Finding Disruptive Leaders

Disruption Sweeping Industries

Technology has always been a disruptive influence (ask the Luddites) and the likes of Amazon, Netflix, Airbnb and Uber have swept through established market sectors and turned them on their heads. The challenge for established businesses is to employ the foresight in their leadership team to avoid the fate of Kodak, Nokia et al.

So for companies, they need to find ways to reinvent themselves before they get superseded by these upstarts. It requires brave and innovative thinking, to rethink their entire business and requires gutsy new leaders to evolve and adapt as well.

Disruptive Leaders (and how to find them)

So the challenge for global businesses is to identify change leaders; transformation leaders. One who does not just identify and successfully ride these waves of changes, but one who can also persuade their businesses that those waves are coming.

Formal training and development programs produced leaders via graduate schemes where they rotated across divisions and departments, and rose up the corporate ladder. Search firms filled the gaps by pairing a particular position opening with a suitable match – based on credentials, specialization, training and years of experience.

But to find disruptive leaders, businesses and search firms have to look beyond these traditional silos and narrow mandates. These individuals are characterised by transcending borders, and paying no heed to industry or function “labels”. These leaders aim to apply their learnings to understand the various aspects of a new business/market. They have a compelling vision, and they are not afraid to push their limits to reach their goals. That’s just what a company on the cusp of a disruptive revolution, or one undergoing a transformational change, needs to drive them to the next level.

A Positive Result

In the context of traditional methods of recruiting being in decline, search consultants must consciously adopt new approaches that are highly interactive, extremely personalized and offer a great candidate ‘experience’. These proactive approaches include big data analytics, social media, direct sourcing and referrals, and uniquely designed tactics that lure out potential leaders that may not even be in the market for a job. Because as we have seen time and time again, you just never know when the “next big thing” will come along or where your next leader will come from…and they come from all walks of life, backgrounds and experiences!