How to make change management happen in the most effective way

Many things can put your business at risk, including changes to your organisation, people or technology. The current pandemic has put many businesses under unprecedented pressure, and some even teetering on the brink of survival. Crises like this quickly turn change...

Future-ready part 2: Diversity – an essential ingredient for a future-ready organisation

In his seminal 1937 essay, “The nature of the firm,” the economist and eventual Nobel laureate Ronald Coase argued that corporations exist to avoid the transaction costs of the free market. Yet with transaction costs plummeting (spurred by rising connectivity)...

Future-ready part 1: What does a future-ready business look like in the new normal?

The pressure to change had been building for years. Well before the COVID-19 pandemic, senior executives routinely worried that their organisations were too slow, too siloed, too bogged down in complicated matrix structures, too bureaucratic. What many leaders feared,...

Organisation Design: Restructuring or Reshuffling to enable Strategy

Customer expectations are not just changing; they are exceeding the ability of a business to deliver on time. They are looking for alternatives, with more emphasis on experience and convenience. To keep up, companies are evolving their offering to meet the...

How to fill the gap between Strategy and Execution

Organisations are great at setting their strategy and identifying their goals, but they fall short when it comes to their operating model review and redesign, the key component that enables the strategy and drives the achievement of goals. Operating models consist of...

Culture PART 2: The role of leaders in a culture shift

In the previous article in this series we examined the effect of COVID-19 on an organisation’s culture. Now, we turn the focus onto the role of leadership and technology in leveraging culture. When an organisation decides to change its culture – be it planned or...

Culture PART 1: Did COVID-19 signal the end for hierarchical organisations?

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, human capital is defined as: “the knowledge, skills, competencies and other attributes embodied in individuals or groups of individuals acquired during their life and used to produce goods,...

Meet MAC’s Executives: Karina Jardim, Senior Executive

“Exceptionally talented consultant” “An absolute pleasure to work with” “Driven by a desire to see people grow” If you know Karina Jardim, you know that these phrases used to describe Karina ring undoubtedly true. She is a name that is valued to every MACer, whether...

Thriving in the Age of Digital Adoption: Embracing the Workforce Ecosystem (part 2)

In the first part of this series, we looked at how the fears of technological innovation are resulting in an unproductive resistance toward modernisation, even as it gains extraordinary pace in 2021. We also delved into the importance of a growth mindset in allowing...

Thriving in the Age of Digital Adoption: Overcoming the Fear of AI (part 1)

“What if artificial intelligence takes over my job? What if I become redundant?” Every one of us has experienced technology encroaching on our lives, more and more so with each year that passes. It appears that technological innovation is a certainty that is only...

Mac Consulting

The future is now, the future of work and the workforce of the future is upon us


Back in March 2017, MAC published an article titled “Establishing Agile Leadership Practices: equipping leaders to deal with fast and continuous change in a digital economy”. This was broadly premised around the need for leaders to adapt their approach and paradigms, rethinking how they engage people, plan, delegate, and shape their organisations for the future. It also explored how leaders needed to fundamentally change the way they do things in order to have a meaningful impact on the direction and performance of their business and its people.

In the article we unpacked, what we believed and from our experience, five key tenets of agile leadership:

  1. Building shared purpose: a key skill for the team leader is to be able to build a sense of shared purpose that provides clarity on why the team is doing what it is tasked to do, who they are solving for and what they need to deliver.
  2. Orientating towards business results: a leader’s ability to make strong links to the activities of individuals and how they ultimately need to, should, or are impacting a key business result.
  3. Shaping collaborative journeys: it is key for leaders to foster this empathy and model the ability to articulate their journey, by truly listening to the experience of all those involved in the process and leveraging the collective and diverse capabilities in the team.
  4. Delivering and learning in multi-skilled teams: it is important for leaders to create the space and provide the coaching to encourage and facilitate the right thinking, listening, and mutual appreciation between team members to learn from each other and solution together.
  5. Evolving through experimentation: key to this is a shift towards an action learning orientation, and the ability to develop and test prototypes to drive continuous improvement. Most importantly, perhaps, is the discipline to quickly recognise and let go of things that are not working, and to answer the question around what you, as a leader and a business, need to unlearn in order to create the desired space for new thinking and new approaches.

As organisations rapidly pivot towards working virtually, where teams are no longer co-located and customer journeys and fulfillment are delivered virtually or through partners, so to do Agile Leadership principles need to be embedded. Traditional ways of managing, defining strategies, and developing innovative solutions are not meeting the demands of a world where uncertainty and continuous change are the new normal.

Leaders are having to adapt their approach and paradigms, rethink how they engage their teams, plan, delegate, and shape their organisations for the future.

For this, shared purpose is paramount; when individuals are working alone, the ability to make the right judgment call that is directionally correct will come down to the clarity of purpose. Choices will inform actions and actions taken will yield the targeted results. Knowing what is important for the team, organisation and the customer is critical. The ability to leverage the skills and capabilities across the team and co-create plans and journeys that leverage skills and deliver the results once again, is a critical success factor. Diversity and the ability to galvanise remote and diverse teams will set high performance teams apart from mediocre operators.

Finally, the need to foster a culture of experimentation and actively prototype is more important than ever before. None of us have been in a world that has radically changed, so much, so quickly, as Charles Darwin said, “it’s not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change”. Experimentation and leveraging the learnings will ensure future resilience.

As I reflect on these points above, I cannot help but to think on how, even more so today than back in March 2017, the principles hold true.

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