High Performers & Inspirational Leadership
In April 2023 McKinsey & Company presented „The State of Organizations 2023“ report. It was compiled by data from interviews with more than 2.500 leaders of organizations with a minimum of 1.000 employees across nine countries (Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Spain, UK, USA).
Following the assumption that „CEOs together with their leadership teams around the world have been operating in a highly volatile and uncertain environment, first having to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and then with the ensuing economic slowdown, soaring inflation, and geopolitical disruption.
In such an unsettled period, it’s no surprise that efforts to strengthen short-term resilience have dominated the agenda at many companies. Less obviously—but no less importantly—business leaders are having to address a range of organizational shifts that have significant implications for structures, processes, and people. These shifts are both challenging and harbingers of opportunity, depending on how organizations address them.“
The report identifies „ten most significant shifts facing organizations today.“ All 10 trends seem to be worth discussing. From an organizational perspective we take out two aspects:
- „The highest performers in a role are 800% more productive than average performers in the same role
In today’s uncertain economic climate, organizations need to focus more on finding ways to match top talent to the highest-value roles. The idea isn’t new, but it’s the right one in this era of hybrid work models, increased employee mobility, and skill shortages. McKinsey research shows that, in many organizations, between 20 and 30 percent of critical roles aren’t filled by the most appropriate people.
- Only 25% of respondents say their organizations’ leaders are engaged, are passionate, and inspire employees to the best-possible extent
Leaders these days are necessarily focused on short-term responses to crises, but they also need to think longer term and cultivate fit-for-purpose behaviors. They need to be able to lead themselves, they need to be able to lead a team of peers in the C-suite, and they need to have the leadership skills and mindset required to lead at scale, coordinating and inspiring networks of teams. That requires leaders to build a keen awareness both of themselves and of the operating environment around them.“
As interim management provider, it is always amazing how long decision-makers tolerate low and mid performers in their organizations. At the same time, it also becomes clear why interim managers can achieve such a large impact in projects (return on interim management) in short-term.
When 20-30% of critical roles are wrongly staffed, top performers can be 800% more productive than average managers in certain roles, and only 25% of respondents say they find their leaders engaged and inspiring, the potential of an appropriate, highly motivated top interim manager is very large.
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