Leadership – more than good management? by Kathy Brewis

What is leadership, what are leaders for, and are leaders and managers really the same thing? This was the starting point of a lively discussion moderated by HBR’s Ania Wieckowski. She opened by noting that in any forum the debate around leadership vs management quickly becomes heated. These days, she said, leadership activities tend to be more highly regarded than management functions – perhaps because “having a vision” sounds more impressive than supervising.[…]

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Peter Drucker in 2020: the challenge and privilege of transformation by Esther Clark

Peter Drucker predicted that by 2020 a new world – completely different from our grandparents’ reality – would exist. Drucker, father of modern management, explained in a 1992 essay for Harvard Business Review, that “every few hundred years throughout Western history, a sharp transformation has occurred. In a matter of decades, society altogether rearranges itself – its worldview, its basic values, its social and political structures, its arts, its key institutions.”[…]

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Reimaging what it means to lead by Walter McFarland

The character of organizations has changed so much in recent years, that we have invented new words and phrases to describe life in 21st century organizations. Examples include: chaotic, disruptive, and VUCA—an acronym for volatile, chaotic, uncertain and ambiguous. Global competition, digital revolution, political uncertainty and other factors are now joined by the global pandemic.[…]

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Shaping State Capacity, Geopolitics and World Economics:
Leading change on a wider stage – how? by Isabella Mader

Long story short: In the end we’ll need both, a new system and leadership that builds state capacity. The Covid crisis revealed a capacity divide between East and West and accelerated already existing international economic trends. We may be in something like a “The Emperor has no clothes” moment: no leader and no amount of leadership can compensate for a fundamentally dysfunctional system that rewards the results we’re currently getting, as Katherine Gehl put it.[…]

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Leading in times of fake news, activism and rebellion by Stefan Stern

It may not be true that the 19th century French politician, Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin, once uttered the words: “Eh! Je suis leur chef, il faut que je les suive!” [“I am their leader, I must follow them!”] But the line is quoted often to this day. It evokes a chaotic world in which leaders have lost much of their authority, and feel intimidated by the uncontrollable power of the crowd.[…]

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Led by data, algorithms and AI? by Bill Fischer

Imagine a world where it is acknowledged that unknown unknowns are the primary triggers of economic and social change; where literally everything is recognized to be an “accident” (in the statistical sense of having a finite probability of occurring); where humans and machines coexist on teams where work has a high-knowledge content, immersed in unprecedented volumes of data; and where organizational and contextual complexity can only become more complex[…]

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