This is a summary of the Harvard Business Review article ‘What It Takes to Lead Through an Era of Exponential Change.’

  • This year has been nothing anyone could have expected. Most companies are struggling to keep up with the pace and amount of change they’ve had to go through.
  • Advancements in various fields have already paved the way for continuous and swift change. COVID-19 has laid a new foundation for future change which is exponential, pervasive, and perpetual.
  • Leaders are struggling because human minds have evolved with linear thinking. The assumption has always been that the future will be like the past which is not the case anymore.
  • The model of leadership based on linear thinking has become outdated. Discussions with industry captains has highlighted the need for Sapient Leadership. The four pillars of sapient leadership are:
    • Lead with humility, authenticity, and openness to inculcate a sense of trust and psychological safety
    • Trust and psychological safety empower individuals and teams to perform better
    • Continuous learning is the key to successfully navigating 3D change
    • A shared sense of purpose across the organization enhance focus, solidarity, and flexibility to adapt to 3D change.
  • Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart’s guiding principles that helped it successfully navigate the pandemic:
    • Support the employees’ financial, physical, and emotional wellbeing.
    • Focus on the key ethos.
    • Ensure that all aspects of the organization’s work are being managed effectively.
    • Focus on adapting to change.
    • Be socially responsible
  • 3D change is the new normal and will lead to the survival of the fittest. Leaders and organizations need to adapt the Sapient Leadership model to successfully navigate this era of 3D change.

The original article can be found here.