Well, Day 2 has started with a bang! Andrea Thompson, Managing Director of Catapult a leadership consulting practice, delivered an inspirational message about leadership; the essential place of leadership in great organisations and the hidden sources of success. Thompson suggested that organisations have a backbone comprised seven elements:
Thompson also suggested that the nature of leadership needs to change, because the world we live in is changing. Paradigms and structures that have served well in the past may not work in the future. Thompson proposed that leaders must possess a new portfolio of skills and attributes if they are to lead effectively in the future:
Backbones can be well-developed (and provide strength), or poorly developed. Crucially, all seven elements are well-developed in effective organisations. Effective leaders know this: they seek to achieve strength all the way up and down the organisational backbone. Purpose is intentionally positioned at the centre: this is the starting point—everything else builds on and from purpose. Effective leaders start with purpose, to discover why organisations exist (cf. what they do, which is management talk). She then worked through the other elements of the backbone and linked everything back to purpose. Her stories and examples were quite insightful.
Thompson then moved on to discuss how leaders lead. She suggested that great leaders tell stories, their own stories. They tell life stories; they tell stories about important or significant moments; and, they tell stories about other people. And if they tell stories well, people listen and they believe. Effective leaders give hope. Thompson set a great platform for a busy day of presentations and discussions. If the discussion over coffee was any guide, she left a great impression on the audience.
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and effective board practice; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.