Standard Chartered’s Head of Talent Reviews Connected Leadership

by | May 16, 2016 | News

A welcome approach to leading: Christian Hobson, Group Head of Talent at Standard Chartered Bank, reviews Connected Leadership for HR magazine.

Dr Simon Hayward’s Connected Leadership book can make workplaces and leaders better but it’s a shame that such simple, accessible ideas aren’t already commonplace.

Hayward starts by asking us why we need to know about connected leadership. It is also important to ask why we need to know about it now.

This question sets us up for a journey that takes us through the landscape of why companies today need a new kind of leader; and why the ones of the past are no longer fit for purpose. The framework Hayward provides centres on five factors: purpose and decision-making, authenticity, devolved decision-making, collaborative achievement, and agility. He describes how these factors can create the connected organisation; a fulfilling and engaging place where we all know who we are, what we’re doing, and how and why we’re doing it. He also paints a vivid picture of the new connected leader that inhabits this organisation.

Is it new? Of course not. The Ancient Greeks knew the importance of authenticity (“know thyself”). Shakespeare highlighted the power of purpose and direction (“many thousand actions end in one purpose” Henry V). However, the value Hayward brings is a practical application for here and now.

In the sea of business book pseudo-science his data-based approach is a welcome change. He effortlessly fuses the rigour of his doctorate research with practitioners’ case studies, provocations to make the reader question his or her longest-held assumptions, and simple ideas, checklists and exercises that can bring immediate benefit.

Connected Leadership is an accessible, challenging and engaging text that unearths possibilities for managers, leaders and corporate development professionals that will help create better places to work.

What does concern me though is the premise that books such as Connected Leadership need to exist. Why are such simple and sensible ideas and behaviours so uncommon? And how can we better prepare the future workforce to be successful? Connecting with one another should be such an obvious place to start.

© HR magazine 2016

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