Employees are now more confident, more mobile, more demanding, more idealistic in some cases, and less willing to be company people. Employees, more than ever, are individualists.
With over 86 per cent of CEOs reporting shifts in leadership requirements, Wolff Olins believe that businesses today require new thinking to create an uncorporate culture, where people’s individual desires and values are respected, fueling their personal ambitions to meet corporate targets for growth. They summarised their report in three broadly characterised changes.
Let’s take a look.
Grow your culture
To create a work culture where fast thinking produces quick outputs and accelerates performance, a business needs leadership that still has systems that ensure order but also allows for an organic, creative culture to foster confidently.
- Be less of a ringmaster and more of a chief designer of company culture
- Don’t be the machine, work outside of it and make sure it runs well
- Building a better culture starts with hiring the right people
- Getting the right people with the wrong skills is more important than the wrong people with the right skills
- Don’t be a traditional boss or visionary, be a teacher
- Look to people for creative responses to answer your searching questions
Let go of the reins
Making growth everyone’s business and freeing people up to experiment freely and share collectively can enrich a business to be more engaged in learning and experimenting to grow.
- Be purposely unsure so you leave with answers not arrive with them
- Set and drive the ambition of the business and make day-to-day success and value everyone’s job
- Be with your employees, not above them
- Don’t involve everyone, make smaller, leaner teams for faster outputs
- Bring innovation and expertise from all sides by empowering juniors
To counter today’s individualist personalities, leadership needs to give employees a sense of corporate purpose and allow for more freedom and flexibility so they can learn to become leaders in their own right.
- People are more assertive, and less obedient so let them work on their own terms
- Lead, but allow more freedom and flexibility
- Be more humble about your business’s position in the world
- Lead with a shared social purpose