by Brenda Jacobson (Canada)

The future is here. It blew in like a storm and has completely changed the business environment.

I spent two decades as a financial executive and business strategist and I saw the world change—A LOT. It is not just that the world is changing—everyone expected that. It is the speed and intensity with which it is happening that has leaders reeling.

This is an environment unlike anything I have seen before. Organisations today are facing new challenges that leaders of the past did not have to contend with. This means there is no blueprint—traditional wisdom cannot be handed down to provide any context that holds ideal solutions.

What is so different about the world of business today?

Here are the key challenges leaders face today.

  1. The world is now entrenched in the 4th industrial revolution—a world of robotics, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality and outsourcing. Technology is evolving at an exponential pace, faster than ever before and it is changing the way business is conducted. Job descriptions are shifting, new skills are required—skills that many leaders do not have and do not know how to acquire. This also means they do not have the ability to foster these skills amongst their team members, creating a skillset deficit. These skills are vital, not only to survive—but more importantly, to THRIVE in today’s world.
  2. For the first time in history, there are 5 generations active in the workforce—each with a very different set of beliefs, behaviours, values and attitudes. Attempts to engage and motivate a generationally diverse workforce is proving to be an uphill battle for many leaders. Onboarding new leaders is a struggle due to vastly different views on life and leadership. This is creating communication challenges between existing and new leaders, resulting in a lack of mentorship for young candidates. Because of this, detrimental feelings of loneliness and isolation are on the rise for this next generation, while existing leaders are left feeling a sense of disrespect and even animosity towards the incoming leaders.
  3. Loneliness have hit epidemic levels. Social science researchers define loneliness as the emotional state created when people have fewer social contacts and meaningful relationships than they would like or want—relationships that make them feel known and understood. An environment of online connections, remote workforces and communication challenges intensifies feelings of isolation, leading to loneliness and depression. This is impacting physical and mental health and ultimately performance and productivity.
  4. Stress, anxiety and overwhelm have reached unprecedented levels—penetrating every realm of organisations. This is largely due to the speed and intensity of the changes we see in the workplace. From the C-suite to the mailroom, people are dealing with mental health issues, which again negatively impact performance and productivity.

Source: iCN Issue 28  (Corporate Coaching); pages 26-30

About Brenda Jacobson, CMA,CPA

Brenda Jacobson is an international emotional intelligence trainer who uses specialised card games to make EQ training fun, fast and effective. Through her career as a finance executive and business strategist, as well as her recovery from a 3000 foot fall down a mountain, she was exposed to many strategies that optimise personal performance—none more powerful than managing emotions.

Her team has taken Emotional Intelligence to a whole new level and then integrated the latest in brain science and gamification to present a platform that meets the needs of future-ready leaders.

Fuelled by a passion to help others level up their EQ game, Brenda facilitates training for individuals and organisations around the globe to help empower conversations, connection and community.

Check out her programs and Elevate Your Game at