The future leadership crisis in Australia

 In Leadership

A new month, a new blog series.

The workforce in 2025

This month we’re covering leadership and it’s role in navigating the changes in the workforce over the next 5 years. Today we’re covering the current crisis points leaders in Australia are already experiencing, and what will continue to evolve in the coming years.

Leadership is fundamentally changing with the emergence of technology and evolution across industries.

Environmental and social factors, including global warming, are placing more and more pressure on leaders to operate in a sustainable way, that reduces a company’s impact on the environment.

Changes we are seeing which require leaders to step up and evolve:

    • Extreme Longevity – people are living longer than ever – by 2025, in Australia the number of people over the age of 60 will increase by up to 70%. 
    • Smart Machines & Systems – tech can now augment and extend our own human capabilities, meaning repetitive jobs are now being replaced with machines & automations.
    • Computational world – increase in the use and understanding of data – more information and access to information means leaders will have access to visions on a scale that has never been seen before as possible. 
    • New media ecology – media in the next 5 years will evolve beyond literacy, and require creativity and understanding / interpretation of visual communication platforms, including VR and AI.
    • Globally connected world – access to talent from all over the world, meaning bigger teams, cultural understanding, financial acumen across currencies & various economies. “Europe and America no longer have a monopoly on skills, innovation, creation and political power…” – Institute of Future Work Skills.

Pressures on leaders in Australia moving into the future include:

    • Measurement of success is now based on Societal impact according to Deloitte surveys, 2019 – lead with emotional intelligence, cultural inclusion, awareness of inequality & reduction in environmental impact.
    •  Flattened organisational structures – traditional hierarchical structures are becoming less favoured, and replaced with networks of teams. 
    • More technological change – we’ve seen a revolution in tech advancements in the last decade, and the use of online tools to communicate better, increase productivity and collaboration of teams. Technology is not slowing down any time soon and leaders will need to navigate everchanging channels, platforms and mediums to conduct business.
    • Requirements for advanced understanding of automated processes to maintain competitive advantages. 

80% of respondents from a Deloitte survey expressed the belief that leadership today and into the future  has unique and new requirements that are important to their organisation’s success, including:

    • Leading through complexity and ambiguity 
    • The ability to lead through influence, as future organisations place less emphasis on authoritative leadership.
    • The ability to lead on a remote basis. With more of the workforce working from places other than the office, and across continents, keeping workers on track and engaged is critical. 
    • The ability to lead an organisation to success with a combination of humans and machines / software. Having competent skills in both areas will determine the success of future leaders. 
    • The ability to lead quickly and efficiently, through continuously changing times and environments. 

According to Deloitte Insights, the gaps in leadership that leaders will be faced with over the coming 5-10 years include:

    • Transparency – “In today’s world of the social enterprise, transparency is the most valuable organisational currency. It helps engender trust and respect in a world where many may question an organisation’s true intent.” In Deloitte’s survey, 60% of respondents were worried about the perception by employees of an organisation’s level of transparency. 
    • Internal collaboration –  As systems and suites become more sophisticated in design, enabling smoother collaborative processes, 83% of Deloitte respondents said departments within organisations still weren’t collaborating enough, despite advanced technologies.
    • Performance management – How individuals’ success is measured remains a powerful way to shape behaviour. However, despite organisations’ strong desire to elicit different, more 21st-century behaviour from their leaders, survey respondents described a very traditional approach to how they evaluate top leaders.” – Deloitte Insights.

With these critical challenges in mind for leaders, it will be required by leaders to up skill and demonstrate a stretch in cognitive capacity to navigate changing environments and increased harnessing of technological tools and platforms.

This month we’re celebrating Bespoke HR’s 10th Birthday. To celebrate, we’re offering 50% off Bespoke HR’s signature immersive online program – The 90 Day Culture Accelerator. 

In this program you will not only be guided through a range of powerful leadership strategies and development, but get in-depth coaching on hiring high performing talent, building an award winning culture, and increase your profitability in 90 days. 

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Paulette Kolarz

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