5 Leadership Challenges for 2018 - and how to nail them !

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Tank Stream Labs

Level 8

11 York Street

Sydney, NSW 2000


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Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

Event description


Panel discussion and interactive workshop

Based on our hands-on experience with a range of corporate partners during 2017, we have identified five core leadership challenges for 2018:

  • Build transparency (and confidence in the process)
  • Embrace Collaborative Leadership
  • Address the Engagement Crisis
  • Re-energise your employees
  • Merge design with business

Leaders need to approach these challenges by leveraging their intuition, adaptability skills and emotional intelligence to bring the largest benefit to their organizations. Today leaders are required to constantly keep an open mind and use soft skills, as much as technical expertise, to successfully address the multi-faceted and inter-related nature of these challenges. These challenges are not the ones that leadership books can help solve.

To ensure you have the skills and techniques to transform these challenges into opportunities and set your organization for success, book now this event, which will combine an expert panel and workshop activities.

What are the benefits of attending?

Participants can walk away with -

  1. Fresh insight gained from talking with experts on challenges faced by leaders
  2. Unique approaches that will work for your employees, even resistant staff, and your industry
  3. Cost-effective innovative strategies to implement right away
  4. Dealing with challenges and the pitfalls of not doing it right
  5. Connect with industry experts and ask burning platform questions to the panel.

Who should attend?

This event is designed for those who acknowledge the value of human capital within their organisation and who are looking for fresh solutions for long-standing challenges. Suitable for company directors, senior managers and people leaders.

Challenge 1: Build transparency (and confidence in the process)

The challenge for leaders in 2018 is to be more transparent in how they do business. In recent years there’s been an explosion of eye-opening debate, controversies and public questioning. Many of the discussions have come to light thanks to social media and media interest. As a result, the awareness of consumers and regulators alike has grown, with the Australian banking inquiry kicking off in February 2018.

What’s more, leaders can’t avoid spotlight and are being openly questioned, challenged and brought under fire to comment on how their organizations operate, do business and what their corporate values stand for. As more issues come to light, the result is a chain reaction of casting doubt on everything we consume.

Their leadership and authority are much more vulnerable to be challenged, particularly in terms of how they plan to address real life issues like discrimination, raw material sourcing, product quality and so on. Operating in a monopolistic environment or having unique products will not keep you safe. Samsung, Apple, Volkswagen and even Microsoft have all had their fair share of controversies and debates to put to rest.

Challenge 2: Embrace Collaborative Leadership

2018 will see the decline (if not the end) of the heroic leader. Gone are the days when shareholders, employees and customers are looking towards the valiant leader to have all the answers. You might not believe all this (for now), however, the tides are changing.

The challenge here isn’t to help the leader realize that they can’t achieve success flying solo. It’s much broader than that. It’s about accepting the new norm of collaborative leadership. That’s when you have leaders all across your organization, at various levels and functions. All of these leaders are working collaboratively to help the organization achieve its purpose and goals. And that’s where the leader on top needs to realize that greatness will be achieved from all efforts within the organization. Hence, there’s capability to build, leaders to be groomed and nurtured and opportunities to be provided so that greatness can shine from every corner of the organization.

Challenge 3: End the Engagement Crisis

According to Gallup 2016 survey results, there is an ‘engagement crisis’ in Australia with only 24% of the nation’s employees being engaged with their work. What’s more, these figures have not changed in over a decade.

In the push for productivity gains and cost cutting, improving engagement is the low hanging fruit that few organisations have managed to successfully pick. Engaged employees produce more. They make more money for the company, they create emotional engagement with the customers they serve, and they create environments where people are productive and accountable. Research also shows that engaged employees stay with the organisation longer and are much more committed to quality and growth than the disengaged.

Great managers and leaders know this instinctively. The challenge here is for leaders to transcend their ego and not to build it. It is for leaders to build meaningful relationships, based on trust and respect, with the people they rely on most.

Challenge 4: Re-energise your employees

In our service-based economy, successful leaders are today those who recognise that the most important asset of the organisation is the people, the human capital, and that any plans to move a business forward have to start there.

However, we see executives and employees alike pushing themselves harder than ever to keep up and increasingly reporting they feel they are at a breaking point. We have observed that many - if not most - of our clients respond to rising demands by putting in longer hours, which inevitably takes a toll on us physically, mentally and emotionally, which leads to declining levels of engagement and productivity and higher turnover rates and health issues.

While time management training has long been used as a tool to help improve productivity, the focus is now shifting to managing your energy, which is defined simply in physics as the capacity to work. The challenge for leaders will be to effectively reenergise their workforces by shifting their emphasis from getting more out of people to supporting them holistically so they are motivated—and able—to bring more of themselves to work every day.

Challenge 5: Merge design with business

Design thinking will continue to be one of the year's buzz phrases in 2018. Although it has been around for decades, design thinking is back in focus due to the rapid expansion of digital products and services and its proven track record to deliver meaningful bottom-line results. Indeed, the Design Management Institute (DMI) found that, in the US up until 2014, design-led companies have outperformed the S&P by 228%. The challenge for 2018 will be for leaders to embrace design methods to understand customer needs better, as well as to reframe complex problems as a way to generate insights that constitute strategic competitive advantages.

Our panel

Suzanne Salter

Founder of Leadership Nouveau, Suzanne is a passionate developmental coach who helps both individuals and teams reach and maintain their optimum performance levels. Educated in the United States, France, Australia and New Zealand, she worked for 17 years in equity derivatives and financial engineering for Société Générale, Westpac and CBA, turning around and building successful businesses. She has solid practical knowledge of the issues facing both leaders and followers. She understands the competing pressures, where flawless client service, product delivery, brand and reputation are critical factors of success. Her career transition to coaching was motivated by a genuine desire to help others develop their potential and to bring about a more sustainable form of leadership that helps both organisations and individuals reach their full potential.

Valerie Herrmann

Partner at Leadership Nouveau, Valerie spent 16 years in operational risk management, audit and consulting in the Financial Services Industry, with specialization in Investment Banking and Capital Markets. Her career transition to coaching was motivated by a genuine desire to “re-humanise” organisations and create a strategy for a collective, effective and healthy path to success. Passionate advocate of conduct ethics, Valerie has promoted ethical risk cultures in Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia and proactively directed the C-suite focus to material risk issues for attention, decision and action to ensure the highest level of integrity. Valerie is an effective problem-solving risk partner with a deep understanding of business issues and a strong client focus. She uses insightful interpersonal skills to communicate complex risk challenges and articulates remedial solutions.

Anna Guz

With degrees in both science and natural medicine, Anna is a qualified naturopath and wellness coach with more than 10 years’ clinical practice experience. Her main interests lie in gut, mood and mental health for men in the workplace. Passionate about seeing people reach their individual health goals and empowering them to improve their quality of life, she offers individualised treatment plans, which draw from her skills, education and work experience.

Tanguy Fournier Le Ray

Co-Founder for Palo IT Australia, Tanguy is a successful entrepreneur with a passion for technology and innovation. Tanguy works relentlessly at Palo IT to positively impact the world by empowering organizations and leaders to harness the power of transformative technology for the greater good.

Keith Faassen

Keith has over 30 years’ experience in trading and sales in global investment banking, finance, broking and advisory roles at a senior executive level covering the major financial markets of the UK, Europe, Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.Keith acted as a senior financial markets conduct regulator within ASIC where he reported to the NSW Commissioner and Senior Executive Leader as a member of the senior management team.

Our Facilitator: Lina Mbirkou

Lina is an accomplished facilitator, trainer and presenter. She holds a Master of Commerce, an MBA and a Certificate IV in training and assessment and is highly experienced in design thinking and emergent methods for collective systemic transformation such as Theory U.

A former Marketing and Communication executive and university lecturer in marketing principles and consumer behaviour, Lina has spent the last 8 years coaching leaders and facilitating deep dialogue and transformative processes. Her methods develop authentic leadership and build the capability of teams to cultivate a collective way of seeing, doing and being.

Lina is a convenor of The Sydney Facilitators Network (SFN), a community of practice in Sydney, and a master facilitator of World Café, Open Space Technology, Human-Centered Design, authentic relating, Non-Violent Communication, Conversation Meals and leading with purpose. In 2016, Lina co-designed and co-hosted the “Future of Facilitation” at the Michael Crouch Innovation Centre to empower facilitators to help others navigate this age of rapid economic, political and social change.

She is also well known as a creator of her own processes and resources for the industry. For example Lina has developed the MACRO Leaders model to guide her work in transforming leaders and organisations. The acronym MACRO stands for: Mindfulness, Authenticity, Courage, Resilience, and Openness.

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Tank Stream Labs

Level 8

11 York Street

Sydney, NSW 2000


View Map

Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

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