Future of Leadership Podcast

The Crisis is a Time to Stop and Think

The nineteenth episode of the Future of Leadership Podcast is about rethinking the way we do business, the roll of the office space and the potential of location agnostic work. Joining Sebastian Morgner is therefore Sylvain Newton, author, strategic adviser and program director at the Columbia Business School in New York and Head of the New Work Model at the Allianz Group.

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The conversation starts by discussing the issue of Covid-19 and how societal and individual circumstances are responsible for the subsequent diversity in reactions seen all over the world. In his opinion, while issues like the lockdown required us to distance on a physical level in our day to day lives, the workplace saw a tremendous increase in communication and empathy.
With the crisis acting as an accelerator, he agrees with Barry Schwartz in believing that our individual technological capabilities will see a dramatic increase in the coming years. Further he states that while one can find many companies that were successful in transitioning their employees to home office, there is much more potential to be utilized if companies would redesign the work load to explicitly fit the demands of a home office concept.
Therefore, he and his team at the Allianz Group are currently developing “The New Work Model”, which aims to redefine the way employees go about their routines. With the goal of implementing as many of the positive learnings from the past few month the taskforce concerns itself with important questions, like what is the actual reason for individuals to be at an office and what are key abilities and characteristics leaders of tomorrow must possess. Their hope for the future is to create a more flexible, agile and resilient environment for individuals and teams to flourish.

As an advice for the listeners, Mr. Newton shares, that when contemplating about a place to work at, one should always take into consideration two things. Firstly, if there is a cultural fit with the organisation, and secondly, if one can have an impact in that company.

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