Groundbreaking ideas and research for engaged leaders
Rotman Insights Hub | University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management Groundbreaking ideas and research for engaged leaders
Rotman Insights Hub | University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

A leader’s guide to dealing with change

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David Zweig, Lynda Gratton, Maja Djikic andrew Schwedel, Alan Saks

It may be cliché, but the world has been going through a profound change. The new office/work-from-home dynamic is evolving in real-time. The rapid acceleration in AI development has entire industries questioning how the technology may transform their futures. The next generation of fully digital employees —– with vastly different priorities and lived experiences — is entering the workforce, which is butting up against one of the largest waves of retirements to hit the markets, ever. The world is in flux and will continue to be for a while yet. So what does that mean for leaders? Here are five articles to help you lead through a future of change.

What to listen to…to understand what employees are prioritizing now

Employee priorities are shifting, and it’s no longer enough to simply offer a steady paycheque and career advancement. Professor Alan Saks joined the Rotman Executive Summary podcast to discuss how organizations — and the people leading them — need to change their approach to HR management and prioritize the concept of employee care…or risk losing on talent long-term.

What to read to… understand the workers of the future

As Andrew Schwedel sees it, there are six workers of the future. In this Rotman Management magazine article, the co-chair of consultancy Bain Futures also explores how motivations for work are changing and what will drive most employees down the line. From Strivers to Pioneers, and Givers to Explorers, this is a must read for leaders looking to build welcoming organizations.

What to read to… better deal with the stress of change

Constant change can put the pressure on any leader. To survive and thrive, associate professor Maja Djikic believes personal and organizational resilience are key drivers for success in the face of these pressures. She offers five areas that leaders and managers should focus on to improve their personal resilience, and tips for how to balance organizational demands (like a shift in business priorities) with employee needs (such as the need for greater work-life balance).

What to read to… understand the short-term changes to work (and hiring)

Possibly the biggest change to leadership in recent years has been the shift to remote and hybrid work. And managers are still trying to get a handle on it. It changes how people are managed, but also how people are hired. Professor David Zweig breaks down myths and truths about hiring for a remote/hybrid environment…and no, the ability to use Zoom shouldn’t be a priority.

What to watch to… understand the long-term changes to work (and society)

While we look at the short-term, immediate impacts of a changing workplace — the lasting impact of COVID-19, the evolution of office models, the potentially short-lived “great resignation” — professor Lynda Gratton is taking the long view. This must-watch presentation explores how big-picture changes to society — an aging population dealing with advance technological changes, a shifting definition of what it means to be “productive” in a fully digital era, and an ever-increasing rise in inequality globally — will actually shape the future of work, and what leaders can do today to prepare.

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