Equipping The Modern Leader For The Organization Of Tomorrow

Ram is one of the most prolific business and culture writers of our time. In this discussion, Parker and Ram discuss the role of data to inform talent decisions and the core characteristics and skills needed by leaders in new organizational structures. Ram shares insights and lessons he’s gleaned from his 35+ year career as an advisor to companies, CEOs and boards across the globe.

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Equipping The Modern Leader For The Organization Of Tomorrow

Parker and Ram discussed many interesting and thought-provoking ideas on leadership and talent:

Organizational synchronicity matters: Coordination across business functions to achieve shared goals is critical, but especially in HR. HR departments need to deliver on company results, and with growing access to real-time performance data, HR can play a crucial role in putting the right people into the right roles. To make this happen, HR leadership will benefit enormously from a perspective informed by experience in other areas of the business.

Learning never stops: The most effective leaders are committed to developing critical skills like listening and feedback. Applying the rigorous talent development approach of a sports coach, combined with the opportunity to use data and algorithms to assess performance, allows organizations to provide “leadership crucibles” across all levels of the business to intentionally develop talent through experience.

Transitioning into leadership: The transition from managing oneself to managing others is often underestimated. Self-awareness is a key component for making this successful transition.

Recognize potential and performance: With fewer paths for vertical progress in a flatter organization, employees need to be confident that their performance and potential is going to be noticed and rewarded. New technological capacities to assess team inputs and outputs that are faster than ever ensure visibility on the data that is necessary to spot talent early.

Leaders need to be fluid: It is increasingly common for leaders to occupy cross-functional roles where experience and familiarity with just one silo of the business won’t be enough for success. Knowing how to listen well, to get real input and data from people, and integrate information across different business functions becomes increasingly important the more senior a leader becomes.

Culture serves the business: Culture transformation is important, but if your business model can’t compete in the digital age, then the business needs to transform. As the business focus shifts and evolves, culture must shift concurrently. The success of this shift will depend on clarity and alignment across the organization as to what is being changed and why this matters.

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