Moving Forward in the Age of Disruption

By Desda Moss Aug 24, 2016
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It's not enough anymore just to keep up. Technology, globalization, economic shifts and geopolitical shocks have set in motion an onslaught of radical change in the global business environment. Reinvention: Accelerating Change in the Age of Disruption (Greenleaf Book Group Press, 2016) by Shane Cragun and Kate Sweetman uses compelling stories and case studies to offer practical insights on what it takes for businesses to thrive in the age of disruption.

"The ability to pivot quickly, profoundly and effectively might be the most important core competency for individuals and organizations to acquire who hope to prosper in the new economy," says Cragun, a founding partner at SweetmanCragun, a global management consulting, training and coaching firm based in Boston.

Sweetman, another founding partner at SweetmanCragun, is also co-author of the best-selling business book The Leadership Code (Harvard Business Press, 2008). The authors have a combined 50 years of experience working with executives, organizations and teams around the world.

The authors have identified five "reinvention accelerators" that are effective in making significant change happen:

1. Adopting effective leader sets. Ensure that you and your organization make a full commitment to change by adopting mindsets, skill sets, tool sets and behavioral sets that will allow you to get superior results.

2. Leveraging whole-brain thinking. Ensure that all four thinking styles (logical, intuitive, organized and kinesthetic) are tapped into and leveraged when embarking on a reinvention. Start by understanding your own brain profile, then try to understand others' preferences before seeking to communicate.

3. Crafting a powerful leadership brand. Ensure that you use the reinvention process to craft a powerful leadership brand for yourself and the organization you are leading. Describe the legacy you want to leave. Identify your greatest passion. Develop a personal improvement plan to close gaps in your knowledge, skills and competencies.

4. Being a reinvention champion. Ensure that you cultivate the 10 key attributes of successful reinvention champions: being dissatisfied with the status quo, being willing to embrace change, being proactive, challenging outdated thinking, being a visionary, engaging your network, applying best practices, being resilient, holding yourself accountable and crafting noble personal brands.

5. Preserving work/life balance. Ensure that you put forth an effort to be as balanced as possible when undergoing the fast and quantum change reinvention requires.

Rather than embracing change when they have to, today's leaders must change before they have to, by exercising intelligence, agility, strength and command, the authors advise. "When they do, leaders and organizations can actually accelerate performance," Sweetman says. "When they don't, they will no doubt begin down the path of irrelevance that ultimately leads to failure."

Desda Moss is managing editor of HR Magazine.

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