Driving Change With Agility and Connected Leadership

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Thursday, March 9, 2023
Simon Hayward, author of The Agile Leader, shares how embracing change can enable greater innovation and societal impact.
Featuring Simon Hayward, Global Lead for Leadership and Culture, Accenture.
  • Part of the agility movement means creating an environment of experimentation and collaboration to effectively develop trisector leaders.
  • Business schools have a responsibility to disrupt the thinking around the nature of graduate degrees.
  • Connected leadership refers to shifts in the ways organizations are managing, organizing, and innovating, including greater collaboration and cross-functional working.


Simon Hayward: The agile movement over the last 25 years is, we've had a huge impact on the way business and public sector organizations operate.

What I have focused on in my research is how leaders can create an environment of psychological safety and experimentation and collaboration, which enables agile working to happen in practice. Very often, the leaders of organizations inadvertently get in the way and are working on a cycle and with a focus which is unhelpful to the way agile works.

In terms of business schools embracing agility, fundamentally, they can take a shorter cycle view of activity, perhaps starting to disrupt their own thinking about the nature of graduate degrees, the nature of their approach to their clients, and also embedding it in executive education so the organizations can become more agile and innovative in their pursuit of greater societal impact.

In terms of business schools embracing agility, fundamentally, they can take a shorter cycle view of activity.

"Connected Leadership" is based on my work over the last 10 years researching the way organizations are shifting in a world of great digitization, accelerated technological and biological change, and, essentially, with roots in clarity of purpose, high levels of authenticity and emotional intelligence, subsidiarity, so pushing decision making as close to the point of impact as possible, much greater collaboration and cross-functional working, and then the sense of agility and ability to innovate quickly and to pivot the organization in a way that is more focused on responding to the changing circumstances, which is having such a massive impact on organizations currently.

The views expressed by contributors to AACSB Insights do not represent an official position of AACSB, unless clearly stated.
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