Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Paradigm Shifts - Are You Ready for the Next One?

I remember first learning about paradigm shifts many years ago in college. In fact, the topic came up in two very diverse classes - geology and psychology - in the same semester. That impressed upon me that paradigm shifts can take place in just about any discipline, industry, society, etc. The trick is in getting ahead of the curve and detecting the forces that are gathering to make the shift before the actual shift occurs. Those who do can have systems and practices in place that effectively leverage "the new reality" while everyone else either stubbornly clings to "the old model" or stumbles about in trying to get their bearings on a world that has changed for them seemingly overnight. Many of these individuals and/or firms will eventually adjust to the new paradigm, but they will forever be playing catch up to those who saw the wave coming and positioned themselves to ride it into shore.

Despite all the talk about disruptive innovations, the interconnected nature of our society and the increasing pace of work and life, it could be argued that true paradigm shifts are still a relatively rare occurance in any given area. We are not talking about fads here, but a fundamental shift to a different way of thinking, perceiving or acting.

With that as a context, some recent research we are undertaking suggests that we are on the verge of a paradigm shift in the prevailing model of leadership in Asia. This has implications for companies that are local to the region as well as companies from outside Asia that are looking to the region as a source of significant expansion and growth. I won't say much more right now, but I will definitely have more to say as the months go by.

In the meantime, think about your profession, your industry, your region, etc. and consider what might be some of the gathering forces that may have minimal impact now but will surely be felt in the years to come. How can you position yourself and your organization to actually capitalize on these emerging shifts?

On a closing note, welcome to the new followers that have come on in recent weeks (invite your friends!) and thank you for the comments. I am eager to make this a very dialogue-driven blog, so keep them coming.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New Directions

Now that I've relocated to a new part of the world it is time to introduce a few changes to the blog. I still plan to continue to post my thoughts and observations on matters related to leadership and talent management. In addition, I will also broaden my focus to two new areas:

* Reflections on leadership that take into account the Asian context and perspective. I hope to soak up much new insight and learning relevant to this topic while based in the region.

* A point of view on leadership as it relates to CIOs. For the last year and a half, I have been working with a group of co-authors on a book that captures the critical leadership skills for success as a CIO. The book will come out this Fall and I look forward to sharing some related observations here. Here's a hint - the best CIOs are not necessarily those with the greatest technology savvy or even business acumen. There is a separate set of skills that differentiates them.

That's it for now. Stay tuned for more.