Leading and Managing in the Age of Disruption (Research): Key TakeawayThis blog post is a part of UpsideLMS’ Guest Post series wherein the who’s who of eLearning, L&D and HR share their views, experience, insights on all things learning.

I am a passionate business leader who embraces disruption, change and innovation with open arms. So the ‘Age of Disruption’, the very age we are living and breathing in now, doesn’t surprise or shock me much. But some takeaways from Cegos’ recent research-cum-whitepaper, titled Leading and Managing in the Age of Disruption, sure did.

As the Regional Managing Director for Cegos Asia Pacific Pte Ltd., I had the opportunity to conduct a survey and research, focused on the readiness level of leaders and managers for the workplace challenges of the future, NOW. The survey, spanning the functions of Business, HR and Learning, saw over 1,000 personnel – leaders and middle management – actively participating. Completed in 8 countries across the Asia Pacific Region, the survey includes input from over 800 organisations, representing nearly 25,000 regional leaders and managers. In short, it was nothing short of ‘huge’.

While there are pockets of strengths and notable areas for development, the research tells us that many leaders and the broader management teams are NOT being developed with the knowledge, behaviours and skills most appropriate for longer term success. Beyond critical and urgent – it’s the final wake-up call for organisations that are slow to adapt to the evolving trends and times!

Below are the 4 key areas that the research points out focused on a leader’s competence:

1. Technology and Innovation

30% of Management know very little AND are unwilling to learn.

While much of this is related to post-GFC risk aversion, short term focus, not enough perceived pressure for change, in some quarters it’s owing to a chain firmly around the traditional, hierarchical order of things that leads to this management ‘no’ how. This is the pressure for change and needs to be heeded closer, with more empowerment through the organisation.

Top Country: India leads the pack in leadership know-how, usage of appropriate technologies and tools, and are strongly innovation-minded.

2. Human Touch

Almost 6 out of 10 respondents agree that more frequent communication is essential and key requirement of senior management teams within their organisation.

This calls for more innovative communication and collaborative tools powered by the appropriate technology for the business.

Top Country: China tops the list as it breaks down traditional hierarchies and structures in favour of entrepreneurial spirit and open two-way communication and collaboration.

3. Strategy

One of third of respondents admit their organisation does not have a clear strategy in place with 50% saying that current strategy is followed only ‘to some extent’.

This indicates a clear (and an alarming!) lack of understanding of how the business will not only work towards future success, but what constitutes progress in the short term.

Top Country: China tops the list again with almost 50% confirming that the strategy is well defined and largely followed. This is largely linked to Chinese MNCs expanding outside of the country and a newer breed of private corporations growing within.

4. Productivity

Over 60% of all respondents confirm senior management is too slow in reacting and responding to problems or even FAIL to respond.

There is closer link to be drawn between the data within the strategy segment above and the operational reality, where legacy issues exist, problems need to be solved and often this is down to the individual contributors. Line Managers and Senior Management can do more to communicate and remove barriers to progress.

Top Country: China (once more!) and India are the best resourced countries in terms of management support of the wider organisation in the removal of barriers to success, solving of problems and enabling focus on priorities.

There is so much more to this research that gets under the skin in each dimensions of Leader / Manager readiness that you can read, learn and apply to your business with the suggested next steps.

Leading and Managing in the Age of Disruption can be downloaded here.

*The original survey and research has been conducted by Cegos.*

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