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  • Stephen Scott Johnson

Is your c-suite outmoded? Why legacy thinking will sink your company (and what to do about it)

Amidst all the buzz of hybrid enterprise and post-pandemic opportunity, a topic of conversation I’m having more frequently in light of Peloton Interactive Inc’s completion of a million-square-foot factory that it will never use, is that of legacy thinking ending in corporate demise. For context, Peloton is racing to downsize a manufacturing operation expanded by leaders who believed Covid-driven demand would outlive the pandemic.


The point in-focus is company vision, specifically, that which is limited by Executive thinking, strategies and other actions that have become outmoded and no longer serve to the extent they once had. This is particularly problematic for leaders whose skills and acumen were wrought in a command-control era – albeit who in the ‘new world of work’ lack essential soft-skills and service orientation to deal with today’s business realities.


Driving change and innovation in an organisation starts with up-skilling from the top down.

A key part of leadership’s job is to facilitate innovation and growth by keeping both in sync. McKinsey & Company Partner, Bryan Hancock writes: “Technology and skills are interdependent,” “Instead of starting with the last year’s plan, managers need to start with a more strategic view and ask: What kind of talent and skills are we going to need to achieve the most critical initiatives?” It begs the question: who mentors the C-suite?


Growth doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

As highlighted here, band-aids don’t fix blind spots. As strategic leaders of organisations, the C-Suite must evolve beyond the “glory days” of a bygone era and be on top of what’s new and what’s next. That means maintaining a laser-focus on continuous learning and development of skills and capacity to enhance leadership awareness, clarity and presence – whilst understanding how these traits contribute to future success.


Key considerations for Executives:


  • Are you averse to change and clinging to the status-quo?

  • Are you focused on accumulating authority and deploying downwards, or accumulating information that can help you make better decisions?

  • How connected do you feel to your people?

  • Do you have the ability to empower your team, embrace their strengths, and unleash their full potential?

  • Are you replacing inaction with action and rebuilding your enterprise to be a force for good?

As Urjanet CMO, Gary Brooks explains, “Leadership and culture aren’t about being the boss or being in-control; they are about creating shared visions and goals, and then inspiring, empowering and influencing others to achieve more than they ever thought possible.” – all of which demands exceptional soft-skills.


Is your C-Suite outmoded? Take this free diagnostic to find out.


Until next time,

Stephen