a new leadership paradigm

Our world today is volatile, unpredictable, complex and ambiguous (VUCA). As leaders we experience fast and multiple changes.

Business expectations are huge and often seemingly paradoxical. A typical example is the need to combine innovation with significant cost reductions. Think about the dynamics in banking and utilities for the moment. Both sectors are vigorously looking for new approaches and business models while significantly reducing costs of their retail network (in banking) or production base (in utilities).
Employee engagement figures are at a historical low. Stress and burnout have become part of our daily work environment. No wonder leaders feel lost from time to time.

At the same time this reality offers us a great opportunity to reinvent our businesses, our leadership and ourselves. Based on the evolutions we see in several companies and on our daily experience with clients, we feel that leadership is shifting. It has to shift in order to meet today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. Our leadership is finally transforming from an industrial model towards a service-oriented model in a digital world. Organizations throughout the world are experimenting with this new paradigm and looking for the effective ingredients.

At in motion we believe this transformation calls for 4 fundamental LeaderShifts:

  • From a management by objectives to a management driven by PURPOSE
  • From command & control to a management with AUTONOMY
  • From silo-based organizations to COLLABORATION
  • From change readiness to AGILITY

These shifts are highly interdependent and need to be developed simultaneously. The role of a leader is to create the context in which these shifts can take place. That by itself requires shifting from a “manager-hero” model to a strong but humble leadership.

In order to realize these shifts, a number of leadership practices become more important and need to be carried out in a different way than before.










Let’s take the example of “engage & energize”. The phenomenon of stress, low engagement levels and burnout is not new, but clearly growing. Therefore leaders need to increase their knowledge of how to regulate the energy level of their teams and themselves. They can improve their ability to detect stress symptoms, for example, and learn practices to keep the engagement level up.

Finally we offer you a few straightforward questions to inspire your reflection:

How do you experience the VUCA world? How does it impact your way of doing business, piloting change and leading teams?
What do you think about the proposed LeaderShifts? And what about the leadership practices associated with them?
What can you change in the context of your team to inspire these LeaderShifts?
What do you plan to do to shift your leadership style?

Contact us if you want to explore these LeaderShifts and the associated practices further.