Sound Bites

The Future of Work: Leading for Results Now

with Deidre Paknad, WorkBoard CEO

Deidre Paknad

Deidre Paknad, WorkBoard CEO: As you think about the future of work, it's important to think about the new future of leadership. As our workplaces change, as the work environment changes, and as our employees' lives get more complex, the way we lead needs to evolve to the situation.

Today, in the summer of 2020, growth is harder to come by and distraction across your employee base is much higher. It's a bit of a "rock and a hard place" for leaders who need to deliver great outcomes, but may struggle to ask people for more. Particularly if you're a compassionate leader, you're aware that your employees' lives are super complex. Back to school means five people in a household, all on Zoom at the same time.

So how do you ask for and get great results in such a difficult time? That's the conversation we need to have today. When the outside conditions are rough, when the market is difficult, challenging, unpredictable, volatile, as it is now, how you lead inside matters more than ever.

There are a couple of shifts in leading today that can help you take a weary and distracted organization and people in the organization forward and upward so that you and they achieve their best possible outcomes.

One is a shift to an outcome mindset instead of an activity or output focus. The second is the message and tone you use to motivate and mobilize people: compassion forward in that tone. Know that focus, not hours, is the real booster of results; concentrated focus on the right activities or the right work produces higher outcomes than more hours invested.

Rethinking how you team and the network of teams in your organization can unlock trapped value, and lateral alignment across teams can open up and give you more access to value that's lost in the cracks between silos and functions.

And as you think about aligning on outcomes in the organization, think forward from the traditional top-down — and it's not bottom-up either. In fact, there's a new model for aligning on outcomes: Global-Local. Global objectives and strategic priorities, local aligned objectives and strategic priorities and localized into the nouns and the verbs and the numbers and informed by the intellect of each local team.