“Pandas Literally Evolved to be Lazy,” says The Washington Post.
Initially, the panda diet included meat and plants. About two million years ago, it became exclusive to bamboo—a hard-to-digest, low-nutrient food. Consequently, panda energy expenditures declined.
Like complacent leaders, they don’t accomplish much.
Consider impending evolutions in the financial industry and different attitudes leaders might employ as they anticipate and respond to change.
‘Let go of the illusion of control.’ --Ooguay, Kung Fu Panda
Change is afoot for those providing financial services, according to risk advisory company Willis Group. Leaders encounter paradigm shifts caused by six key mega trends:
“The financial sector is becoming increasingly segmented” and “The complex needs of financial institutions will demand increasingly sophisticated leadership in the future.”
Might managerial impatience lead to pandemonium? Those tasked with leading change must consider the “Dangers of an Impatient Strategic View,” as outlined by consultancy group Switch and Shift.
Changing an impatient attitude is difficult, but “a company’s survival may depend on it.” Five considerations and actions:
In your overall strategies, keep in mind broader management trends as described by Bain and Co.
As the economy rebounds, managers feel exuberant with potential for business growth, “perhaps too exuberant,” as they may not consider potential disruptions.
Aging populations, emerging economies, scarcity of resources, global markets, and digital technologies can offer opportunity but also pose risk.
Executives are largely upbeat: 74% find current financial performance “strong” and 55% think economic conditions are improving for their industry. And, 75% feel better positioned for what lies ahead.
However, “Executives who believe that their companies are more competitive because sales and profits are rising in the midst of a recovery risk making some wrong moves due to complacency.”
Survey results of executives in 2004 showed 86% believed “innovation is more important than cost-reduction for long-term success.” That was the case for 74% in 2014.
And in 2012, 64% thought “Our management actions favor long-term results over short-term earnings,” compared to 58% who held this belief in 2014.
‘There is no charge for awesomeness—or attractiveness.’—Po, Kung Fu Panda
Management heroes will consider the human element necessary for effective leadership.
A Society for Human Resource Management survey identifies impactful priorities for HR professionals as they help their companies succeed. “Managing talent and improving leadership development ranked as the most critical HR issues facing organizations by approximately one-half of respondents each.
“Building leadership capability will be important for organizations as they prepare the next generation of leaders to succeed those who will soon be moving into retirement,” notes the article.
In order to improve leadership development, 58% use internal coaching from upper management and 49% use 360-degree feedback to measure leadership skills. In managing talent, 75% will source locally while 58% will hire employees from the competition.
Other human resource issues of importance identified by the survey include managing cultural change, demographics, and recruitment challenges.
“Managers in the Digital Age Need to Stay Human,” says the Harvard Business Review. Technology allows for greater collaboration and staff connections, but employee engagement is still an issue as in 2013 only 13% of employees in 142 countries were engaged, and almost 25% “actively disengaged.”
Four considerations to facilitate good management and engagement in the digital age:
To successfully adapt to not only to change specific to the financial industry but also greater environmental evolutions brought about by new technologies and consumer demands, attuned leaders will avoid both complacency and chaos as they set strategy and energize team members.
Attentiveness and action are key for effective leadership and will culminate in successful business outcomes.