Key Competencies of Future Leaders

So often a little foresight can go a long way – and now new research has been released which identifies the six key trends that will affect organisations in the coming two decades.


Hay Group’s Leadership 2030 report identifies the areas of competency that will characterise future success.


Wendy Montague, head of leadership and talent practice at the consultancy group said that trends are shifting, and the new generation of leaders will be conceptual and strategic thinkers. She said future leaders will have deep integrity and intellectual openness, which will in turn foster greater loyalty among employees.


“[Current] managers will need to relinquish their own power in favour of collaborative approaches, both inside and outside their organisations. In some cases, this means abandoning many of the behaviours that propelled leaders to the top of their organisations in the first place,” Montague added.


The report examined global trends and their perceived impact on leadership and organisations, and proposed future leadership requirements stemming from each global trend:

  1. Globalisation: Companies will need to be more agile and collaborative to manage the global/local divide; their leaders will need to be flexible, internationally mobile and culturally sensitive, and they must have strong conceptual and strategic thinking capabilities in order to manage risk and cope with the dangers and uncertainties associated with globalisation.
  2. Climate Change: Organisations will be forced to lower their eco-footprint, adapt to rising operational costs and restructure along sustainable lines; leaders will need outstanding cognitive skills to balance the competing demands of financial success, social responsibility and environmental custodianship, and must act as change agents, advocating environmentally responsible business practices.
  3. Demographic Shifts: For organisations, fewer people means the war for talent will continue to rage; leaders will need to attract, motivate and retain increasingly diverse teams and find ways to develop and promote the growing numbers of international migrants, women and older people into leadership positions.
  4. Digital Lifestyle and Work: As organisations become increasingly virtual, leaders must recognise and harness the critical skills of digital natives, foster collaboration between them and traditional workers, and encourage high levels of openness, integrity and sincerity to build reputation in a more transparent world.

Montague said that to thrive in the future, leaders will have to adjust quickly to the pace of change and learn to guide organisations by adapting their cultures, structures, systems and processes.

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