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What It Takes to Lead Through an Era of Exponential Change

COVID-19 has impacted how we must lead

To say that 2020 is a year of disruption and change is to understate the obvious. Our daily lives, from educating our kids, managing our health and working from home, to simple social rituals like dinner with friends, underwent rapid multi-dimensional change. Nascent trends — virtualization of the workspace, online learning, virtual health and e-commerce — accelerated exponentially. Changes anticipated to take years occurred in months and, in some cases, weeks and even days. Understandably, leaders have struggled mightily to address these overlapping changes simultaneously, dealing with economic, health and logistical crises that have unfolded at top speed.

Much as we might like to think of 2020 as an anomaly, it may not be. Conditions for accelerating change have been building for years. Advancements in information technology, automation, human interconnectivity, Artificial Intelligence and the network effects among them, created a new reality where change is much more rapid, continual and ubiquitous. COVID-19 and its derivatives laid bare a “new normal” of change, marked by three dimensions:

  • It’s perpetualoccurring all the time in an ongoing way.
  • It’s pervasive — unfolding in multiple areas of life at once.
  • It’s exponential — accelerating at an increasingly rapid rate.

This three-dimensional (3-D) change is defining our emerging future and, as a consequence, effective leadership will be defined by the ability to navigate this new reality.

Please select this link to read the complete article from Harvard Business Review.

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