On Sept. 26, students in the CSR course and other students from GMBA enjoyed a very informative lecture by Mr. Geert-Jan “GJ” van der Zanden on the highly relevant topic of “Future-Fit Leadership”.
The speaker shared his experience with executives in MNCs who are working with other actors within and across industries to achieve systems change. He explained how the old growth model of shareholder value maximisation that has created tremendous wealth in the last century is proving to be increasingly unsustainable due to its social and environmental costs. Then, he introduced a new model for “future-fit” growth that is increasingly embraced by companies such as Unilever, IKEA, and Microsoft: one that would bring growth that would benefit large numbers of people; work with (as opposed to) against the nature; and maintain the dynamism of short-term action while delivering value over the longer term. With the trends and forces from stakeholders such as: customers, investors and regulatory bodies aligned we currently have brewing what he called “the perfect storm” for systems transformation.
Importantly, Mr. van der Zanden shared insights and tools that address key leadership capabilities required to navigate the challenges of our times; contextual acuity, systems range, collaborative competence, bias for action, and scenario thinking and purpose. Among these 5 capabilities, only one (i.e., collaborative competence) was thus far on the radar of the students present.
The session provided much food for thought regarding the direction that global leadership is taking and how one can prepare ahead.
Are you – and your organization – ready for this future?