Monday, July 18, 2011

Leaders Make the Future

The Institute for the Future ( published a book a couple of years ago with this title: Leaders Make the Future: Ten New Leadership Skills in an Uncertain World ( The author of the book, Bob Johansen, makes the argument that the world is becoming ever more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. The book examines leadership skills that are believed to be necessary for effective leaders in this environment.

I can’t do justice to the skills described in the book in a blog post, but the following very brief description of each skill by Alain Burrese can help:
  1. Maker Instinct focuses on how leaders need to draw out their maker instinct and apply it to their leadership. Johansen states that future leaders will need both a can-do and a can-make spirit.
  2. Clarity is a must in confusing times and a leader must be able to create and communicate with clarity without being simplistic.
  3. Dilemma Flipping is being able to succeed with challenges that cannot be solved and won't go away.
  4. Immersive Learning Ability focuses on immersing yourself in new physical and virtual worlds that may be uncomfortable to increase your learning.
  5. Bio-Empathy is being able to learn from nature and use that wisdom to inform your decisions.
  6. Constructive Depolarizing focuses on how a leader can constructively depolarize conflict to both calm and improve the situation.
  7. Quiet Transparency is a skill by which a leader is open but not self-promoting.
  8. Rapid Prototyping deals with working through many scenarios during the process of development.
  9. Smart Mob Organizing is a leadership skill of organizing people using a range of media.
  10. Commons Creating is creating areas within which both cooperation and competition may occur.

I highly recommend this book for business students.

Burrese, Alain.  Article Source:

Johansen, Bob (2009). “Leaders Make the Future: Ten New Leadership Skills in an Uncertain World.” Berrett-Koehler Publishers. 

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