“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
George Bernard Shaw
Our society has changed tremendously over the last 10 years. But the deepest cognitive processes of man have changed very little over the last 20,000 years.
While socially we have moved from hunting and gathering to farming and further industrialization to the present service and information society, man's deepest need for meaningful action and community has never disappeared.
The change in society has changed the nature of work and consequently increased people's leisure time. The change in the nature of work has changed the demands of human leadership. Modern working life requires each employee to have expertise of their own work. Leadership must therefore change to meet the needs of those being led. In society, people's understanding of the impact of their actions on nature and its ecosystems has increased. Social media and modern information systems make it easy for people to find and share information quickly. Misleading and inaccurate information challenges the right information, and it is difficult for individuals to ensure the correctness of the information.
Challenges facing humanity include overpopulation, continuous climate change, the plastic cycle in the ecosystem and the use of fossil fuels. The effects of all of these even threaten the very existence of man on earth. It can be said that man himself is making humans an endangered species on earth.
Solving all these challenges requires change – in thinking, behaviour and communication.
A change in the way we think can only happen within individuals, as each of us is only able to change oneself and the way one acts. Change is made possible by the atmosphere in which the change is encountered, experiencing the change as meaningful, and the ability to influence the change or its implementation. The opportunity to affect change also increases the individual's sense of psychological ownership of the change and the new ways of working.
In addition, a change of behaviour is needed – psychodynamics of new leadership. Interaction plays a major role in leadership, since the way we act affects the way others act as well. For example, trust is best built by showing trust to someone else. In modern leadership, encouragement and trust play a key role, and from the perspective of interaction, “management by perkele” in particular is catastrophic for the success of leadership.
A new kind of communication is also needed. Everything is the way it is communicated – everything affects the meaning the message’s recipient constructs. In addition to what is being said, it is also important how it is said. Communication is not only spoken and written communication, but also includes gestures, expressions, tone of voice, written or oral content of the message and rhetoric. It is also important to think about what is being communicated in what way. Nobody wants to be broken up with or be fired from work by text message.
The time for short-term gain was yesterday. In a modern market economy, success comes only from fundamentally sustainable business.
The way of our society thinks has to change so that the transition to sustainable business is seen as opening up new opportunities and thus, inspiring the development of a new era.
Sustainable business provides a great opportunity for innovative companies to create new and truly successful business. The change to sustainable business will certainly happen over time. Earth's ecological status and limited raw material reserves will compel politicians and leading authorities to act if business and society do not change voluntarily and independently. In this case, coercive measures in the form of increased taxes, fines and fees are often used.
Business decision-makers are the key to social change through sustainable business. Their decisions will increasingly influence the extent to which people will face politically imposed coercion in the future. Voluntary change through business development would be a more attractive option for all members of society.
Diversity is an essential asset of an organization. Accepting and reinforcing different ways of thinking are key tools for 2020 leadership.
People of different ages, genders, cultural backgrounds, and different ways of thinking bring developing and enriching perspectives to organizations. Modern organizations become more and more focused on expertise. Today, the expertise of one's own work is required in almost every job.
Social change, digitalisation and social media, among others, put enormous pressure on 2020s leadership. Leaders must be able to respond to the needs of the ones being led in a situation where subordinates are the absolute experts in their own roles. Leaders need to be able to trust and share responsibility with their subordinates, while being able to help them succeed in their jobs. From a leadership perspective, homogeneous organizations may seem easier to lead, but excessively similar thinking risks jeopardizing their chances of success.
Change and the experience of meaningfulness are born within the individual. Leadership is about building an atmosphere that allows for new ways of thinking.
Experiencing one’s work as meaningful is emphasized in the 2020s leadership. Similarly, employees who find their job meaningful are useful to the employer because they are motivated and dedicated to their work. Meaningfulness improves the employees’ understanding of the importance of their work contribution to the organization as a whole, making them more profitable and beneficial for the organization. Therefore, it is worth investing in the meaningfulness of work in terms of both the individual's well-being and the productivity and profitability of the employing organization.
Modern expert work and societal change increasingly require more and more from workers. Thus, the experience of meaningful work will continue to be emphasized in the future and it will affect how well employees cope at work.
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