Solid principles for navigating the 21st century.
Earlier this year, I participated in a panel discussion on “Leading in a Networked World” at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and made the point that leadership attention is perhaps the networked world’s most scarce resource. In today’s technology-driven, real-time communicating, 24/7-accessible environment, the amount of information we receive, the compressed time frames under which we operate, and the global span of our extended enterprises can all be quite overwhelming.I liken today’s world to a liquid environment — fluid, continually changing form and adapting to shifting parameters. Liquid situations are inherently less predictable. Yet liquid is able to create strong connections without being rigid, and as such is powerful enough to change the course of time and nature. Therein is a lesson for effective leadership in the 21st century.The very nature of the world in which we now live, work and play — one obsessed with instantaneous response — demands of its leaders a different, more fluid approach to how they focus their attention and make decisions. In the swirling vortex of e-mailing and text messaging, the leader’s strong inclination is to try to arrive at fast paced, almost immediate decisions.