the 21st century: less vision, more connection?
The world is changing. Organizations are more dispersed and
less hierarchical. More information is more freely available. People want more
from their jobs than they used to. Does this then change the role of the leader
As we write this book, the US and UK governments are trying to
persuade the rest of the world that war on Iraq was the only way to ensure a
peaceful future. However, opinion polls within Europe and the United States
indicate that increasing numbers of people are against armed conflict and no
longer believe that this is a good way of resolving international issues.
Perhaps things are different now. The increasingly globalized economy and access
to news and information are perhaps encouraging people to form cooperative
relationships with a measure of independence. Are people’s needs for strong
leadership starting to shift? Perhaps clear, visionary, authoritative leadership
is no longer working?
When we look inside organizations, the territory is also changing.
John Kotter (1996) draws our attention to changes in organizational structures,
systems and cultures (see Table
4.3). What does this mean for leading change? We think this means a shift
from expectations of one visionary leader to the need for increased connectivity
and overlapping agendas between different groups.