Leadership: A Perennial Issue


By Quraish Baguma

Global organizations today must navigate a
“new world of work”, one that requires a dramatic change in strategies for
leadership, talent, and human resources.

In this new world of work, the barriers
between work and life have been all but
eliminated. Employees are “always on” hyper-connected to their jobs
through pervasive mobile technology.

Networking tools like LinkedIn and Facebook enable people to monitor the market for new job opportunities quickly. Details
about an organization’s culture are available at the tap of a screen, providing
insights about companies to employees and potential employees alike. The
balance of power in the employer-employee relationship has shifted making
today’s employees more like customers or partners than subordinates.

“In this new world of work, the barriers
between work and life have been all but eliminated.”

Many of today’s employees work in global teams
that operate on a 24/7 basis. An increasing number of skilled workers in this
new world work on a contingent, part-time, or contract basis, so organizations
must now work to integrate them into talent programs. New cognitive
technologies are displacing workers and re-engineering
work, forcing companies to redesign jobs to incorporate new technology

Demographic changes are also in play.
Millennials, who now make up more than half the workforce, are taking center
stage. Their expectations are vastly different from those of previous
generations. They expect accelerated responsibility and paths to leadership.
They seek a higher purpose in their work.
And they want greater flexibility in how that work is done.

For human resources (HR), this new world
requires bold and innovative thinking. It challenges the current existing HR
practices: how people are evaluated and managed, how they are engaged and
developed into teams, how leaders are selected and how they operate. HR
organizations now face increasing demands to measure and monitor the broader organizational culture, simplify the
work environment, and redesign work to help people adapt.

For HR and talent teams, 2018 will be a
critical year. As these forces gather momentum, we see 2018 as a time for
creativity, bold leadership, and a fundamental reimagining of the practices HR
leaders have used for years.

Deloitte’s 2015 Global Human Capital Trends report
is one of the most extensive longitudinal
studies of talent, leadership, and HR challenges and readiness around the
world. The research described in this report involved surveys and interviews
with more than 3,300 business and HR leaders from 106 countries. (See the
appendix to this chapter for details on survey demographics.) The survey asked
business and HR respondents to assess the importance of specific talent
challenges facing their organization and to judge how prepared they were to
meet these challenges. Using these responses, a “capability gap” for each challenge was measured, highlighting the
difference between an issue’s importance and an organization’s readiness to
address it.

This year’s report explores ten significant
trends that emerged from the research, which reflects four major themes for the
year: leading, engaging, reinventing, and reimagining. It also presents the
capability gaps associated with each of these trends, and offers practical
insights to help organizations address each of these challenges.

All the data from this research can be viewed by geography, company size, and
industry using an interactive tool, the Human Capital Trends Dashboard. This
tool, availablemat https://www.deloitte.com/hcdashboard,
lets you explore the data visually to see how talent priorities vary around the

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