THE GORDIAN KNOT: Business is Emerging – The New Frontier
The emergence of Covid-19 has been and continues to be the catalyst for the “great re-set” across all facets of life, and business is no exception. Many of the tenets that we have taken for granted are now being challenged and re-evaluated across the globe. Business “as usual”, what is “usual & customary”, and “common assumptions and beliefs about business” are up for grabs.
The Gordian Knot is the perfect analogy for our current environment. Cutting the Gordian Knot to create a solution for seemingly unsolvable problems confronts many businesses today. Lockdowns, supply chain disruption, inflation, the great resignation, retaining talent, and employee re-evaluation that drives the business forward require meaningful work aligned with each employee’s purpose. The balance of power is shifting from employer to employee. The hierarchal model of “one up – one down” as the preferred management style is dead. For many business leaders, this will be the new frontier not lived from their previous experiences. New ways of thinking, organizing and aligning stakeholder interests will require leaders to engage in their own personal transformation. For many leaders, this will test their integrity, morality, ethics, and true ability to step into their leadership in new ways not previously known. This is the Gordian Knot.
So, what is leadership? What will be required to lead the enterprise into this new frontier?
“It is a space in which being itself can come to be more fully, show itself more wholly,
and become more present in the world. This disclosure of the authentic self always
Involves a “clearing away” process that creates a clearing-for-action in which the leader
Is free to act, rather than being constrained by conventional notions about what it is to be
a leader and what it is to exercise leadership effectively. -Werner Erhard et AL., 2011
Globalization, technology acceleration, speed-to-market, digitalization, shortened life cycles, and customer experience are already a being considered by many enterprises. New thinking, new business models, new understanding of the customer are essential to thrive moving forward. And now, much of the previous foundation built will need to be excavated and replaced. The status quo is no longer an option. Building a new foundation will require new ways of operating both internally and externally. It will require a new pact with all stakeholders, especially the organization and its employees. Titles, situational leadership, and even management will no longer inspire your workers or lead to desired results. Freeing and empowering your employees to step into their genius – the reason you hired them in the first place – is mandatory. What do you think is the new modus operandi? Critical thinking is required to get this right.
To thrive in the great re-set, there will be a plethora of strategic initiatives foundational to excelling:
- A robust strategic intent around sustainability
- Mastering transformation from the enterprise to the cloud – exponential growth
- Empower & develop your talent – internal and external
- Speed-to-market is essential for impact
- Align your purpose, vision, and values to how you operate
While these strategic initiatives are a roadmap in the new frontier, they are about the business. What are your strategic initiatives around all stakeholders? To thrive in the new frontier, building an “ecosystem” is mission-critical.
In conclusion, those who are willing to think exponentially, deploy technology exponentially, and set exponential goals are the enterprises that will thrive. In the new frontier, it is the enterprise where leaders recognize that to achieve sustainable scale and growth, people demand meaning in their lives and work, people need to know they are valued as a lived experience, and the purpose of the enterprise in some way must meet the purpose of each individual employee. Bottom line, if leaders don’t grow their leadership in leading others, the workers will cut the Gordian Knot. They will decide the enterprise is insurmountable to their lives and will search out an enterprise that will align with their purpose and values. It is a choice. What say you?