30 enero 2019

Leaders Are Facing Another Year of Crisis with a Shortage of Resources

Marvel Super Heroes and Ben 10 are worshipped by leaders in organizations who actually need to have special -and even superhuman- powers to face the crisis that global companies are currently undergoing, and with it the entire economy worldwide.

Published in El Cronista on January 28, 2019
The 2019 bibliography in the US is questioning again the model of leaders and their skills for the future, characterized by exponential technologies.

In the January 2019 issue of the Harvard Business Review, most articles discuss the hard truth about innovation, and question it without creativity and discipline, reiterating the significant value of resilience to a high failure rate, not only for project initiatives but mainly for new startups.

Mindfulness is widely criticized as demotivating, but for many people it still is a tool that helps preserve sanity. The different contributions and articles deal with creativity based on the culture of curiosity; postgraduate courses and advanced programs for executives in Boston or Chicago start to feel that this model is not adequately responding to the challenges faced by executives, and in particular to the reformulation of the global market under new unpredictable parameters.

On the one hand, discussion revolves around the high cost of maximum efficiency, and on the other it centers on the difficulties of untangling the dense web of a reality that gets more and more complex and perplex.

Innovative cultures are misunderstood, with a partial perspective, one side of the coin only. Tolerance for a new conduct requires particular intolerance for the incompetence prevailing at each organization.

The willingness to experiment that this cultural change and innovation demand requires rigorous discipline to which leaders and organizations are not willing or prepared to submit. There is some doubt as to whether innovative cultures are relevant just to meet financial goals and get the dividends imposed by each company, or whether they also add value to leaders and their teams.

An innovative culture requires a set of attributes, such as collaboration for integration into the new model of organizational culture, that are necessary conditions for strengthening leadership at companies.

Recent studies show that many companies who are making changes are leaving aside the most efficient tools that have led them to success, pushing them into the background. This is the case of shopping centers and supermarkets that do business with old-time models in the midst of the marketing era, online sales and delivery services.

Shareholders, consumers, leaders and the entire community are aware and recognize the value of doing everything on their smartphone, with faster applications that can get everything done. It is usually said that the frontiers that markets once wanted to impose no longer exist. Investing should be socially responsible and environmentally sustainable.

However, global warming and the bigger environmental threats are made by the very core countries who say that the focus should be to address these issues and achieve commendable goals. If there is anything disrupting in this context, it is education: there is an ongoing discussion about its redefinition to include aspects such as multicultural diversity or multi-university studies. For instance, just one campus at the Hamad Bin Kalifa University in Doha, the capital city of Qatar, includes other institutions such as Georgetown University, Weill Cornell Medical, Carnegie Mellon University, Northwestern University, Texas A&M University, Virginia Commonwealth University, HEC Paris and London College, and offers advanced multidisciplinary training for students from more than one hundred different nationalities in order to contribute to the tough and unpredictable skills and knowledge required by the leader of the future.

Today students are taught magic and sciences of the past, such as science fiction and unconventional tools, to fire the imagination and lead to growth.

There is also the process of exaptation, in which a characteristic that evolved for one purpose is adapted laterally for another use, and this is now applied by analogy to cybernetics and AI. The power of data science is used on profiles as a persuasion tool to influence habits, preferences and conducts as registered in data banks, identifying patterns and directing the supply of goods and services.

Undoubtedly we are at a crossroads again, this time worldwide, where everything we know will be quickly and systematically replaced by an uninterrupted process of innovation, where Argentine tech companies are committed to achieve great results. It is important that we all reap the benefits of the development of the future.

By Julian A. de Diego
Director of the postgraduate course on Human Resources at the School of Business at UCA.

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