Leaders in the 21st Century are faced with demands that few business leaders ever had to deal with.

- Dr. Richard Claydon, Co-founder EQ Lab

Leadership Innovation.

They are tasked to create value via new business models in a hyper-connected, interdependent, globalized marketplace in which traditional methodologies of leadership are no longer fit for purpose. Leaders today must grapple with VUCA.

  • Volatile: new threats and opportunities appear on the horizon at lightning speeds

  • Uncertain: it is extremely difficult to predict where they’ll come from or what they’ll look like

  • Complex: even after they emerge, it is unclear exactly where and how they are impacting the business

  • Ambiguous: while there are many plausible responses, few are likely to be effective

The problem? Today's dominant leadership theories and models were developed in a very different looking world, farmed by expectations of predictability, durability, stability, certainty, simplicity and clarity. While such theories and models can develop lower-level leadership capacity, they do not help people develop higher-level leadership skills. This is clear in the data, with Deloitte reporting that:

  • Only 7% of companies believe they are capable of developing Millennial leaders

  • Only 13% can develop global leaders

  • Only 14% are confident in their succession planning

Most mainstream models do two things.

  1. They facilitate the leading of small teams by focusing on motivational and communication skills

  2. They build competencies and skills related to the delivery of results in discrete technical environments

This creates high-achieving experts in specific disciplines. This is first-life leadership, which is fine for low-to-mid-level management roles.

However, they do not begin to prepare people for second-life leadership, which is necessary for higher-level management in the VUCA world.  Second-life leadership requires adaptive capacities far beyond technical expertise and single-disciplinary knowledge. The problem most organisations face is that the leadership development required to enable this higher-level capacity doesn’t start nearly early enough, if at all. The transformative leap from first to second life leadership becomes uncrossable.

Alongside these challenges comes a further shift into hybrid work. 

What we do.

In developing people towards being capable of second-life leadership, we draw from the following informing models:

  • Adaptive Leadership Styles: today’s leaders need to be able to be hyper-adaptive to emerging market challenges, as ready to command and control as to listen and learn

  • Complexity of Thinking: today’s leaders need to know how to sophisticatedly grapple with complexity without anxiety, enabling creative and critical solutions to rapidly emerge

  • Leadership Agility: today’s leaders need to be cognitively capable of delivering results when working with diverse people during constant change

  • Curated Character: today’s leaders need to know which of their “innate” behaviours deliver value and which prevent progress, curating the former and controlling the latter

  • Systems Spirit: today’s leaders need to be able to navigate the complexities of a networked organization, and activate meaning and possibility throughout

All these models are underpinned by rigorous longitudinal investigations into leadership and leadership activity, and cutting-edge interpretations and ideas as to what new shapes leadership needs to take in the VUCA world. 

Our leadership development and coaching work revolves around improving all aspects of an individual’s leadership, across self-awareness, business performance, complexity of thinking, leadership theory, adaption of style, and systems navigation. 

Alongside this general leadership development and coaching service, we can also provide coaching and advisory on specialised elements of leadership, such as storytelling, introductions to complexity or data science, or understanding and coping with anxiety.


Tell us your needs.