Learming Hub
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            [post_content] => Adrian Funham photo2Previously a lecturer in Psychology at Pembroke College, Oxford, he has been Professor of Psychology at University College London since 1992. He has lectured widely abroad and held scholarships and visiting professorships at, amongst others, the University of New South Wales, the University of the West Indies, the University of Hong Kong and the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He has also been a Visiting Professor of Management at Henley Management College. He has recently been made Adjunct Professor of Management at the Norwegian School of Management. Since 2007 he has been nominated by HR magazine as one of the 20 Most Influential People in HR. 

IMI: Based on your current work – if you only had 6 words of advice to give a business – what would they be?

AF: Every Disruption involves threat and opportunity.

IMI: What does that mean? AF: We live in turbulent times: times of both threat and opportunity that really test managers. So what are the fundamental principles of good management to ensure staff are happy, motivated and productive? Can you teach experts to become good people managers and if so, how? What is the role of money in motivation? And how can we engage rather than disenchant our staff? We know from futurologists that the world of work is changing fast, even though many predictions have not come true. But where we work, for whom we work and with whom we work are all in flux. How do you manage the older worker? What are young people really like in the work-place? What is the work-place and organisation of the (near) future going to look like? Finally, I address the (continual) management of change. Which strategies work best and why? No one ever said managing people was easy: but we can learn to do it better and ensure our organisation thrives and survives in an uncertain world. Adrian Furnham is a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference taking place on Thursday 29th  of September. To register please click here.   [post_title] => "Every Disruption involves threat and opportunity" Six Word Wisdom from Adrian Furnham [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => private [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => every-disruption-involves-threat-opportunity-six-word-wisdom-adrian-furnham [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2023-12-13 18:22:50 [post_modified_gmt] => 2023-12-13 18:22:50 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=16066 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 22610 [post_author] => 80 [post_date] => 2018-04-05 09:27:06 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-04-05 09:27:06 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_22612" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Jack Welch was CEO of GE for 20 years. In a changing world, is he still the model for leadership? Jack Welch was CEO of GE for 20 years. In a changing world, is he still the model for leadership?[/caption]   When discussing the challenges facing business leaders it seems almost de rigeur nowadays to talk about the level of change organisations are facing. The challenge to equip leaders to build the future in these uncertain times is certainly daunting, with seismic geopolitical shifts (in this context the Trump administration seems to be the gift that keeps on giving), disruptive technological change (how many of us even fully understand the implications of bitcoin, blockchain and whatever new technology will be unleashed on us next) and even severe climate and weather events. The very ubiquitous nature of these challenges may however inure us to their real potential as both a threat and an opportunity to affect a true paradigm shift in how we view leadership, a classic case of an issue being undervalued through overuse. . The Concept of Leadership From the perspective of the 21st century the development of our concept of leadership is a little clearer than it may have been in the past.  From this remove we can see how the largely male, heroic models of leadership have greatly influenced the literature and teaching in this field. The business leaders who are most often cited, Jack Welch, Steve Jobs etc. are broadly from a similar mould and the models of leadership, with the exception of Servant Leadership (as a servant leader you put the needs of others, particularly team members, before you even consider your own, but how many executives really model themselves on this type of leadership?) extol an assertive, confident, out-going and mainly extroverted style. In fact, the Myers Briggs type most associated with leadership is the ENTJ (extraversion, intuition, thinking, judgment), which is described as the ‘general’, again exposing the military underpinnings of the leadership canon. We can clearly see this bias in the continuing popularity of books like Dale Carnegie’s “How to win friends and influence people”, the pseudoscience of NLP and programmes that teach executives how to create the right ‘impression’. Given the genesis of the leadership concept it is understandable that people might misconstrue the notion of leadership presence as the ability to impose oneself (and influence people), but there is real hope that we are about to experience a genuine shift in the paradigm. . Unhappy Influencers [caption id="attachment_22617" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Richard Boyatzis studied how leaders influence those around them Richard Boyatzis studied how leaders influence those around them and how that effected their lives and careers[/caption] . Recent research conducted by Richard Boyatzis and colleagues from Case Western Reserve University examined the relationship between the extent to which people adopted an ‘influencing’ leadership style and their later satisfaction with both their careers and their life in general.  Interestingly they found a very strong negative correlation between these factors, i.e. the more people adopted an influence style the less satisfied they were with their careers and lives. Boyatzis and colleagues did not have an objective measure of career success, so one could still argue that the ‘influencers’ did better in their careers, but Boyatzis’ research does tell us that irrespective on how well an outsider might judge your career progress, the ‘influencers’ are less happy about their situation.  The researchers concluded that those who adopt an influencing style are pushing on their environment and trying to get more from others, e.g. they tend to show a high need to control social situations. The crux of the problem, especially in the context of a VUCA world, is that pushing on or trying to control an environment that is in a constant state of flux, verging on chaos is unlikely to be very effective and will certainly lead to people being highly dissatisfied and unhappy in their work and indeed their lives. Now would be the perfect time for the leadership movement to learn the lessons of evolutionary psychology that success in a changing environment falls to the most adaptable, those who can outlearn their competition.   The Adaptable Generation This will require a cadre of new leaders who are less ego-identified with success and winning, who don’t see problems as opportunities to impose themselves and demonstrate mastery of the environment. Rather we will see the emergence of leaders who can go with the flow, adapt to new realities quickly, work through and with others as either leader or follower and pivot gracefully as cherished paradigms fall away and hard-earned experience proves ineffective as a guide to new problems. There is no doubt that the idea of women in leadership is in the current zeitgeist and may or may not create a fundamental shift in how we see leadership in the future.  I am however hopeful, that as the new model emerges we will see less emphasis on the old machismo of the ability to impose oneself on others and on the environment and more emphasis on the willingness to adapt, change and ‘flow’ with emerging realities. Bruce Lee used to tell his students to ‘be like water’, perhaps that is not a bad metaphor for what leaders will need to become.   imi-colm-foster-810Dr Colm Foster is Director of Executive Education at the Irish Management Institute. He has acted as a leadership development consultant to organisations in the US, Asia and Ireland, particularly specialising in Emotional Intelligence. The next IMI Diploma in Leadership starts on 2nd May, 2018. [post_title] => 21st Century Leadership: The Shifting River [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 21st-century-leadership-shifting-river [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-09 13:19:26 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-09 13:19:26 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=22610 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4779 [post_author] => 15 [post_date] => 2013-09-06 09:39:08 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-09-06 09:39:08 [post_content] => With the surge of new computing capabilities afforded to us through cloud computing and data analytics there has been a significant increase in the ability to source, integrate, manage, and deliver data within organisations. The emergence of a new breed of technologies means that traditional restrictions on data processing have been overcome and the resulting boost to information capacity means that all organisations can become more agile, flexible, lean and efficient The term Intelligent Enterprise is being used to describe those that seizing the opportunities presented. This has led to a demand for people that can make this “Intelligent Enterprise” a reality. The bottom line is that without the right skills and capabilities, new technological innovations will not only be of no benefit to firms but may actually become a disadvantage to those that are unprepared to implement them. Indeed, staffing and skills have been singled out by firms as the top barrier to Agile Data Analytics, with 61% of respondents citing them as a challenge in our recent report for the Cutter Consortium. So what can organisations do to become Intelligent Enterprises and get the most from big data? We believe they need to develop three main skill bases: 1. Technology support 2. A deep analytical capability 3. A savvy understanding of what big data can deliver Organisations will increasingly be employing not only Data Miners, Data Scientists, Data Architects, Database Administrators Business Developers and Business Analysts but those individuals that combine skills from those roles such as Project Managers, Data Visulalisers and Programmers Developers. [caption id="" style="float:center" width="300"]Intelligent Enterprise Skills & Roles Mapping The Intelligent Enterprise - mapping skills and roles[/caption] At the centre of the skills bases are the Chief Information Officers (CIO) and Chief Data Offers (CDO) that will drive the transformation. With a skill set that covers all three categories, individuals are ideally placed to successfully lead their organisation into an era of extracting tangible value which is currently hidden in organisational data. It is from this perspective that we have designed the IMI Diploma in Data Business, which provides knowledge and insight into each to three areas. To find out more about how you can develop these skills come to our Information Evening for our Diploma in Data Business and Diploma Cloud Strategy in the Marker Hotel, Dublin 2, at 6pm on Tuesday 10th September register here. Tadhg Nagle is joint Programme Director of the UCC IMI Diploma in Data Business and a lecturer and researcher in Information Systems at University College Cork. With a background in financial services his expertise is in strategic innovation and emerging and disruptive technologies. 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Kevin Empey

Kevin Empey

12th Apr 2017

Kevin is an IMI associate on the Senior Executive Programme.

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The Organisation of the Future

Every week brings new stories about how the world of work is changing.  Driven by forces such as advances in technology, global inter-connectedness and growing consumer expectations,  new disruptors and innovations are appearing across virtually every business sector from hotels to health and from banking to buses!

But surely the world of work has always undergone constant change? authors such as Charles Handy have been writing about this ‘new’ world for many years.  Haven’t we always just adapted and continued on our way?

The world of work is changing (Photo source)

However, this period does look and feel somewhat different. The general consensus seems to be that this digitally empowered period we are now moving into, labelled loosely as ‘the future of work’, will see as fundamental a transformation as was experienced since the first Industrial Revolution.

While robots, automation, millennials and disruptor stories are perhaps grabbing the headlines on a daily basis there is a fundamental shift happening in the very nature and structure of the world of work – a shift that organisations and policy makers need to take notice of now and lead rather than finding ourselves in catch-up and reactive mode.  As is constantly reported this shift offers great promise and human benefit but also potential risk and downside in the form of underemployment and the devaluation of work.

So with all this noise in the background, what is actually changing in practical terms and what are the implications for those leading and working in organisations today – as well as tomorrow?

For a start, we need to stop referring to this period as ‘the future of work’ – because it is already here. As the science fiction writer William Gibson said: “The future is here, it is just not evenly distributed”.    And learning from those who have already made the first moves from ‘traditional’ business models and organisational structures into this ‘new’ world of work, the first thing they say needs to be got right is -mindset.   If we continue to see this emerging world as something remote or in the future, then we risk not tuning in properly to the opportunities and threats that are already on our doorstep today.

Early adopters also point to the need for organisations to be more strategically responsive, more organisationally agile and also more comfortable in dealing with constant change.  They need to be responsive to a new employee and a multi-generational workforce with different (and sometimes not so different) expectations regarding work and the workplace.

The organisation of the future will be less about creating a fixed, physical entity in which work gets done and will be more about a more open and flexible construct that facilitates the fulfilment of goods and services through a mixed ecosystem of employees, partners, alliances and free agent workers.  While the benefits of such organisational flexibility and agility may be clear, the challenge for leaders will be how to manage risk, talent, cost and regulation in very different ways to how these are managed today.

And then there is the human factor. While the precise nature of the changes in areas such as emerging business models, jobs, the role of technology and organisational design are difficult to predict with precision, it could be argued that the human qualities that have helped leaders and individuals to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances in the past will become increasingly important, prevalent and relevant into the future.

Individual agile capabilities such as having a learning mindset, adaptability, resilience, collaborative skills and purposefulness will be key adaptive qualities which will be under increasing scrutiny when it comes to recruitment, promotion decisions and succession planning.  Not only will such adaptive qualities help individuals to remain career agile, they will help organisations to remain organisationally agile as well.

We may not have all the detail about what our organisations will look like tomorrow but the one thing we can do today is set about having a deliberate strategy for having the right people in place for when these changes inevitably emerge.


 

Kevin is an IMI associate on the Senior Executive Programme. Kevin is specialised in supporting organisations, senior leaders and employees in preparing for rapidly changing business models and the future workplace.

 

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