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"It's not so much that we're afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it's the place in between that we fear ... it's like being in between trapezes. It's like Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There's nothing to hold on to."
Marilyn Ferguson

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Leadership Notes -- Thoughts on Leading People and Making a Difference in Organizations

Word count this issue: 286

Estimated reading time:  1.5 minutes

 

I had an interesting conversation with a client yesterday, discussing a strategic planning session next month. Like many, this organization is trapped between great financial results at the moment, and an unclear view of the future. Some senior elders see little reason to change, while the emerging leaders are asking important questions about how sustainable the current models actually are, given changing demographics, technology, access to resources and changing social behaviour. http://blogs.cfainstitute.org/investor/2015/04/28/a-view-to-the-future-changes-in-the-investment-industry/  

 

A fundamental question for senior leaders is, ‘how close are you to your customers?’ If there are layers of people between you and your customers, you need to pay very close attention to the people who are talking to your customers. In many established organizations, those will be people inside your organization who are much younger than you. These front line contacts may be face to face, or they may be derived from “big data” about your customers. If there is a meeting about the future of your organization and there is no one in the room with direct, first hand knowledge of the customer, the meeting is a waste of time. It may not be the way things were when you were young, but today and for the foreseeable future, learning about the business will involve 360 degree sharing, and not simply one direction from top to bottom, elder to youth. 

 

Next week, we’ll explore a fundamental question for emerging leaders.

 

 

The world is changing around us, and all of us, from every age range, will need to work together and learn together.