Historically, any country’s growth and development has been championed by a group of futuristic leaders who dared to think and act differently. You can find many examples of influential business leaders like Jacqueline Gold, Tania Boler and Sir Richard Branson, all of whom have shaped business management in the UK.
Leadership and management styles are continually being shaped and influenced by events around us. For instance, the 18th century Industrial Revolution gave rise to mass management techniques which are still in place in some British factories today. Similarly, the recent pandemic has brought in a new culture of virtual management.
A good understanding of current leadership aspects can act as a time machine and help you imagine how future business leaders will behave. This can be quite a useful exercise, especially if you envision yourself as a business leader in the future.
What kind of management styles are around at the moment?
A recent University of Bedfordshire survey evaluated different leadership styles among profit and non-profit sports organisations in the UK. They found a mind-boggling number of leadership styles, each more different from the other. These included strategies from placing employees in charge of their own targets to sharing yearly profits with employees at all levels.
So, what do today’s leaders do differently and is it working?
1. Engaging with employees
The way business leaders interact and engage with their employees form a crucial aspect of their leadership. If done well, leaders can inspire and motivate them to bring better results to the company.
Modern leadership is based on healthy employee engagement. The MacLeod Review on Employee Engagement in 2009 reported many benefits of improved employee engagement, including lesser sick leaves, increased employee loyalty and a better understanding of customer needs.
The question then remains: how do you effectively engage with your employees? The answer is more straightforward than you think. You just need to empathise with their issues, give them credit for good work and allow them to participate in the decision-making process.
2. Focusing on employee well-being
It is a universal fact that happy employees are productive and can take the business forward. The CMI and Penna report on the Business Benefits of Management and Leadership Development found a strong correlation between employee happiness and organisational performance.
It is common sense that a stressed-out, unhappy employee will be of far less use to you than a satisfied one. Business leaders today understand this fact and take active steps to keep their employees happy through team dinners, picnics, and flexibility in day-to-day targets and duties.
Modern day leadership also involves increasing employee participation in company decisions and collaborating with different teams and companies to drive growth and performance.
What can you expect from leadership styles in the future?
As businesses keep getting more complex, the job of leading and managing employees and colleagues gets tougher. The increasing demands of social media, ever-changing consumer demands, and newer technologies in the hands of competitors are not making the jobs of managers easier. In such a case, you might be justifiably curious about the fate of management techniques in the future.
Out of the three factors influencing future management styles, The Grant Thornton’s International Business Report in 2019 based all three around technology. The report suggested that automated company operations, AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Big Data, and increasing digital interconnectivity will all influence the thought processes of future leaders.
So, what will a business leader look like in the future?
The futurist thinker and author, Alvin Toffler, once defined technology as “the great growling engine of change.” Technological advancements can be expected to radically change the business world as we know it. Successful business leaders from the future will recognise that nothing stays constant, and will focus more on adaptability.
Virtual and digital communications will also change leadership styles as we know them. If anything, the recent pandemic has demonstrated that strong AI support and digital interconnectivity can keep your business going even in dire conditions. You can expect to see the development of many digital business tools which can make it easier to operate your business across the world from a single location.
From a management point of perspective, Micromanagement techniques will be a thing of the past and digital interconnectivity will make future leaders more trusting of their employees.
These leaders will understand that igniting curiosity within themselves and their teams would be the perfect defence to a continually changing business world. Hence, they will also be open to new ideas. Leaders will also be open to feedback and ask the right questions and make inclusion and diversity their mantras.
Creativity is often ignored as an important trait in the business world and thought to be important only in the artistic domains. What you might not know is that creativity is a precursor to problem solving.
Creativity can also play a significant role in future leadership styles. Creativity will help future leaders battle stagnation with panache and gain new perspectives on business problems.
Becoming an influential business leader will require you to take action today. Leadership in the business space is often influenced by your personal mannerisms and thought processes. Your behaviour towards the people around you today will largely determine your behaviour towards your future employees.
However, you need to conduct a thorough analysis of your current mindset along with a practical-oriented business degree in London to seal the deal. Business management courses in London will help you learn how businesses evolve and how to adapt your management style with this evolution.
The three-year BA (Hons) Business Management programme from the London College of Contemporary Arts (LCCA) is the best programme for launching your management career. The programme will allow you to pick up several leadership skills including innovative thinking, decisiveness, employee engagement and problem-solving.
This business management degree in London is offered in partnership with the TEF Gold Standard institution, the University for the Creative Arts. The course also offers an additional Foundation in Creative Business year that allows you to meet the entry requirements of the programme.
Click here to browse through the programme specifics of this course at LCCA.