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Outlook 2021

Outlook 2021

Welcome to 2021!

 Last year revealed a lot about our world, our business and ourselves. One of the many things we learned in 2020 is that the world of work has been forever changed. And so has the importance of authentic, human leadership. Leadership that harnesses the human potential, that embraces vulnerability and differences while promoting resilience.  Next to these important leadership traits, what else do we think needs to be at the forefront of transforming leadership in 2021? Here is what our Managing Partners think:

“No one in charge in business or government today has any experience with global pandemics. Therefore, experience doesn’t help. And if management by control and demand should ever have created great results, it definitely will not in disruptive times like these. In a world of radical change and perfect uncertainty, leading into the unknown is more important and more challenging than ever. What do leaders need to master the challenges of the pandemic in 2021? We say it’s trust, judgement and courage.” (read more)

“The pandemic truly fast-forwarded the ‘future of work’ by years. There is no going back. Now we need to make hybrid working “work”. Leaders will need to recognize the connection between productivity and wellbeing. While productivity was up last year, research shows that a majority of employees are experiencing severe levels of stress. To drive and sustain human potential, well-being needs to be part of work. Leaders need to have open channels for employee feedback, and to create a culture that embraces and not stigmatizes the new way of work.” (read more)
- Barbara Kearney

“Asking 10 CEO‘s for their definition of digital transformation in January 2020, would probably have produced 10 different answers.  One year later, the world has changed dramatically, and digital transformation has developed from being a business fad to a mutual consent across most industries.  Companies have done things in 6 months that they thought would take 6 years. Some industries that have been suffering most during Covid created the most innovative solutions. I have been hugely impressed by observing the invention of digital solutions in sectors such as the hospitality industry to survive the current crisis and get ready for a competitive positioning thereafter. For 2021, it will be vital for leadership to connect digital transformation to their culture to make sure it is prioritized impactfully.”

“2020 has been a year without precedent in the free world. Just twelve months ago, everyone would have looked at you in disbelief at the announcement that curfews, contact bans and the closure of stores and restaurants would soon determine our daily lives. And then, involuntarily, the pandemic has refocused many of us: On ourselves. Because there are fewer opportunities for distraction by external influences. Therefore, the quality of our work in the home office depends heavily on the personal agenda we set for ourselves. We have to assess what remains important in the face of a completely new situation, but also where changes are needed in a new working environment. It's about lasting values that should endure in a changing world. And it's about new elements that need to become integral part of our future living and working culture. There is a choice to be made, day by day. And it can be made only by humans. Culture doesn’t just “happen”. To a certain degree, it might grow unnoticedly, yes. But in its concise markedness it is shaped by responsible individuals who stand on a firm foundation of reliable values. That is what leaders in particular should be aware of  -  constantly.”

In 2021, you will not be able to navigate uncharted waters with thinking from the past. We are here to transform the way organizations are led. We believe that great leadership empowers humans to be their best, creating lasting business impact. What are your challenges for 2021?

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