing environmental concerns, the ability to pivot and maintain strategic focus is crucial. This dynamic environment demands a leadership approach that can not only withstand these pressures but can also harness them for innovation and growth.


The Essence of Adaptability in Leadership


Adaptability, in its essence, is the ability of leaders to pivot strategies, mindsets, and operations in response to evolving external pressures and opportunities. It requires a keen foresight that allows leaders to anticipate changes and proactively prepare rather than reactively respond. This capability is especially pertinent in the face of emerging market dynamics. As we move further into the digital age, with innovations such as generative AI and blockchain redefining the business environment, adaptability transcends traditional leadership models. It demands an openness to learning and an agility in decision-making that can harness the potential of new technologies while navigating their ethical and operational complexities.


Resilience: More Than Just Endurance


Resilience in leadership goes beyond mere endurance of adverse conditions; it encompasses the capacity to emerge stronger, more insightful, and more innovative after challenges. This involves not just the ability to withstand economic downturns or geopolitical tensions but also to leverage these situations as catalysts for organisational growth and transformation. In the context of systemic team coaching, resilience is cultivated not only at the individual leader level but also woven into the fabric of the team and organisational culture. It’s about building systems that are robust yet flexible, capable of evolving in response to both internal and external shifts.


Integrating Soft Skills as Hard Competencies


The dichotomy between soft and hard skills is becoming increasingly blurred as the business world recognizes the indispensable value of emotional intelligence, empathy, and effective communication. These “soft” skills are proving to be among the “hardest” competencies in terms of their critical role in addressing complex challenges. Leaders who can navigate the emotional landscape of their teams, foster inclusive environments, and articulate a compelling vision are those who can truly drive strategic and cultural transformation.


From Soft Skills to Systemic Strengths


From a systemic team coaching perspective, leadership is not just as a set of individual attributes but really a dynamic interplay between leadership, strategy, and culture. This approach emphasises that the so-called soft skills are, in fact, systemic strengths that underpin the adaptability and resilience of the entire organisation. They enable leaders to:


  • Cultivate an adaptive leadership strategy: Aligning vision with the fluidity of the business landscape requires a balance between analytical prowess and the soft skills of empathy and visioning.

  • Foster a resilient culture: Building a culture that can withstand and thrive amidst challenges demands a foundation of trust, open communication, and shared values—qualities rooted in soft skills.

  • Enhance systemic awareness: Understanding the interconnectedness of various organisational elements and external factors necessitates a deep level of communication, empathy with all the stakeholders, and strategic thinking on how technological developments are impacting every part of the system.


As we delve deeper into the significance of adaptability and resilience, it becomes clear that the future of effective leadership is inherently tied to the integration of soft skills as hard competencies. In facing some of the most complex challenges of our times, these capabilities emerge as the cornerstone of a systemic approach to leadership that embraces strategy and culture as avenues for transformative change.


Here, it is useful to introduce FAARsight: A Comprehensive Leadership Framework that evolved out of my learning, experience and best practice as a systemic leadership team coach.


The Genesis of FAARsight


Emerged from this context is the InnovThink FAARsight framework—Future Adapt-Ability and Resilience. FAARsight is the synthesis of much of my learning and experience as a systemic leadership team coach and has come to represent a tangible approach to developing future readiness for today’s leaders and their teams, offering the foresight to anticipate shifts, the adaptability to evolve amidst change, and the resilience to withstand challenges. This framework is the culmination of integrating four foundational pillars into a unified approach to leadership development:


1. Inner Development Goals (IDGs): Emphasising self-awareness and emotional intelligence as the core of effective leadership, the IDGs, developed by the amazing team at the IDG Foundation in support of achieving the UN’s SDGs, lay the foundation for my thinking about much needed leadership competencies of tomorrow. And yet, working with my clients, I felt that other perspectives could further help evolve my approach. Read more about the IDGs here.

2. Vertical Development: Moving beyond operational management to strategic vision, Vertical Development expands leaders’ mindsets, enabling them to become architects of transformation. My experimentation on applying Vertical Development at team level in an exponential technology context provided further insights for my approach.

3. Systemic Thinking: This brings greater focus on the interconnection of organisational components and a holistic perspective in relation to the growing VUCA factors. Systemic Thinking helps ensure decisions account for their long-term and wider impact on the entire system.

4. OpenExO and Purpose Alliance Frameworks: Addressing the challenges and opportunities of exponential change, these frameworks help equip leaders and organizations with strategies for leveraging exponential technologies and future ready methodologies for growth. Find out more about Openexo here.and the Purpose Alliance here.


Why FAARsight Now?


The alignment of FAARsight competencies with today’s global shifts is not coincidental but intentional. Designed to address the multifaceted nature of contemporary challenges, FAARsight equips leaders with the necessary competencies to lead effectively in an increasingly complex world. It ensures that leaders are not just prepared but proactive in their approach, ready to navigate and shape the future.


Conclusion


As we stand at the crossroads of today’s challenges and tomorrow’s opportunities, the FAARsight Leadership Coaching Program is designed as a pathway for leaders seeking to cultivate the essential capabilities of adaptability and resilience in their organisations. This program is an invitation to embark on a journey toward visionary leadership, where the challenges of 2024 and beyond are not merely navigated but transformed into catalysts for innovation and growth.



Explore the FAARsight Leadership Coaching Program and take the first step towards becoming a leadership team and organisation that are not just future-ready but future-shaping. Contact us here to explore how we can partner on your journey.


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