Developing-Leaders-issue-32-2019

4 | Developing Leaders Issue 32: 2019 L eadership seems to be becoming more confusing and polarizing every time one stops to think about it. Here in the UK, the process of exiting the European Union has felled the current Prime Minister. In many ways the task Theresa May took on was a poisoned chalice. It also looked like a classic ‘glass cliff’ task, where women are likelier than men to achieve leadership roles during periods of crisis or downturn, when the chance of failure is highest. May’s resilience and perseverance were remarkable but clearly insufficient to achieve the change required. Hindsight now brings many things into clearer focus. Her initial announcement that she was not a ‘clubbable’ member of the Houses of Parliament’s tea-rooms and bars – indicating that she was not part of the close Westminster machine, in the way that in the US they refer to the ‘swamp’ – in fact turned out to be one of her significant weaknesses. To lead change of this complexity, controversy and magnitude required (amongst many other things) to socialise ideas, cajole, befriend and coalition build. These were leadership qualities we had already seen she lacked in her failed 2017 election campaign. These are the leadership qualities often associated with charismatic, heroic leaders though. Just the types we are repeatedly saying are no longer appropriate (or certainly sufficient) for today’s world. And so the complexity of leadership compounds…. It highlights how one leadership style is not enough – and that there are very few leaders who can authentically pivot through differing styles in any meaningful or impactful way. EDITOR’s LETTER Leadership and Change The trap we must try and avoid though is that lure of the heroic. For in fact what I describe above, was the need for more engagement, more conversation, more collaboration to be created by the leader – not someone sitting upon their metaphorical white horse, sword aloft seeking to save the day. Leadership requires you to get out amongst the followers, your team, your organization, your wider stakeholders and ‘extended organization’. It remains to be seen what type of leader the UK Conservative Party will replace Theresa May with however. This issue of Developing Leaders brings a rich range of faculty pieces covering how strategy is affected by innovation, design and ethics. Kellogg’s Tim Calkins on brands, and Cambridge Judge’s Jeremy Hutchison-Krupat on the Entrepreneurial Organization. We also bring the thinking from a major piece of research with six global corporations on Digital Transformation by Dr Roland Deiser. Balancing these though-leadership pieces, are insights into how Deutsche Bahn has transformed its Learning Academy and an in-depth exploration of Banco Santander’s approach to cultural transformation from its large campus near Madrid, and how business simulation software can reap rewards. Plenty as ever to inspire and catalyse, we hope. Happy reading – and as ever please let us know what you think to editor@iedp.com Roddy Millar | Editorial Director

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