1st Executive Blog

22 Jan What will Business Leaders Want in 2020?


How will the 8 Key Insights for 2019 have moved?

Over the last 12 months we have provided some additional commentary around eight insights that business leaders told us were 2019 priorities. These are recorded in the Mindshop 2019 Business Leader Report. Here’s an overview of what we saw and what we predict prior to the launch of the 2020 Business Leader Report in February.

The Insight

The Observations

Our Prediction 2020

1. Training needs: leadership, strategy and culture


We saw business owners and leaders focus on leadership in both advisory and executive search / recruitment engagements. Many coaching clients asked the question “How do I become a better leader?’ Culture came to the forefront with a couple of organisations using gaps between the leaders’ views of culture and the team’s to develop a new approach to strategy.


This will not go away and we expect culture to play a stronger part in this in 2020. We’ve seen organisations understand that if they do not develop a culture that embraces the strategy then they will have ongoing operational challenges.
2. Are you too lean to grow?


We certainly did not see businesses making themselves “Fatter to grow” but we did see concerted efforts to understand how leaders and executive teams could increase their capacity before they started to work on their capabilities. More often than not this started with the individual executives looking at themselves.


We would expect to see less advisory work in this area as business leaders have become more comfortable with the concept of developing capacity. We will however see an increased focus on optimising the output of technology and continued growth in the use of personal productivity apps.

3. Build your own and your organisation’s resilience


Following on from the previous insight, we saw organisations applying lean philosophy to build resilience. No longer expecting perfection, businesses were looking at how to introduce initiatives, understand the feedback and then pivot as required.


The fire season Australia provides a general overview of the nation’s boundless capacity for resilience. We believe organisations will draw this together collectively and take a more generous view of the work/life balance of their people while workforces will get behind purposeful leaders
4. Consolidation or growth?


We have seen organisations undertake extensive executive team rebuilding exercises that are future funded by anticipated growth. This is in equal measure with organisations who sought to consolidate previous wins. It is all about the stage of the business journey.


No change here, although early macro indications are that growth may be a little tougher in some sectors

5. Agile learning and development


We saw this in spades in 2019 with a constant focus from multiple clients on learning new tools and approaches to address issues right now.


This will begin to move from cutting-edge through to essential and eventually the norm. Leaders have to learn how to meet new challenges when they are confronted with them.

6. Technology to reinvent your business: hype versus reality


We have seen a much greater emphasis on understanding where all this may fit in the future. Once the excitement and anxiety caused by the hype settles down, businesses are beginning to understand that they still need to be very clear on what they are trying to achieve before they start to invest in new technology.


Organisations will just get better at using the capacity of the technology they have invested in - there is no other choice. Leaders are more likely to invest in, for example, additional plug-in modules than they are to re-engineer an entire software suite.
7. Empowering your team


This is closely related to insights 2 and 3. More lean organisations under margin, expense and resources pressure have typically sought to redefine the deliverables expected of their teams. Then, to provide the leadership development required to encourage them to work more independently and make bigger decisions.


Arguably this is an area that Australia needs to develop quickly to improve its global competitiveness. Great leaders will understand the need for an internal locus of control and find strategic and tactical ways to deliver great outcomes through their people.

8. Boost your probability of personal change success


This insight looped all the way back to insight number 1. Leaders understood that if they expected more of their teams, they needed to enhance their own capability of managing the change process successfully.


More and more leaders every year understand the importance improving themselves, this will continue


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Of course, we have no idea if we are correct but we will get some further insights with the launch of the 2020 Mindshop Business Leader Report.

Just fill in the form here to reserve a copy and will send it straight to you. Also, take the opportunity to get ahead of the curve by completing a new Growth and Profit Solutions diagnostic right here.