Esko Kilpi talks about the opportunities and challenges for leadership that arise from the internet age.
The abundance of information has not only made research and market intelligence easier, it also has increased the burden on decision makers: it is much more difficult to filter out relevant signals from the exponentially increased noise we perceive. Leaders have to come up with new and different ways of complexity reduction and sense making in order to stay on top of information overload and be adaptive to a faster changing environment.
I believe that those new ways will not create new responsibilities of leadership, but update the three domains that leadership has always been concerned with: directing, managing, and leading.
For directing, the way of sense-making is going to change. We will see more people being involved and more dialogue. In addition, formulating a strategic intent (rather than detailed plans) gives people a frame and direction within uncertainty is reduced for them while making it possible to react to new (market) information.
For managing, leadership should increase the connectivity and information flow within an organization. Out of this, a shared context can arise such that commitments of effort, energy, and resources are better aligned across the company.
Lastly, for leading people the world becomes more colourful. Competence is build by having multiple roles and switching between leading and following, depending on the context.
Esko Kilpi’s article draws a good picture in which direction leadership is going to evolve.