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Leadership Today Ain’t What It Used To Be

March 06, 2024
Keynote/Theatre 1 MI

The speech begins by pointing out that as we wave goodbye to the information age and welcome in the collaboration age the rules for good leadership are changing quickly. I explain why achieving excellence requires leaders to first optimize collaboration amongst themselves to maximize performance and move the organization closer towards excellence. And explain that leaders fly between meetings attempting to manage organizational performance with the fragmented, disconnected tools of today leaves them frustrated and often disoriented. I dubbed this modern-day phenomenon “On-The-Fly Leadership,” and touched on the direct effect it has on the core leadership functions – meeting management, reporting and decision-making.  

(Chapter 1) 

Then I describe the most egregious blowback effect that leading on-the-fly has on leaders’ ability to focus on the things that matter when they matter. Using McKinsey studies as the benchmark, I point out that after years of research, they found that today's leaders lead through what they called “immediacy.” This means that leaders have very little time to work with teams strategically as they are so busy addressing the ’hottest’ tactical issue at a particular moment. This inability to focus I dubbed “Attention Deficit Syndrome.” I discuss some of the most common symptoms associated with the syndrome and why it is so important for leaders to sharpen their attention skills.   

(Chapter 2)           

Then I describe the organizational challenges leaders face as they navigate through the turbulent waters of managing the hybrid workforce. This post-COVID trend is now unstoppable, and leaders must understand why building organizational structures that are flexible and scalable is required to compete in a world where market and competitive conditions change at light speed.    

(Chapter 3)

Then I describe how advanced automation (AI, ML) is changing every facet of organizational life, and by extension, the rules for good leadership. I explain why automating the low-value activities that leaders perform today in driving results is a critical dimension to building the collaborative organization of tomorrow. I further discuss why focusing on my “Three Forces of Excellence” – speed-to-action, accuracy in process, accountability in execution - is key to moving an organization closer towards excellence. I dubbed this era in technological advancement the ‘AI Gold Rush’ and explain why the first is writing all the rules and reaping all the rewards. 

(Chapter 4) 

I conclude by pulling it all together suggesting that in this age of collaboration, those organizations that can hyper-collaborate shall be the winners. Emphasis is placed on achieving a state of ‘workspace singularity’ where co-leaders and co-workers can think, act, and work as one. I explain why it is no longer about managing the workplace with the advent of the hybrid workforce but managing the workspace between co-leaders and co-workers that matters most. Then I suggest that there is only one platform built to do just that as reflected in chapter 5 of my book. After the speech, I will sign books and each participant will get a leave-behind sheet – The Five Focus Factor – to guide their way forward. 

(Chapter 5)                 

Bill Adams, Founder and CEO - Targatek, Inc

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