In my work with organizations as engagement artisan I’m starting to talk more about research supported and unsupported models of leadership. It’s only been the last couple of decades where we have had solid research on what makes for well-performing organizations in the information era compared to the industrial era. I’m not talking about the tautology that just about anything a high profile star performing company is by definition a “best practice” simply because they do it. The data supporting best practice applications to other contexts is weak at best.
The research is coming from the likes of Gallup, Deloitte, and universities focused on new sciences like the neurosciences and positive psychology.
What’s striking is that the actual research today paints a very different model of successful leadership for this era than the research unsupported models from previous eras. Since the original industrial era models of the 1890’s, old models have become more irrelevant and actually a major obstacle to what might work today.
The research supports a shift from parent-child leadership to engaging leadership. It understands that culture trumps structure and strategy and so creating engaging and resilient cultures connected to dynamic and connected markets is core to leadership value and success.
The future of leadership will continue to thrive on the constant evolution of research rather than default devotion to old models that no longer have relevance to a world of unprecedented change, complexity and connectivity.