1st Executive Blog

28 Aug RESILIENCE, confidence and pivots - What leaders need

Returning this week to the insights from the Mindshop 2019 business leader report, our third key insight is that business confidence has declined.

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There are multiple factors that have contributed to this according to the study and these include:

· Tighter bank lending conditions

· Political change

· Business complexity

· Pace of change

· Uncertainty and instability in the customer base

· Emerging disruptive technologies

· Mental health challenges

As the study identifies, change in the business world is both constant and high pace. There is certainly plenty of evidence of high levels of stress, anxiety and depression among business people as they become exhausted with the myriad of conflicting challenges that they face.

What is most concerning for business, is that nearly all of these factors demonstrate an increasing propensity towards an external locus of control.

However, in much the same way as we all know that major software companies will introduce products that are 70 to 80% “right” and then rely on user feedback to improve them, we are seeing successful business leaders adopt an internal locus of control, take balanced but considered risks, and understand that feedback from customers, employees and other stakeholders will help them to improve the initiatives that they pursue.

Eric Ries, in his book, “The Lean Start-up” explores several times over the concept of taking ideas to market and then using data and observations from stakeholder responses to improve them. While he may have been speaking mostly about software, more and more, we are hearing business leaders use the term “pivot” that Ries often uses. Here we see business leaders taking a course of action, seeking feedback, watching behaviours and adjusting their approach accordingly. You can see him explain this concept by clicking here.

One of the things that business leaders are seeking to have their executives understand is the need to exhibit resilience, to take action, to maintain positive belief systems and mindsets and to understand that an internal locus of control, supported by the intuition that comes from experience is required for success.