Friday, January 13, 2006

Discovering the 21st Century Leadership

by Michael Lorz
A contribution to the Summit for the Future

Leadership has been a buzz word since the dawn of management research. Times are changing quickly and therefore the perspectives on leadership should change accordingly. This article explores 21st Century Leadership in a future business environment. By reading this article the person will grasp an understanding of leadership; see leadership as a process described in 6 concise steps; develop a new perspective on leadership and will gain a quick overview of a selection of the most pressuring trends impacting
on businesses in the near future.


While the 1980’s were characterized by a rather static environment this has changed during the last 25 years to a very dynamic environment impacting on the way business is conducted. The technological advancement of telecommunication and the advent of internet have accelerated the rate of globalisation, deregulation and have brought a network- and knowledge based society that
is interconnected through online appliances. The consequence of changing business environments on leadership is that there is a need of defining the new requirements for future 21st century leaders.

Three major categories of influence on leadership have been identified during the research. These are global trends, organizational trends and follower trends. [...]


Global trends for the purpose of this research are business developments on the most abstract level. They constitute all trends that emerge external to the organization but still have the claim to have an impact on organizational developments as well as followers and leaders likewise. The implications of global trends are an ever increasing dynamism
that is applicable to virtually all business processes. Technological advancements facilitate furthermore the connectivity between stakeholders on a global perspective. 24/7 accessible knowledge and an ever increasing level of knowledge intensifies the competition for innovative and cost efficient processes while products and services are easily comparable on a global scale. Emerging cost efficient Asian
compete with European companies on a global scale and increase price pressure on them. As a consequence the level of automation is increasing in companies located in European regions and thus the amount of required employees is decreasing while the knowledge share per employee is increasing.


Organizational trends are developments that impact on the design of organizations and the way organizations are reacting to their environment. Leaders will not only be measured on material success in terms of business profits but as well on the interactions with all stakeholders internally and externally of the organization. Organizations need to be made “fit” for the dynamic environment; the uppermost aim is therefore flexibility in order to react quickly to changing global trends. The response is
flattening hierarchies and network structures with units that may be deployed for flexible work assignments. Cost pressures force companies into specialization;
hence companies – or in future network units – engage in the work they perform best with the lowest cost structure and the highest possible quality.

While this specialization is taking place these units become more open to public scrutiny. The need to consider all stakeholders will become more central when making important decisions. Decisions will relate to a basic principle of “giving and taking” benefiting local communities and engaging in ecologically sound business.


The followers of the leader change as the situation surrounding them is changing. Followers become increasingly diverse; this diversity is not only culturally founded but as well related to gender and age. Observing the global trends and organizational trends followers become
more knowledgeable and key information holder due to complex knowledge and company specific knowledge. While followers become more valuable to the company they are increasingly mobile and the idea of long life employment is not prevalent anymore. New talent/potential
management tools in order to bind this knowledge to the company and new approaches for knowledge management are challenges that a leader faces. [...]

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leadership in 21st Century...

In what term
Political ? Economic ? Technology ?

Clearly the explotion of growing people by young ages, just can't match the speed that people consume and use...

The world is really dyin...

So how can you make difference of what's quality people and what's not ?

Old-days is easy,
when rich is usin best and
poor usin the rest,
but think again...
time is changin really fast,
and with this dot-com boom,
and the raise of global economy,
so which one is better than others ?

Everybody speakin English on the Internet, normally every youth people would wear jeans and T-Shirt,
and after university wear formal clothes...

So then again...
Which one will be better ?

Hopefully West can understand...

11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe we can all just get back
to society...

Perhaps all the turbulence all around the world is cause by economy...

Return to where the true humanity really are...

And it's in the developing country,
after all where in the world would Europe go further...

Europe can try to develop the poor country...

Perhaps with this the real value of economy is really can be stabilize...

The more you give,
the more you get in return...

The era has passed,
yesterday no more,
Europe has no longer be the point of view of the world,
now we are facing uncertain future,
the only way to survive this one is to help the forgotten one,
the lost and lonely one...

Build a humanity project,
teach the forgotten child in area all over the world,
teach how wonderfull life can be,
teach how great can you be,
teach how big you can become,
instead dig down in prostitution or other dark side of human...

Teach people to become somebody...

Maybe that's the point of Leadership go...

To show POSITIVE side of human...

8:33 AM  

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