Boyden Executive Search

Only one thing is certain and that is constant change. In this complex environment, Agility is key.

By Francesca d'Arcangeli

The challenges of 2020 have seen the McKinsey Horizon model take on a new life. What might have been disruption triggers at 18 months fast tracked into 18 weeks, 18 days and 18 hours in the light of COVID-19. Work forces of tens of thousands changed working practice overnight, global operating models turned into multiple local solutions within weeks and new consumer behaviours that adapted within hours have stuck and become the new normal.

As the Chairman of a big 5 Accounting firm recently shared, “the pandemic has accelerated changes that were on their way”, however the imposed speed has meant that some have found it harder than others.

The organisations that responded the fastest, are on the road to recovery and are thriving, “were those that had financial and operational resilience built in, a clear purpose and clear sets of values in making uncertain decisions, and those that had already started the journey to mass technology adoption”.

What distinguished these companies from others was the quality of their leadership, the cohesion of the leadership teams, their stakeholder management and the closeness and connectivity they had with the organisations. It has been evident that the democratised organisations with empowered layers and deep trust in their leadership authenticity are those that are recovering, thriving and winning.

For me, the last 9 months have emphasised that the world of technology brings a big learning in the key shift to ‘Agile’ methodology in development. Only one thing is certain and that is constant change. The days of developing a business strategy, a set of processes, a step by step programme, implementing it and expecting that to be business as usual are over.

HR leaders are at the very core of this journey as pivotal enablers for Agility across 3 key pillars:

Leadership Agility – high emotional intelligence to understand the required mindset shift, the ability to inspire and build trust through purpose, evident humanity and empathy are requirements in leadership like never before

Organisational Agility constant alignment between business objectives, talent and workforce planning will enable the innate ability to identify the uncertainties and the implications, navigate and pivot activities to ride challenging times and turn them into opportunities

Employee Agility a purpose-driven culture with embedded trust will enable leaders to leverage continued employee engagement as a catalyst for recovery

The success and failures of business are the direct result of the engagement of the people who work there. An individual can have the best idea, a company the best product and a team, the best process but if the chain in the organisation does not engage, it will not reach potential.

Jill Christensen, Employee Engagement Expert and Best-Selling Author, reminds us that the “focus on employee engagement will only get stronger as more and more people admit that an organisation’s culture makes or breaks its business results”. Jon Ingham, author, highlights for example that “the most important aspect of digital transformation is organisational change – creating agile teams in IT, scaling this up through distributed networks and connecting people in communities to provide engagement, relatedness and belonging”.

Boyden works with clients to support them in identifying the Leadership with the cognitive abilities, emotional power and agility to truly set the course and inspire the organisation. We engage with our clients by really becoming an extension of their organisation and it is only by having this depth of understanding of the opportunities and the challenges they face that we consistently embed true game changers into Boards and leadership teams.

Using insight tools and facilitated teamwork our Leadership Development experts work with CEOs, Divisional leaders, functional heads and their teams to navigate the uncertainties and their implications, define the destination and build the narrative to meet the goals and to create greater Organisational Agility.

Through coaching of leaders, organisation wide insight tools for pivotal relationship building and purpose driven communications, Boyden supports our clients to drive engagement, purpose and performance. We see the current and future need to focus on leading consciously through active and evident inclusion and the celebration of diversity. It’s also become very evident that recognition of individual and collective mental and emotional health at work are key. The companies that have these important aspects front and centre will succeed in developing high and sustainable performance.


Boyden Global Partner Survey 2020

Tapping into the deep knowledge base of Boyden Partners, an insider look at Boyden’s collective insights through the Boyden Global Partner Survey 2020 provides insights exploring the evolving challenges and emerging opportunities shaping the new normal:

The post-crisis leader:

Examining the Challenges:

Top Anticipated Lasting Effects on business & Workplace:

Top Anticipated Organisational Opportunities:

Find full infographic Survey Report here.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.  Learn more