MASTERCLASS SERIES ON TRANSFORMING NEXTGEN LEADERS FOR A VUCA WORLD

“There are two things we can say with certainty about the future: it will be different, and it will surprise. Now, more than ever, leaders have to navigate unfamiliar, challenging times, a quickening pace of change, increasing expectations, and a rising tide of rapidly-evolving conditions. This new and different environment (VUCA) is challenging leaders to find new ways to lead their organizations and achieve sustained success. And, because of these circumstances, there is a thirst for leadership, yet leaders face a whirlwind environment laden with remarkable opportunities and daunting challenges through which to lead their people and organizations.”

- Prof Sattar Bawany et al. (2016)
Co-Author, ‘ 2016 Research on Trends in Executive Development: A Benchmark Report

Introduction of VUCA: What It Means and Why It Matters

 

What It Means and Why It Matters

Leading in a  VUCA  world  that is  V olatile,  U ncertain,  C omplex and  A mbiguous not only provide a challenging environment for leaders to operate and for executive development programs to have an impact: it also provides a much-needed range of new competencies. The new reality is resulting in the realization that new and different capabilities are needed to succeed.

VUCA is an acronym that emerged from the military in the 1990s. It describes the “fog of war” — the chaotic conditions that are encountered on a modern battlefield. Its relevance to leaders in business is clear, as these conditions are highly descriptive of the environment in which business is conducted every day. Leadership as usual, including creating a vision, is not enough in a VUCA world.

  1. Volatile : Things change unpredictably, suddenly, extremely, especially for the worse.
  2. Uncertain : Important information is not known or definite; doubtful, unclear about the present situation and future outcomes; not able to be relied upon.
  3. Complex : Many different and connected parts: multiple key decision factors, interaction between diverse agents, emergence, adaptation, co-evolution, weak signals.
  4. Ambiguous : Open to more than one interpretation; the meaning of an event can be understood in different ways.

Importance of Cognitive Readiness

In a VUCA world what is needed is Cognitive Readiness : the preparedness and agility to handle the situation at hand and still prevail. Chief among the new VUCA-related competencies that leaders need to develop isa high level of Cognitive Readiness, which is the mental, emotional, and interpersonal preparedness for uncertainty and risk (Hagemann & Bawany, 2016).

Critical Thinking, the more common and tactical of the thinking skills, involves strategic thinking, creative thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making. It has been a hot topic for the past six years in the EDA Research on Trends for Executive Development . In the latest 2016 Survey,respondents also identified the importance of developing Cognitive Readiness in order to be able to effectively think critically.

Organizations are prioritizing the development of Cognitive Readiness as the one of priority for leading in a VUCA business environment. This may reflect recognition of its importance for current and emerging leaders and a serious commitment to developing these mental capabilities, or it may simply reflect curiosity about the latest leadership development topic and a desire to avoid being left behind. Either way, two issues are present. First, organizations will need to think creatively about the processes they employ to accelerate the developmentof Cognitive Readiness in High Potential Leaders.Second, organizations may want to explain why, in practice, Cognitive Readiness is important to their success and then define in much greater depth their expectations of perspective.

Results-Based Leadership Framework

There is growing evidence that the range of abilities that constitute what is now commonly known as emotional & social intelligence plays a key role in determining success in life and in the workplace. (Bawany, 2014).

Extensive longitudinal research by Centre for Executive Education (CEE) has uncovered links between specific elements of emotional and social intelligence and specific behaviours associated with leadership effectiveness and ineffectiveness in developing an impactful organisational climate that is supportive in driving enhanced employee and customer engagement resulting in the achievement of the desired organisation results (See Results-based Leadership Framework for details).

An organization’s employees have always made the difference between a truly successful organization and a mediocre entity, but it’s amazing how often managers overlook or discount this fundamental recipe for economic survival. Organizations with cultures that focus on their people and that invest in their future will in the long-run, be more competitive than cultures that view employees as mere costs to be reduced in times of trouble.

Program Outline for the NextGen Leadership Masterclass Series

The Overview of the CEE Masterclass Series could be found here .

The Masterclass Series of Executive Development Programs with its various modules and content is proven in its success. It is based on both CEE and our strategic partners’ extensive experience globally with a broad range of businesses across diverse industries, on contemporary, proven frameworks and approaches on what we know it takes to transform the culture and the leaders and managers of a business from “Good to Great”! The Masterclass series includes the following:

Program 1:  Leading in a VUCA World

Program 2:  Results-Based Leadership


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Program 3:  Winning the War for Talent 2.0

Program 4:  Managerial Coaching for Success


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Program 5:  Inspiring Your Multigenerational Workforce

Program 6:  Building High Performance Teams with SCORE


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The CEE Masterclass Series of Leadership Development Workshops are certified by  The International Professional Managers Association  (IPMA).

The programs incorporate a number of unique features and works on a number of levels. It is specifically aimed at enhancing and developing the skills, knowledge and behaviours of the participants – both individually and as a group. At all times the focus of every interaction is about action – participants will be impacting on their people, their organisation and, most importantly – themselves!

The participants will develop their understanding of Leadership Effectiveness and how it will lead to creation of a sustainable competitive advantage for their respective organisations through the development of an organisational climate that will contribute towards enhancing employee engagement and productivity.

For copies of Clients' Testimonials for the delivery of these programs, please visit here .

References

  1. Sattar Bawany (2016), “NextGen Leaders for a VUCA World: Transforming Future Leaders for Success" in Leadership Excellence Essentials, Issue 08.2016 (August 2016)
  2. Sattar Bawany (2016), Leading in a VUCA Business Environment, in Leadership Excellence Essentials, Issue 07.2016 (July 2016).
  3. Bonnie Hagemann, Sattar Bawany et al. (2016), Research on Trends in Executive Development: A Benchmark Report, published by Executive Development Associates (EDA); Pearson TalentLens and Performance Assessment Network (PAN), February 2016.
  4. Bonnie Hagemann & Sattar Bawany (2016), Enhancing Leadership and Executive Development - Latest Trends & Best Practices in Leadership Excellence Essentials, Issue 03.2016 (March 2016).
  5. Sattar Bawany (2014), “Building High Performance Organisations with Results-based Leadership (RBL) Framework” in Leadership Excellence Essentials, Issue 11.2014 (November 2014)
  6. World Economic Forum (WEF), WEF Outlook on the Global Agenda 2015