Generative Leadership: The New Way of Leading | BCG

Leadership & Culture

The last two years have brought the toughest test in leadership for leaders worldwide. Yet, many leaders rose to the occasion. According to this BCG year-long research project, many of the tactics leaders effectively employed during the pandemic can form the basis for an approach to leading in a post-pandemic world. The authors refer to this approach as generative leadership, composed of three interconnected elements: head, heart, and hands. 1) Head: Leaders reimagine and reinvent their businesses. They think expansively about the future they want to create and focus on the right strategic priorities to reach it. 2) Heart: Leaders create an inspiring and enriching human experience for their people—including outside of work. They lead with purpose, and they work to inspire and empower people at all levels of the organization. 3) Hands: Leaders find ways to execute and innovate through supercharged teams that work with agility across boundaries. They align their people effectively around the work to be done. Exhibit 1 summarizes what these three elements look like in practice, and questions are provided to help leaders and leadership teams become more “generative.” Since leaders increasingly recognize the disproportionate impact of the “heart” component, I am resharing two bonus resources that enable it. 1) Gartner’s, CHRO Guide: Reinvent Your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) for a Postpandemic Workforce, which provides tactics for fostering the “human side” of an EVP. 2) Accenture’s, Care to Do Better – Building Trust to Leave Your People and Your Business Net Better Off, which includes ideas on meeting six fundamental human needs through work.

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