CATALYST Issue 1 - Page 56

Future Proof of stressful situations), intellectual Understand the resilience (ensuring the organisation context you are is wise about the challenges it will face in the future) and social resilience operating in (ensuring the organisation has Gratton argues that having an outward developed networks that will help focus will distinguish leaders of the sustain it in the long term). future, alongside a trans-national “Leaders must find a way of creating nature, ability to speak multiple work that’s not so exhausting,” she languages and deep cognitive skill. says. “How can you help people to But in the wake of the global financial innovate and be creative, providing crisis, where many organisations’ them with work priorities are that helps them to internally focused feel energised?” and short-term Tata Consultancy driven, how can Services is one leaders make time “To create a example of an to look beyond organisation that immediate good future, it is has developed priorities? crucial that social resilience by “ I t ’s r e a l l y those who lead connecting people tough to be a corporations through technology, leader as you’re become launching an under so much internal social pressure to increasingly media platform make decisions,” transparent for more than Gratton agrees. about their 300,000 employees. “But you have to actions and “[CEO] Natarajan understand the intentions and Chandrasekaran business model wants everyone in you operate in, as see themselves the organisation well as yourself as part of the to be connected – and your personal wider world for hierarchy to be narrative. For so they inhabit” abandoned and for long we’ve talked ideas to flow,” she about companies explains. “The aim as though they’re is to reinvent work hermetically by embedding social sealed, which of behaviours – currently there are 3,000 course they’re not. Understanding the communities of people learning from world makes a more valuable leader.” each other.” To do this effectively, Gratton Beyond the organisation, Gratton advises considering questions such as: acknowledges that working for a ‘How can I build knowledge?’ ‘How can company that is deeply rooted in the I learn about myself?’ and ‘How can I communities in which it operates is learn to make good decisions?’ increasingly important to talent. One-to-one coaching and “What are you doing to anchor yourself 360-degree feedback can help you in the community and supply chain?” she remain reflective. “The world of work is asks, citing the John Lewis Partnership about power and can be sycophantic,” as an example of a corporation working she says, “so getting someone who can hard to create social good while mirror back to you what you see can be remaining economically successful, very valuable.” through its partnership approach. She also highlights the importance “For John Lewis, it’s about of ‘crucible experiences’ in shaping the community, not just the stores,” leaders’ perspectives. “When I talk Gratton adds. to leaders who are very values- 56 driven, they almost always tell me about something that happened to them in their life that made them question their way of thinking. So we shouldn’t shield high-potential people from crucible experiences.” She argues these experiences help build authenticity and allow leaders to develop a world view in terms of what will be required in the future.  Navigating global challenges Calling herself a ‘humanistic psychologist’, Gratton is known for her organisational behaviour work, and for the past 25 years her post as Professor of Management Practice at London Business School has led her to focus on the future of work. Much of her work on leadership has been informed through her role as chair of the World Economic Forum’s leadership council, as well as her ‘Future of Work’ research consortium, which comprises more than 50 member organisations – often competitors – that share insights. She