We aren’t ready for the future

Confidence in transformational leadership is lacking – yet transformation is the very thing organisations need to survive. Here’s what to do, today


“It’s worrying that confidence in transformational leadership is so lacking – because transformation is arguably the very thing organisations need to survive,” reflects Rialto chief executive, Richard Chiumento.

Taking a particular interest in workplace culture and workplaces of the future, change management consultancy, Rialto, has spent the last five years researching the ‘leaders of today and tomorrow’.

Their latest survey, examining confidence in transformational leadership, addressed members of FTSE 250 and government organisations around the UK.

The chilling conclusions have spurred a passionate drive to prepare for transformation the world over.

It’s a long way to the top

“We ran a couple of sessions with clients on the changing nature of a leader. It was agreed that today’s successful leadership profile is very different from what it once was. Furthermore, of the 15 organisations represented, every one of them insisted that they need their ‘successful leader’ now, as soon as possible.”

“But,” he notes, “What no one could – or can – agree on is, what does today’s profile actually look like in terms of capabilities?”

Hoping to answer this question, Rialto has pooled all of the results from its five-year global research project and constructed the Rialto Accelerated Leadership Index (RALI).

A super-fast web-based platform, RALI enables leaders to benchmark themselves against the very best in their industry by capabilities, instincts and salary.

“RALI helps people see their potential as leaders of the future and the areas requiring improvement in order to reach that potential,” The hope, Chiumento tells us, is that RALI will be key to constructing an effective learning and development program for individuals and organisations as a whole.

Combining a profiling tool with smart rankings, RALI provides organisations with an opportunity to profile their leadership team as it exists, and based on 18 attributes, develop a sophisticated, tailored, AI-led development program aligned to their exact needs.

“The leadership development industry came in at roughly £307 billion worldwide last year. Because of the pace of change, however, and the fact that the profile of the leadership of the future is not based on the needs of an organisation itself, most of these learnings are unfocused and inadequate…which only leads to less confidence in leadership and the kind of results seen in Rialto’s recent survey.”

And with 74% of the leaders surveyed looking to move into more senior leadership roles, but only 23% aware of how to develop the skills they will require, Rialto’s elucidated, tailored approach may be the answer.

“The world will continue to be disruptive and disrupted, and the pace of change will only accelerate. In order for people to be ready, they must be more curious about the environment both within their organisations and outside them; and focus more on lifelong lessons and priorities, to increase their value in today’s job and organisations.

“My advice to companies is to accept that this is the new normal: 300 million will have to upgrade their skills in order to keep their job relevant. Curiosity and lifelong learning become more important by the second.”

––– Kirsten Levermore is deputy editor of Dialogue

–– Try Rialto Accelerated Leadership Index (RALI) for free and enable your team to benchmark themselves against the very best leaders of the future