The Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) just published the outcome of a survey conducted among Fortune 1000 companies to identify the Top 5 leadership competencies of tomorrow. Respondents were asked to write in the top five words or phrases that came to mind to describe the leadership competencies they perceive will be critical in the future. This is what came out (for some strange reason, only 4 headings are listed, 5 though if you count leadership agility and flexibility as separate items).
Leadership agility and flexibility
“Tomorrow’s leaders will need to be able to manage on the fly,” says Kevin Oakes, CEO of i4cp. “Not only will they need to be mentally agile and flexible, they’ll need to instill those qualities in others, even while keeping things from becoming chaotic. I picture them as excellent business athletes.”
Another of the top five competencies is innovation. “Innovation is, in fact, one way to stay agile,” notes Oakes. “You react to changes in the business environment by doing things differently and by quickly inventing new products and services that help you gain a competitive advantage.”
In an environment where the world is awash in social media and instant messaging, leaders will need to be exceptional communicators, able to cut through the morass of information overload with well-honed messaging.
The critical nature of change management is highlighted not only in the write-ins but in other parts of the i4cp study as well. When i4cp asked about the degree to which organizations emphasize certain management competencies, it found that the more that organizations stress change management skills, the higher they score on i4cp’s Leadership Success Index.
“From this perspective, the future is already here,” notes Oakes. “Change management skills will not only be needed for the future, they’re paying dividends now.”