Jun 03 2020| Leadership | crisis

Think to the Future

The world has changed - are we ready?

by Phil Eyre Founder

The June issue of Business Brief is now available, featuring the latest article in my leadership series. In this article, I discuss the future of leadership, and how good leaders can move forward to a future beyond COVID-19.

 

This pandemic demands forward-thinking like never before. Why? Because business has changed forever. 

 

We will work differently. 

 

The pandemic has proven that working from home works, despite previously held convictions that ‘we must be in the office together’. The implications are far-ranging, from office design to commuter habits (I’ve saved a fortune in parking tickets over the lockdown). 

 

We will travel differently.

 

The need for face-to-face meetings in other locations will be questioned. One business leader described to me how easy and now wholly acceptable it is to discuss the transformation of the business with globally dispersed colleagues as an ongoing conversation via video call. Previously it would have taken months to arrange an intense, in-person meeting.  

 

People will be valued differently. 

 

This crisis reminds us who the essential workers truly are, many currently on sub-average salaries. We are reminded that we are part of a complex organism; my choices will affect others whether I like it or not. 

 

Viewing life and work outside of our narrow frameworks will be a catalyst for change, including how businesses treat suppliers. The primacy of the shareholder will be challenged. 

 

Sustainability and corporate social responsibility will climb the agenda.

 

This includes financial sustainability - prudence, capital and margins as well as social and environmental sustainability. 

 

Classic tactics to treat the workforce as mere numbers rather than people will be scorned; slashing ‘headcount’ without supporting those people losing their jobs will be punished. 

 

Businesses that look after their people, treating them respectfully (even if forced to make some redundant), will rise. 

 

Every business is now a digital business. 

 

Boardroom technophobes have no place in the future. It is no longer acceptable to leave digital ‘to the young people’. Businesses without a clear digital presence will fade. Leaders in digital transformation will flourish. 



Leadership has always been about leading change
This is the case now more than ever. The next few years - probably longer - will be marked by greater uncertainty, volatility and pace than we’ve experienced in our lifetimes. 

 

Anyone expecting a comfortable V-shaped recovery will be sorely disappointed; it will be more like a series of Ws. The best leaders will flourish in these conditions. 

 

Are you ready? 

About The Author | Phil Eyre

Phil Eyre is Leaders’ founder. He has an enthusiastic and inspiring style, drawing on his experience in business, academia and social sectors to help any leadership team to achieve phenomenal performance. Phil has significant expertise in sophisticated psychometrics and in the application of human data for individual, team and organisational success. He has trained with and been mentored by, global leaders in this field, notably Dr Chuck Coker in the US. Phil began his career in the UK offshore finance industry in 1994, working for a wealth management company, Canaccord Genuity Wealth International. Phil was head of the company's Guernsey division, with a staff of 120 and assets under management of £4.5billion before resigning from executive responsibilities in 2008. Since launching Leaders in 2017, Phil has worked with many senior executives and boards primarily in the Channel Islands and City of London. He regularly writes for a variety of business publications and is often invited to speak at events for institutions such as the IoD and the British Army. Phil works closely with clients on focussed projects and long-term retainers to raise leadership standards. He is a popular and inspiring educator and coach who, with the insights gained from psychometrics, is able to accurately detect the strengths and weaknesses in leadership teams and boards. Phil has served on the boards of various charities, ran the Guernsey hub of a national theology college, received accreditation as a pastor in the Baptist Union of Great Britain and is accredited in various motivation and behavioural techniques.

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