The conference purpose was to investigate to what degree the task of leading organisations through our current recessionary times is directly analogous to the challenges we faced some 20 years ago.

Arnold Zanvoort Director of Ashridge Leadership Centre contributed this based on his research:

Key elements learned of leadership in turbulent times, required to manage organisations through recessionary times

Shared vision, authenticity and vulnerability are the new major developments in the skill set to survive in turbulent times

Along with:

Intuition; need for speed and decisiveness in turbulent times
Authenticity / correction; needs to be mellowed by ethics, correct and predictable with people
Building relations; achieve sustainable collaborative partnerships to achieve defined objectives. Authenticity flows from this, along with showing vulnerability, i.e. I don’t know.
Shared vision; listening to reach a good answer
Ambiguity living with confusion; leverage good solutions, holding ambiguity, grapple with it
Discipline & humility; put ego on back burner, for the benefit of the organisation
Leaders in hope; something to say after no

An investigation ensued in working groups to identify what was different vs analagous from 1990s to now. There were some clear shifts in economic models, unaffordable EU public sectors, trade deficits, US $53Tr forecast commitments and core being un repayable personal and national level of borrowing, along with little contingent saving.

The summary of the main issues showed whilst it is much the same business as usual, the speed and scale of change that is currently required to survive is vastly different.

“As a business the 3 Icebreaker Members attending, took away the main differentiator being therefore the process by which you can deliver transformation faster and more significantly in these times, concurrently maintaining and building legacy value”.

The individuals within the organisations however are not likely to be prepared. This finding is congruent with Icebreaker Executive professional development programs focussed at delivering change faster and more effectively.

Interims possess these skills as personally and professionally they live in a world of uncertainty and change daily, combined with professional support can support client teams through the required challenges.