Join Scott Eblin at WOBI on Leadership Mexico 2015
1. Your latest book talks about leaders today being overworked and overwhelmed. What are the factors that are contributing to this situation?
There are a lot of factors that drive feeling overworked and overwhelmed which, I think, can be boiled down into two overarching trends. The first is that most leaders and professionals are operating in a “do more with less” environment. This started in earnest with the Financial Crisis of 2008 and continues today. The second is the 24/7 approach to work that’s enabled by the supercomputers we carry in our pockets that are masquerading as phones. They enable us to be connected to our work at all hours of the day and night and, for many people, have evaporated any boundaries they used to have in their lives. When you put the two trends together, they create the perfect conditions for feeling overworked and overwhelmed.
When Baby Boomers were the dominant cohort, their sheer numbers drove the U.S. culture and economy. To survive and thrive, news bureaus, product developers, music producers, scriptwriters, ad agencies, HR departments and C-Suites had to see the world through Boomers’ eyes and adjust their offerings accordingly.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, this year the Millennial generation (defined as those between 18 and 34) will surpass Boomers as the nation’s largest. This means that the music, food, celebrities, values, lifestyle preferences and what is cool in their eyes is becoming dominant. So, no matter one’s age, anyone living in the culture and economy they’re defining is essentially living in a Millennial world now, and for the foreseeable future. Because by 2020 Millennials will comprise more than one in three adult Americans.
One the world’s leading authorities on leadership, talent and culture, John Mattone, who will be part of WOBI on Leadership Mexico next March, answers on cultural transformation and the key role of leaders in this task.
1. When you talk about cultural transformation, what are you referring to? Under what circumstances might a company look to transform its culture?
Always. The need to transform culture and ensure that you always have the culture in place to drive sustained operating success is a never-ending pursuit and business priority. A healthy, vibrant and mature culture will drive success and keep any organization “ahead of the curve”. So many factors are creating “disruption” in all sectors—digitization, globalization, the need to operate at two-speeds (fast in emerging economies; slower in mature economies) and traditional differentiators like size, scope, legacy and market position are no longer differentiators. To stay ahead of the curve, CEO’s and senior teams must always be re-thinking, re-shaping, and reinventing their own purpose but the purpose of the enterprise as well. It is no longer about the company you want to create; it is now much more about the company that you must create.