Framing the art of the possible: editor's letter, May-July 2015 edition

Written by
Mary Appleton

01 Jul 2015

01 Jul 2015 • by Mary Appleton

If you tell a CEO these days that talent is the most important determinant of your organisation’s success, it’s rather like telling them you need oxygen to breathe. What your CEO wants to know is how you are going to future proof your talent strategy to navigate today’s changing workplace context – and guarantee success. 

When presented with new challenges, it’s easy to fall back on our standard operating procedures – defaulting to how we ‘think’ we should act and relying on what’s worked before. But in the new workplace context – where the pace of globalisation has never been faster; the imbalance between old and young has never been so dramatic; and the growth of technology has never been quicker – there’s a new kind of leadership required. 

Rather than simply tackling problems with the same old approaches, it is crucial for today’s leaders to broaden their range of interventions and utilise new methods that allow innovation and experimentation, to ultimately realise growth and prosperity. And with that, frame these prevalent macro-economic shifts as opportunities rather than challenges – unlocking creativity and power by connecting to the art of the possible.  

This is the exact situation that Hugo Bague, group executive of organisational resources at mining company Rio Tinto, discusses in this issue’s big interview. We find out how he is empowering his 60,000 global employees to make decisions as though they were owners of the business and how he anticipates new workplace models such as automation will lead to changes in the workforce in the mid- and long-term.

We also speak to Michael Keegan, CEO of technology giant Fujitsu’s UK & Ireland business, which found that while 73% of employees feel digital is vital for the future success of their organisation, just 45% said they had the right access to technology for them to do their job. For Keegan, what characterises this new era of leadership is simply “being comfortable with being uncomfortable”. 

Meanwhile, Changeboard is about to host its second future talent conference for 500 HR directors – where some of the most forward-thinking business leaders and philosophers will discuss their predictions for the future of work, what this means for employers, and what role you can play in building solid platforms for the future. Look out for next quarter’s issue where we’ll be talking in-depth to our fascinating keynote speakers.