Three ways leadership and business leaders will change in 2019

When it comes to talent management, businesses are struggling with the same challenges around key macro-trends that are affecting how people want and need to work.

For one, there is much more focus on work-life balance and collaborative working across different locations and time zones. While some organizations are good at letting people work when and where they want to – and outside of formal hours – others are still getting their heads around what’s right for their organizations and workers.

What’s more, the pool of talent has expanded vastly – no longer is one person in a family the breadwinner. Often, two people have demanding jobs, meaning organizations are having to work harder to help facilitate functional and happy professional and personal environments.

But in order to overcome these challenges in the coming year, organizations will need support and direction from the leadership team.

With this in mind, here are three key ways the role of leaders will change in 2019:

1. Leaders acting as ‘scrum master.’ Within the context of agile working, next year we’ll see more examples of leaders acting as ‘scrum master’.

A ‘scrum master’ empowers teams to deliver what they need to in the workplace by helping ‘unblock’ things – whether that’s approvals from senior members of the team or processes.

It’s not about telling the team what they need to do, but more about making sure they have the freedom to make the most impact.

Although it’s not a new concept, senior leaders acting as ‘scrum master’ is becoming more commonplace and we will see it increasingly in our workplaces, particularly as we move towards more dynamic teams.

PREMIUM CONTENT: Global Compliance Trends for 2019

2. There’s no ‘I’ in team – a more collaborative approach to leadership. Nobody has all the answers – so leaders and talent in general need to get better at thinking and working collaboratively towards an action plan.

No longer can one person make all the decisions – in today’s business world, where there is so much turbulence and uncertainty, those organizations that encourage a more unified approach are the ones that will be successful.

As a result, we’ll see a considerable shift in power. There will still be a need for someone to ultimately make the final decisions, but they will be liberated to do so much more efficiently by obtaining data from different sources and listening to advice from a relevant team, rather than by sitting in a room by themselves.

3. Leadership programs take the spotlight. In years gone by, there haven’t been many organizations which have placed such a focus on leaders; however, this is coming to the fore.

More recently, there have been a number of roles advertised in helping organizations drive leadership programs, and there has been a lot more research and thought leadership on helping individuals evolve and develop. Leadership is changing, and leaders need to evolve.

Fortunately, 2019 will see a keen focus on this with companies recognizing the need to invest more money into programs that help talent effectively take on leadership roles in the future.

Ultimately, 2019 will see the need for business leaders to wear two hats: one for enabler and one for disrupter, if they are to help fully utilize talent in their organizations. This will by no means be an easy feat, but there is a growing necessity in the working culture and structure of businesses today for leaders to play these two roles.


Ian Parkes

Ian Parkes
Ian Parkes is vice president of global talent and leadership at Fujitsu.

Ian Parkes

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