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How to Thrive Amidst Rapid Technological Change - A Guide for Business Leaders


A compelling illustration of a female business leader expertly juggling various technological icons, symbolising the adaptability and skills required to thrive amidst rapid technological changes. The imagery represents the challenge and strategy necessary for business leaders in the modern digital age.

This article is from our monthly Newsletter for Business Leaders, Take an Aspirin.


The Executive Summary:

  1. The rapid advancements in technology, particularly AI, are contributing to significant changes in the business landscape, demanding leaders and organisations to adapt and stay informed about emerging trends.

  2. Business leaders are faced with the critical task of understanding the drivers of change and ensuring they are well-equipped to lead and manage change, on top of their existing responsibilities.

  3. Utilise the PESTLE model to identify drivers of change, employ the FMEA model for risk assessment, and conduct a strategic SWOT analysis to align opportunities and threats with the strengths and weaknesses of your business.

  4. Engaging in workshops, such as our Change & Agility workshop, will accelerate teams' understanding and confidence at discussing, exploring, and managing change successfully together.


 

It's undeniable that we are currently experiencing a significant amount of change, volatility, and uncertainty, much of which is driven by technology. This trend will only accelerate with the spread of AI. Undoubtedly, AI will be one of the most disruptive forces across various industries, organisations, and job markets. Simultaneously, most individuals find themselves busier than ever, striving to thrive and survive while ensuring the well-being of their loved ones and themselves, both mentally and physically, on top of striving to maintain high performance at work too!


Whilst it might appear that business owners and leaders live a relatively charmed life, they have similar challenges too. Like trying to keep a roof over their businesses, provide jobs for their teams and balance the need for high-performance with everyone’s health and happiness. Perhaps, we could say, they juggle bigger balls.


So, it may feel unfair to add something else to our To Do Lists. But, when you’re busy, metaphorically hanging out the washing, you’d want to know if it was going to rain – right?


To navigate this complex landscape, there are three key aspects we must be informed about:

  1. What factors are driving change in our business?

  2. What are we doing to address these changes?

  3. How well-prepared are we to lead and manage this transformation?



To gain the necessary insights, it is crucial to familiarise ourselves with current and forthcoming trends and changes, enabling us to establish a strong Point of View (POV). Without a POV, we are unable to make informed decisions. We might end up with soaked laundry before we even realise that rain won't help it dry.



To assist in addressing these questions, we recommend the following steps:

  1. Use the PESTLE model to identify the relevant drivers of change for your business. You can find a copy here.

  2. Employ our FMEA model to assess the priority of each driver. You can access a copy here. In this model, replace the terms 'Failure' or 'Risk' with 'Opportunity.' Identify your top three Risks/Opportunities and develop strategies to minimise or maximise them.

  3. As a bonus, conduct a Strategic SWOT analysis, cross-referencing the Opportunities and Threats you have identified with the Strengths and Weaknesses of your business.

  4. Following that, use the Change Success Diagnostic tool to calculate your likelihood of successfully completing the two to three projects you have identified. Did you know that 70% of change projects fail to meet their expected outcomes? You can access the diagnostic tool here.



And, if you’d like Susannah to facilitate this 2-hour Change & Agility workshop for you and your team, please get in touch.


In our article on Strong Businesses: Navigating the Future, we included factors for both Strength and Agility. As a leader, you’re probably more comfortable with the Strength factors – systems, cashflow, ICT, expertise etc. The Agility Factors have typically been the ‘trickier’ ones, e.g. trust, teamwork, decisiveness and lean-thinking, and that’s because they’re reliant on people, on psychology and behaviour. It’s relatively easy to buy the Strength Factors, but the Agility Factors cannot be bought – they must be built and demonstrated consistently by the leadership team.


There are typically 2 barriers to this:

  1. Our evidence from Motivational Maps shows most leaders are highly motivated by freedom (as opposed to teamwork) and least motivated by authority and status (i.e. the desire to be in charge and to be highly visible).

  2. The dire lack of investment in high quality leadership and management development.



However, for those organisations and leaders with the desire to learn how to lead during these turbulent times, these agility skills can be learned and 2 resources we recommend are Patrick Lencioni’s book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, and our own Liberating Leadership Programme.


When considering change, an additional 2 questions for leaders then are:

  1. How do you handle change?

  2. How much of yourself, have you reinvented in the past 18 months?



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