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Hot Spots Newsletter: the leadership conundrum

La rentrée, as they call it in France, is back to school. While it doesn't feel like we've been away, there is certainly a real excitement around us for things to come at the end of 2011 and into 2012. There's a real energy on 'campus' at Somerset House, our new office location, among this cluster of like-minded companies. Have you signed up to the Hot Spots Movement Facebook page? You can also find us at the Future of Work blog and we're also on Linked In. Lynda also has a Twitter feed and you can follow it here.

The changing face of leadership

The changing role of a company leader is something that has absorbed us for a while at the Hot Spots Movement. In an increasingly open, transparent and connected world, leaders will increasingly be looked upon to work in a collaborative manner. We can expect their behaviour and actions to be more closely scrutinised – so the development of authenticity will be key.

Leaders will increasingly be called upon to be members of teams, most of which will have a diverse group of people, and this will put an emphasis on their skills of inclusion. Many of these teams will also be virtual so we can expect the capabilities to lead virtual teams to come to the fore. Finally, in a connected world, the capabilities of the leader to develop strong and diverse networks - both within the firm and outside to the key stakeholders and advocates in the sector - will be crucial.

We have prepared a test so you can see how high you score as a leader. Click the diagram to enlarge.

So it is timely that Lynda is chairing the Leadership Council of the World Economic Forum. That gives us an insight into the issues being discussed by the council, and which issues are mission-critical for leaders around the world. These issues include:

  • The impact of Gen Y: leaders have to inspire across a generation gap
  • The rise of social media and an increasing demand for openness and transparency
  • The growing importance of social entrepreneurs
  • Globalisation and the need for cross-cultural leadership
  • The scale of Big Global Issues and leading in difficult times

We will be giving you more insights from the Leadership Council over the next few months.

FoW3: play along at home!

The Future of Work Research Consortium 3 launches in a few days. We kick off in Singapore at the end of the month with the London launch on October 5, with companies from the US, Europe, India, Asia and the Middle East. The members are: Abbott; Aria; BT Global Services; Centrica; Cisco; Fujitsu; IATA; John Lewis; KCOM Group PLC; Manpower; Outotec; People in Aid; PepsiCo; PWC; RBS; SABIC; Save The Children; Shell; Standard Chartered; Tata Consultancy Services; and Tiaa Cref.

The four key themes for the consortium are: Technology Advance; Complex Collaboration; Future Leaders; and Generational Cohesion. We are really excited to be adding a new element to the six-month programme – jams. These are topical sessions, revolving around real-time collaborative online conversations.

Ever wondered what it's like to be a FoW consortium member? We've made it easy for you to follow along! Our members share their experiences in this video. Do check the FoW section of the Hot Spots website here as we've uploaded some of the resources, including tests you can carry out to measure whether your organisation is future-proofed.

The great mismatch: special report from The Economist

The Economist has just published a report on the workforce of the future, and The Shift is used as one of the resources. The report, by Matthew Bishop, is fascinating reading and points to a "great mismatch" between available jobs and skills, and the shortage of talent. Indeed, high levels of unemployment across the world have been one of the biggest causes of unrest this year, and finding a solution to the dearth of jobs will be a key point for voters in a number of national elections in 2012. Only 71 per cent of the global population is in full-time employment – and 31 per cent of those are self-employed.

Referenced in the report is oDesk, which provides online outsourcing for companies, focusing on talent-driven areas like website building, but through building online teams and managing them over the internet. oDesk has produced a survey on the transition from a free agent nation to an on-demand workforce. Much of the jobs on oDesk are from firms in rich economies, and fulfilled by people in developing countries, above all the Philippines and India – at a cost of 10% of the usual rate. As the report explains: "The movement of work abroad in search of lower labour costs is no longer confined to manufacturing but now also includes white-collar jobs, from computer programming to copywriting and back-office legal tasks. That is likely to have a big impact on pay rates everywhere."

You can read the report from The Economist here.

  • We are running an open workshop in London on January 24 on Trends and Future-proofing the Company. In this workshop, we will look at the 20 key areas where most companies need to make changes in order to become future-proofed email Tina for details.

Lynda named no.1

Lynda has been named the Most Influential UK Thinker in the annual list compiled by HR Magazine and Ashridge Business School. Lynda accepted her award via video.

The definitive list covers directors and thinkers who have the greatest influence in the field of people strategy and is based on elements such as:

  • Challenging conventional thinking in HR
  • Bringing credibility to HR, both inside and outside the business
  • Playing an ambassadorial role
  • Commanding the respect of peers and key stakeholders
  • Adding value to the business
  • Being visionary and transformational

You can see the UK's top 25 here and the global list here.

How can you make research findings relevant to your organisation?

We have had a lot of feedback from companies as to how valuable they feel the FoW research would be if they could understand how it applied to their specific corporate situation. We are starting to work with organisations on precisely this area: how to distill the data against specific corporate challenges and goals, and – above all – make the data sizzle! And by sizzle, we mean making the data come alive, and extracting specific aspects that are counter-intuitive or of particular importance. We then take these key nuggets of data present them in a way that can be used in communications across the whole organisation.

These bespoke research projects could take many routes: core collaboration; working with online teams; how to engage Gen Y and lead across the generation gap, and so on. One example we have just started is for an organisation that wants to learn how to engage more effectively with Gen Y – both employees and customers. We are using Jams to caucus the teams, and will then produce workshops that are tailor-made to each segment of its target group.

If you'd like to learn more, contact Tina, who would be happy to explain how we can inject some sizzle into your organisation!

  • We have an open workshop on collaboration in London on January 27. Email Tina for details.

Lynda named a MIX Maverick

Lynda has been named the new MIX Maverick – a group of innovative management thinkers from around the world. She joins Gary Hamel, Ivy Ross, Creative Catalyst for Gap Inc, and Stanford's Bob Sutton among others.

Meanwhile, Lynda was interviewed for Human Factor in India, and we have a copy of the transcript here – as ever, some great observations about India and Asia, as well as a glimpse into how Lynda likes to relax!

Who's in our network?

One of Lynda's colleagues on the World Economic Forum's Leadership Council is Daniel Goleman, the bestselling author of Emotional Intelligence. His latest book fills the gap between his books on social intelligence and leadership and, interestingly, is a digital book, which enables Daniel to publish current research to keep it fresh, rather than waiting to include in his next book. EI, which was published in 1995, is still as relevant as ever and was featured in an article in Metro in the US on classrooms just a couple of days ago.

Daniel's concept of the "Aha!" moment is another that resonates with us. Creative breakthroughs are essential to innovation, but how do they happen? Watch this video clip to hear Daniel describe the three steps that lead to a breakthrough - an "Aha!" moment.

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