Leadership: The Human Vessel to the New Business Frontier
As our workforces grow more diverse every day, and customers are demanding better, faster, and less expensive service, companies are faced with the challenges to create and meet the changes necessary to remain in business. The organizational environment must also learn to assess the direction of these changes while also being able to respond successfully to those that roll in at a completely different direction than expected. The leadership required to handle these wonderfully tumultuous times, so that organizations in transition remain profitable, is crucial.
Today’s companies become successful based on their abilities to create and manage change. They can no longer survive without “…courage and imagination – the courage to challenge prevailing business models and the imagination to invent new markets.'; As the globe continues to evolve into a marketplace with vanishing boundaries, competition becomes stronger, tighter, and smarter than ever before, ultimately forcing organizational change. The tidal strength of competition that has been upon us over the past few decades has fundamentally changed the “blueprints'; of many corporations and how they now need to be led. Businesses have awakened to the hard fact that leadership can no longer be defined by the effective management of people and systems, but most importantly by the effective leading of change. Leadership, or the lack thereof, is proving to be one of the most crucial determinants of whether organizations will survive and flourish in the next century’s business frontier.
“We live in an era of organizational reengineering. To become or remain competitive, leaders often must realize improvement through radical change, or reengineering.'; As defined by Jon R. Katzenbach, author of Real Change Leaders, radical changes are:
Those situations in which corporate performance requires most people throughout
the organization to learn new behaviors and skills. These new skills must add up
to a competitive advantage for the enterprise allowing it to produce better and
better performance in shorter and shorter time frames.
The changes that are most relevant are those that demand companies to redefine their organizations in order to profit from the changes or even just to endure them. Change, such as that which comes with new technology, comes so quickly and frequently that business are forced to develop new organizational models and practices. With the unrelenting evolution of technology, organizational structures have had to be reinvented. No longer do we find the centralized, multi-layered hierarchies that once offered organizations bureaucratic control over employees. Towering organizational structures are now collapsing into flatter pyramids with wider spans of control offering greater...