Help your organization thrive in a constantly changing business environment with executive coaching.
I recently came across Robert Safian’s thought-provoking article in Fast Company titled The Secrets of Generation Flux. The article explored how chaos, when properly managed, can lead to overwhelming success. Safian highlighted successful companies such as Nike, Intuit, and Foursquare that thrived because of their ability to nimbly respond to constant change in the business world.
The article further states today’s thriving organizations focus on agility and quick course correction. New companies rise and fall faster than ever, and bonds between employee and employer, between brands and customers, are more fragile than ever. The business environment is confusing and challenging. Business that succeed must be efficient yet open, thrifty yet ambitious, and agile yet creative. Welcome to what Safian has dubbed “Generation Flux.”
It stands to reason, then, that companies who expect to succeed in this type of environment demand leaders who are able to roll with and capitalize on the chaos. Here are the traits today’s Generation Flux leaders must possess:
- They encourage creativity and agility while retaining the advantages of the traditional hierarchy.
- They allow openness of ideas, from the trenches all the way to the top.
- They are open to letting others make decisions for them.
- They ensure that everyone across the organization understands goals and strategies.
- They promote varying types of intelligence and styles across the business, instead of just relegating them to specific departments or roles.
- They identify and disrupt areas that threaten to become static.
- They are constantly innovating and keeping ahead of change, not just reacting to it.
Even though there is no single model for success, today’s leaders must build fluid environments in which experimentation and risk taking is encouraged and in which change is accepted as the only constant. And this is much easier said than done. Large corporations can have significant penalties for “failure,” and human nature typically favors inertia and safety. So what’s a leader to do?
First, they have to personally understand and embrace the value of chaos and change. Then, they have to be willing to be wrong occasionally and let the creativity flow. Honestly, this is the perfect situation where executive coaching can be enormously valuable. The coach provides the sounding board and reassurance that many executives need to successfully ride the wave of chaos and uncertainty.