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Tomorrow’s worlds, tomorrow’s organisations

Presentation by Professor Peter Hawkins : Talent Talks Network Breakfast

By Carol Butcher
Talent Talks hosted a breakfast at PwC Business School on 30th March. The guest speaker, Professor Peter Hawkins, Professor of Leadership, Henley Business School (UK) spoke on the topic: “Tomorrow’s worlds, tomorrow’s organisations.”
The presentation was based on research globally into leadership, where leadership is going and where leadership needs to go. CEOs HR Directors and millennial future leaders were interviewed globally, across many sectors.
Hawkins addressed four questions:

  • How the leadership needed for tomorrow’s organisations be different from today’s leadership?
  • What development is needed for tomorrow’s leadership?
  • Where can we find current best practice?
  • What more needs to be done?

Key points

  • When our grandchildren grow up they will face far bigger leadership challenges than Hawkins’ generation faced.
  • Leadership develops at your mother’s knee.
  • Leadership is seeing something needs to be done and getting on with it.
  • Leadership is an attitude.
  • Leadership does not reside in leaders.
  • Three things need to be present – followers, leaders and share purpose; the purpose creates the leadership.
  • We live in a VUCA world; the rate of change in the next five year’s will be far greater than the change we have experienced in the last ten years.
  • Competition and innovation have changed.
  • Innovation today is about how we re-orchestrate the value chain.
  • In the next few years we are going to be employing fewer people. (Over the last 20 years, have seen zero growth in the number of employees).
  • We have seen growth in the number of employees from start-ups, SMMES and not for profit organisations.
  • Tomorrow’s leadership is not about leading people, but how do I partner with hundreds more people that I cannot control.
  • We cannot stop globalisation – 2 billion more people will enter the world of work.
  • Every millennial interviewed mentioned climate change as an issue that would affect their organisation.
  • Can our organisation learn faster than the environment is changing?
  • We cannot afford to do leadership development one person at a time.
  • Tomorrow’s leaders want leaders who listen, empathise, challenge, inspire and partner with them.
  • Millennials want leaders who are interested in the ‘whole me’ and who ask how we see our future.
  • Millennials want leaders who care about them.
  • Leadership development is out of date –most leadership development is fast-forward, not future-back.
  • Within the next five-yeas, leadership development, strategy and organisational development will be one department. Unless we do this, organisations will not be able to learn fast enough.
  • How many organisations have millennials developing their leadership development programme?
  • The research reveals that most skills knowledge can be taught better through e-learning.
  • The majority of leadership development is not fit for purpose.

The green shoots of tomorrow’s leadership development

  • Challenge-based learning
  • Deep immersion training.
  • Systemic teach coaching of intact teams.
  • Secondment and peer consultancy across the organisation and the stakeholder ecosystem.
  • Co-created personalised learning journeys
  • Self-system awareness – developing agility, resilience, capacity, consciousness.

The research will be available on the Henley Business School UK website:

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