In the last 20 years, technology has advanced rapidly. As a result, most businesses have drastically changed their structures. Adapting to the trends of globalization and technological innovation has proven to be a challenge for even the most experienced leaders.
Experts in the field have referred to the current trends in business as VUCA, or volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. Corporations that thrive under this pressure have the potential to become some of the world’s most financially successful organizations. However, like anything else, the ability to adapt quickly must come from the leaders at the top.
- Understanding global markets. Today more than ever before, companies are working together internationally to provide goods and services. Changes in foreign countries can have a domino effect on competing businesses, consumers, and local and international markets and politics. Many companies are outsourcing to other areas and as a result, they could have employees in other cities, states, or even countries. Because of this trend in globalization, changes in one area’s economy can have far reaching effects. A good leader has to be able to follow foreign trends and anticipate what kind of an impact, if any, it might have on their business.
- Managing complexity. Successful leaders have to be able to focus on several things at once and manage complex situations. The outlook for most businesses can change rapidly and a good leader has to be able to quickly respond in an appropriate manner to any situation, a trait that will carry over to the rest of the company. The internal structure of the company is very important here, with good communication playing a vital role when responding to complex situations.
- Planning ahead. Successful leaders are always thinking two or three steps ahead, but they always need to be prepared to change their plans if new information emerges.
- Fostering innovation. In order to stay at the top, a company has to continually adjust their strategy in order to remain competitive. Innovation can be found at any level of a company, so it is important that a good leader considers input from various sources.
- Networking. In order to prosper in a global market, business owners have to expand their network and utilize their contacts to the fullest potential. You never know when you will need an ally, so it is a good idea to collaborate with a wide range of businesses and individuals.
- Learning agility. Experts agree that this is one of the most difficult traits to master, but it is necessary for a good leader to continually seek out opportunities to learn and improve. Trying new approaches is a vital step towards improving a company. A good leader can take their successes as well as their failures and learn from them.
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