Is your company going to be the next Thomas Cook?
Read time: 3 minutes

Is your company going to be the next Thomas Cook?

31 Oct, 2019 Read time: 3 minutes
Published by
Andy Jones
Leadership and Transformation Partner
Inspire Inform Ignite

The world is going through a period of unprecedented and accelerated change, changes that are potentially as far-reaching as those of the industrial revolution. These changes are driven by technological advances, which continue to develop at an exponential pace, and the impact that these technological advances have had on the values and beliefs of the younger generations of employees – the so-called Millennials, Generations X, Y and now Z.

But is your organisation hampered by outdated and increasingly irrelevant leadership thinking and a culture that stifles innovation and fails to motivate?

Market-leading organisations are facing extinction as technology enables new companies to anticipate emerging customer needs and rapidly steal market share. A point made very well by the sign on a dinosaur skeleton in the foyer at Google that states “Big is nothing. You can still die out”. The business world is littered with examples of companies that have failed to adapt and thrive in the digital world – Blockbuster, Kodak, Nokia, General Motors, Toys R Us, the list continues to grow by the week. As John Chambers, executive chairman of Cisco Systems said, “At least 40 per cent of all businesses will die out in the next 10 years…if they don’t figure out how to change their entire company to accommodate new technologies.”

Technology has also had an impact on the values and beliefs of generations that have grown up in an era of rapid technological change. They were brought up in an age where their ideas and opinions mattered, where they were involved in decision making and the learning process. They have grown up to become a generation that knows what it wants, that expects to be in control.

This clearly has an impact on their role within organisations and how leaders motivate and manage these very different generations.

These technological advances and generational shifts mean that organisations face massive changes in work design and leadership. Technological change is becoming continuous and this continuous change requires organisational agility.

Are the leaders of our organisations ready to embrace the changes required?

Most leaders in established organisations are from a generation that did not grow up with the technological capabilities that are now taken for granted by Millennials and later generations of workers. Relying on experience and what has made you successful before is becoming less relevant by the day as changes in technology make some of that experience obsolete.

The directive, top-down leadership style where leaders know the answers needs to be replaced by dispersed transformational leadership to encourage organisational agility. A leadership style that encourages and nurtures a different organisational culture that values free communication, collaboration and giving/accepting responsibility to take the initiative. 

In short, a totally different organisational culture with people who think and behave differently and processes that facilitate rather than restrict the flow of ideas. Organisational structures need to be less hierarchical and more collaborative to swiftly benefit from the knowledge and experience within a diverse and global workforce and to encourage the accelerated creation of new, disruptive ideas

Are you ready? Our Transformational Leadership in the Digital Age course is specifically designed to challenge your values, beliefs and thinking so that you and your organisation can thrive in the digital world. Contact us if you are interested in taking the first steps to become a game-changing leader or leadership team for the digital age.


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