The ‘Symphonic C-suite’
Future of Work insights
As the business environment becomes more competitive and digital disruption continues, organizations have needed to become more team-centric, networked and agile. Deloitte’s 2018 Human Capital Trends report highlighted that this trend has now reached the C-suite.
In our 2018 Human Capital Trends report, we introduced the concept of “the symphonic C-suite”. Since the 1980s, the C-suite has evolved to consist of independent experts providing specific know-how and skills;
What does this new world require of the C-suite? The demands on top leaders have changed. Organisations now need people who can ‘Think, Act and React’ differently, providing the leadership necessary for success.
Leaders need to Think Differently. They can no longer rely solely on their experience and prior thinking, the world around them is changing at an unprecedented rate creating much greater complexity. They need to think more broadly, quickly and innovatively to conceptualise future possibilities. They need to Act Differently. Power and influence structures are more far-reaching, subtle and less visible than they once were. Leaders can no longer rely on hierarchy and
The evolution of C-suite behaviours
Successful symphonic C-suite leaders have moved from a position of providing answers and clarity, to a position of harnessing organisational capability. They have moved from providing a strategic vision for the
While the underlying personal factors that underpin human behaviour have not changed the emphasis has shifted and the manifest leadership behaviour looks very different.
The successful symphonic C-suite leader
How can organisations recognise the people who will succeed as flexible, agile and adaptive leaders? Adept at energising and empowering their individual areas, they also need to connect with the other C-suite leaders to deliver cohesively across diverse initiatives. We all know people who are technically great at what they do. However, what is it that sets apart the people who can succeed in a symphonic C-suite? In the future, it will be about an individual’s capacity to Think, Act and React differently, combined with the motivation and drive to lead. In fact, the Millennial cohort
Leadership selection has to identify the smart, quick Thinkers who can create the compelling and visionary sense of purpose to take the organisation forward, be innovative and
Processes using deep psychological assessment, including reliable and valid psychometrics, wide-ranging interviews and stakeholder feedback can help to identify the people in the organisation with the motivation, aptitude and strengths to be effective symphonic C-Suite leaders.
Creating the conditions for success
However, recognition of key talent isn’t the whole answer. Skills need to be cultivated and practised to create the conditions for success. To be fully effective symphonic C-suite leaders, development needs to support the team as a whole, not just as individuals. This is about the C-suite working and operating as an agile, connected, collaborative group, capable of working closely with different members at different times and for different engagements. This calls for honesty in
And in reality…
Recently, a Financial Services client asked us to help them do just this and support the development of their top team. We used deep psychological assessments as a starting
- The need to become more team-centric, networked and agile has hit the ‘C-suite’
- Leaders must ‘Think, Act and React’ differently
- In the short
termorganisations need to facilitate this for existing C-suites through working practices and new behaviours that encourage more flexibility, collaboration and communication
- For the longer term organisations need to put processes in place to identify those who can think, act and react differently and cultivate a collaborative culture through encouraging honesty, trust, openness and challenge
Deloitte Leadership offers a number of tailored assessments and development options, providing support and interventions to get your leaders ready to operate as part of a ‘symphonic C-suite’.