Leading in a Multipolar World: Four Forces Shaping Society
When I released the first edition of this ebook just a few years ago, society had been through numerous upheavals in the span of less than a decade. From 911 to the 2008 financial meltdown and ensuing Great Recession to the Arab Spring of 2011, there seemed to be no end of socio-economic and geo-political events that grabbed society’s and the media’s attention.
More recently, witness the ongoing onslaught of Syria’s repressive government, with some 1.5 million refugees and over 200,000 injured and killed. Or Vladimir Putin’s seizing of Crimea and the ongoing tensions with Ukraine. And of course there are events that fly under the media’s radar (and limited attention span), whether in Nigeria, the Congo or with Canada’s Aboriginal peoples.
Workforce of the Future: Building Change Adaptability, 2nd Edition presents some ideas and concepts to stimulate your thinking and reflection on what’s happening to our world as the result of four major forces of change. However, leadership is at the heart of this ebook, seeking to discuss potential implications for how leadership will be practiced in both organizations and communities in response to unrelenting change.
Baseball legend Yogi Berra may have said it best: When giving directions to Joe Garagiola to his home, Berra stated: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
Berra’s comment sums up the challenges facing leaders today, whether it’s working in a manufacturing plant, call center, hospital or government department. It’s especially relevant to those who have worked in and become accustomed to the economic might of the industrialized West and its attached benefits – our standard of living.
Leaders aren’t sure which direction to take. Should they hope for the best and merely tinker with their organization’s plumbing, or should they embrace a rapidly changing world, trusting their instincts and employees, and boldly move forward?
The four major forces of change describe what’s been happening around the world, from financial collapses to strong economic growth in what were once developing countries to the effects of climate change:
1. Redistributing wealth
2. Building networks through social media
3. Ageing population dichotomy
4. Warming climates, droughts and floods
Leading in a multipolar world is not for the squeamish. However, for those seeking to play a role in helping solve some of the problems facing society the journey will prove exciting, with new challenges often arriving unexpectedly. It doesn’t matter what level you are within your organization; there are opportunities for all. And there are enormous opportunities to contribute at the community level.
When you come to a fork in the road, which direction will you take?
A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world.
– John Le Caré
Click here to download my complimentary e-book Leading in a Multipolar World: Four Forces Shaping Society, 2nd Edition.
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