Collaboration and shared decision making are important for talent retention and development, says Nadine Smart, Head of Talent at Cirrus.
Today’s connected leaders are very different from the ‘hero’ leaders of the past. As Cirrus CEO Dr Simon Hayward says in his book, Connected Leadership: How to build a more agile, customer-driven business, hero leadership relies on charismatic individuals to inspire others, but connected leadership is all about collaborating, team working and devolving decision-making to share leadership responsibility across the organisation.
Connected leadership can also have a very positive impact on the attraction, development and retention of talent. When a leader creates a sense of purpose and meaning, this attracts talent to an organisation and encourages existing colleagues to give of their best on a day to day basis. It provides a reason to come to work and reason to feel proud. It can also be a source of sustainable competitive advantage when it comes to attracting and engaging both employees and customers.
Connected leaders recognise that previous success is not enough to attract and retain future talent. At Cirrus, we’ve worked with many successful leaders who are unafraid to reinvent their organisations. The best articulate clearly what they are trying to achieve and why it matters. They create a shared appreciation among employees and customers of why the organisation exists, which forges a renewed sense of mission and gives deeper meaning to working lives.
Collaboration and shared decision making are important for talent retention and development because the more people feel involved in strategic decisions, the more experience they will gain that builds capability for the future. Developing talented teams rather than focusing on talented individuals is also a key focus of connected leadership. It has been proven time and again that great teams outperform collections of talented individuals because collaboration knits the individuals together in the shared pursuit of the team’s goal.
When teams are empowered to operate and cooperate with other teams across processes and break through bureaucratic silos, we tend to see pronounced performance improvements. Built on the foundations of quality dialogue and mutual influence, teams can produce new answers to old problems and innovative ways to serve the customer even better by adapting quickly to changing circumstances. Successful team working can be embedded through techniques such as dialogue and skillful discussion, which help teams to transform their collective thinking, mobilise their energies and ability, and fuel collaborative achievement.
Attracting, retaining and developing talent is a perennial issue for most organisations. Developing more connected leadership can transform your organisation’s culture, which can make you more attractive to new recruits. It can also provide opportunities for existing talent to take responsibility for their own development and growth. Connected organisations are exciting places to be.