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