Embracing change, becoming better leaders
In this time of accelerating change, we’re seeing transformations in our products, services, experiences – and also in the business operating models that underpin them.
At the Macquarie Perspective event, Emergent CEO Holly Ransom described the shift from efficiency to effectiveness in successful businesses. From standard processes and ‘command and control’ hierarchies to crowdsourcing, empowerment and autonomy.
We’re now focusing on outcomes, not outputs – and leading small, nimble teams willing to embrace variability within guardrails, rather than large monoliths.
So, what does this mean for the way we lead?
“We’re all in the business of leading change in ourselves and in others.”
Kristen Hansen, founder of EnHansen Performance, showed how understanding how we think can help us shift from being managers to agile leaders of change and performance.
And this is grounded in neuroscience. Our pre-frontal cortex, responsible for rational thought, language and decisions, is only capable of four peak hours of activity in a day. Our amygdala controls our fight, flight or freeze response – and if we’re in a threat state, it can impact our ability to make decisions.
Source: EnHansen Performance
Given we subconsciously scan our environment for threat or reward five times a second, this means our perceptions are rapidly affecting our ability to take risks, generate insights, solve problems and innovate. In a threat state, we may feel anxious, frustrated, overwhelmed – less connected, and less able to gain that sudden understanding of a complex situation.
“So many things can create a threat state at any point in time. Amazing leaders can turn it into a reward state,” explained Kristen.
You can reframe threat as an opportunity – it’s all about perception. She suggested a 30 second circuit break: breathe, label the emotion you’re feeling, and then re-appraise the situation. “How can you look at it differently, what can you learn from it or be thankful for about it?”