August 2023
Transforming Leadership Skills for a New Teamwork Dynamics

In a constantly changing work world, leaders face increasingly complex and diverse challenges. Teamwork dynamics have evolved, especially with the growing digitalization and geographic dispersion of teams, which is causing leaders to develop new leadership skills and transform traditional ones to adapt and to effectively guide their teams. As an analogy, we could say that practically… “if you knew how to play chess, now you have to know how to play Chinese checkers, and if you knew how to play Chinese checkers, you have to know how to play chess.” This means that while chess requires complex strategy and long-term vision, Chinese checkers is based on agility, adaptability, and the ability to make decisions in a changing environment. It is this combination that leaders should strive for.

In this respect, for example, leaders who previously focused on long-term strategic planning and hierarchical decision-making must now be able to quickly adapt, manage uncertainty, and drive collaborative work in their dispersed teams. For this reason, the development and transformation of their leadership skills involve leading through change with flexibility and adopting more agile approaches, fostering creativity and continuous learning, as well as being able to communicate effectively and assertively, promoting virtual collaboration, making data-driven decisions, creating an environment to boost innovation and experimentation, and leveraging digital technologies to drive team performance and, consequently, organizational performance.

Indeed, McKinsey Global Institute reported that 85% of companies consider digital transformation a strategic priority, and only 16% feel fully prepared to lead in a digital environment.

Key Skills for Leading in Changing Environments

To adapt to this new dynamic, leaders must develop and transform specific leadership skills to enable effective leadership in current environment. Below are some of these skills and their importance in guiding teams through uncertainty and constant transformation:

Adaptative Leadership:

94% of executives consider adaptive leadership a critical skill for the success of an organization in a constantly changing business environment. (Source: Deloitte)


Resilient leaders are 72% more likely to be highly engaged in their work and positively influence their teams’ engagement. (Source: Gallup)

Change Leadership:

96% of leaders consider the ability to lead through change essential for achieving desired results in transformation projects. (Source: Prosci)

Managing Dispersed Teams:

77% of employees consider workplace flexibility, including the option to work remotely, improves job satisfaction and talent retention. (Source: Owl Labs)

Strategic Thinking:

97% of leaders consider strategic thinking fundamental to the long-term success of an organization, especially in a constantly changing business environment. (Source: Harvard Business Review)

The Skill of Managing Dispersed Teams

42% of leaders feel unprepared to effectively manage dispersed teams (Source: Owl Labs)

For this reason, we want to give special attention to managing dispersed teams as a leadership skill. Managing dispersed teams requires a combination of leadership skills, effective and assertive communication, and proper use of technological tools. By setting clear expectations, fostering trust and collaboration, and using appropriate tools, leaders can maximize the productivity and engagement of their dispersed teams, enabling them to achieve success in any project they undertake.

Furthermore, it is important to remember that each team and situation can be unique, so it is crucial to adapt management strategies to the specific needs of the dispersed team. Flexibility and continuous learning are key to constantly assessing and adjusting management practices.

Additionally, it is advisable to strike a balance between autonomy and responsibility. Members of dispersed teams need to have a certain level of autonomy to effectively perform their work, but they also need to be accountable for meeting established goals and expectations.

Finally, we must not overlook the importance of recognizing and celebrating individual and collective achievements. Although team members may be physically separated, it is essential to recognize and value their contributions, in order to maintain high levels of motivation and engagement.

In summary, managing dispersed teams requires a combination of effective communication, trust, collaboration, the use of appropriate technological tools, and adaptability. By implementing these practices, leaders can establish a collaborative and productive work environment, maximize the potential of their dispersed teams, and achieve successful outcomes.

Business Opportunities Arising from the New Work/Teamwork Dynamics

The new forms of work and teamwork dynamics have opened up various business opportunities. Here are some of them:

  1. Collaboration and Communication Tools:  With the increase in remote work and dispersed teams, there is a growing demand for online collaboration and communication tools and platforms. These solutions include business messaging applications, project management tools, video conferencing systems, and file-sharing platforms. Companies that develop and offer these tools have the opportunity to meet this growing demand.
  2. Remote work consulting services: Many organizations need to adapt to the transition to remote work and require expert guidance to implement new policies and practices. Consulting firms specializing in remote work can offer advisory services in implementing remote work policies, establishing dispersed teams, and optimizing productivity in virtual environments.
  3. Online learning platforms: Remote work and virtual teamwork dynamics have driven the demand for online training and education. Companies that offer online learning platforms, virtual courses, and remote training programs can capitalize on these business opportunities.
  4. Change management services: The shift towards new forms of work and teamwork dynamics can be challenging for some organizations. Companies providing change management services can help businesses effectively implement new work approaches by providing support in the transition, training, and facilitating the adoption of new practices.
  5. Coworking spaces and virtual offices: Although remote work is becoming more common, there are still professionals and companies that need occasional physical workspace. Coworking spaces and virtual offices offer the flexibility of having a physical work environment when needed, providing services such as meeting rooms, administrative support, and access to a network of professionals.
  6. Well-being and work-life balance services: Remote work and new forms of work have highlighted the importance of well-being and work-life balance or integration. Companies can seize this opportunity by offering online well-being services such as exercise programs, meditation, and mental health counseling, as well as flexible work hours and work-life balance policies.

Impact of the New Work/Teamwork Dynamics on Global Executive Search Business

The new forms of work and teamwork dynamics have had a significant impact on Global Executive Search services. Some of the key impacts include:

  1. Remote Work and Global Talent Pool: The rise of remote work has expanded the talent pool available for executive search firms. With remote work becoming more prevalent, executives can be considered for positions regardless of their geographic location. This opens up opportunities to access diverse talent from around the world, allowing executive search firms to identify the best candidates for their clients, irrespective of geographical constraints.
  2. Virtual Recruitment and Assessment: The shift to virtual work has required a transition to virtual recruitment and assessment processes. Executive search firms have had to adapt their methods and utilize video conferencing tools and virtual assessment platforms to conduct interviews, assessments, and evaluations. This virtual approach enables efficient and effective talent evaluation while reducing time and costs associated with travel.  Besides, lets identify candidates’ technical, leadership and communication skills in a virtual environment.
  3. Digital Networking and Candidate Sourcing: The digital transformation has revolutionized networking and candidate sourcing for executive search firms. Online professional platforms and social media have become crucial sources for identifying potential candidates and building professional networks. Executive search firms are leveraging these digital platforms to connect with executives, assess their profiles, and proactively reach out to individuals who fit their clients’ requirements.
  4. Flexibility and Adaptability: The new work/teamwork dynamics have highlighted the importance of flexibility and adaptability in executive search. Firms need to be agile in responding to changing client needs and evolving market conditions. They must adapt their search strategies and methodologies to find executives who can thrive in remote work environments, collaborate effectively in virtual teams, and navigate the complexities of a digital-first business landscape.
  5. Emphasis on Digital Skills and Leadership Competencies: With the increased reliance on digital tools and technologies, executive search firms are placing a greater emphasis on identifying candidates with strong digital skills and leadership competencies in managing virtuality. Executives who can leverage technology, drive digital transformation, and effectively lead remote teams are in high demand.
  6. Enhanced Communication and Collaboration: Effective communication and collaboration have become even more crucial in the new work/teamwork dynamics. Executive search firms must ensure seamless communication with clients, candidates, and internal teams despite physical distance. Leveraging virtual communication tools and platforms enables efficient collaboration, real-time updates, and effective decision-making.
  7. Change Management Expertise: As organizations navigate the transition to new work dynamics, executive search firms with expertise in change management have a competitive advantage. They can guide clients in implementing successful change initiatives, selecting leaders who have the ability to navigate uncertainty, drive organizational transformation, and build agile and resilient teams.

In summary, the new forms of work and teamwork dynamics are bringing significant changes to Global Executive Search services. The services now need to adapt to virtuality, access global talent, seek flexible and adaptable leaders, assess virtual competencies, and provide support in change management. By doing so, they can meet the changing needs of the organizations and help them find the perfect fit talent to lead in the current work environment.

Article by:
Marcela D’Alessio – INAC Peru
Debra Young – INAC USA
Tessa Trinh – INAC Germany I
Anikó Soós – INAC Hungary

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