Talentor Future Lab 2023: Leadership skills for challenging times

by Elke Gutzelnig in , — July 2023
What are the biggest risks in the consumer goods and retail industry? Which leadership mindset is required to succeed? Selected CEOs and HR managers investigated these questions in the 1st Talentor Future Lab for Consumer Goods & Retail.
Talentor Future Lab 2023

The Talentor Future Lab is an interactive, software-based workshop for co-creative strategy development. In June 2023 FAS Research, selected CEOs and HR managers and Bernadette Arnoldner got together in the 1st Talentor Future Lab for Consumer Goods & Retail to analyze the following questions:

What are the biggest risks in the consumer goods and retail industry?

According to the Future Lab experts price fluctuations, supply chain disruptions, and energy risks pose the greatest threat to the consumer goods and retail industry, followed by rising labor costs, labor shortages and cyber risks. The managers see lower probability and impact in risks related to ecology, geopolitics, regulation, technology, psychosocial issues and brand reputation.

It is striking is that all 12 identified risks have on average a high probability and a strong impact on the companies. Thus, the risk analysis confirms what most decision makers are currently experiencing: We are facing a time of multiple crises and risks.

Which leadership skills and mindsets are required to succeed?

Mindset-Map Talentor Future Lab 2023

In view of the complex risk situation, leadership is particularly challenged. How well are the required leadership skills and mindsets anchored in the companies to fulfill the 3 dimensions of leadership?

  1. Implementation:
    Performance orientation, emotional intelligence, decision-making and forming stable relationships are currently the skills that are most required and at the same time well anchored in companies. These skills enable leaders to make necessary decisions and implement suitable measures effectively and efficiently.
  2. Communication:
    According to the participants, the communictive skills like the ability to cooperate and deal with conflicts are important, but not sufficiently anchored in the companies. These skills are necessary to commit employees to a common goal, to inspire them, and to give them security and purpose.
  3. Analysis:
    Far behind are the analytical skills and visionary mindsets: self-reflection, curiosity/enthusiasm, learning agility and dealing with complex problems are currently the least fulfilled, but also considered relatively unimportant. These skills are necessary to analyze the current situation and to develop a goal or vision. In day-to-day operations, these management tasks are most often neglected due to a lack of time and energy.

Learnings & Take-aways

  1. Imbalance in leadership:
    Due to the complex risk situation the leadership focus is currently on implementation-oriented skills. This is at the expense of those skills and mindsets that are required for analysis, goal definition and communication.
  2. Balance of all dimensions of leadership:
    The current focus on performance and implementation might be suitable for attaining short-term goals. In the long run, however, it could lead to demotivation, burnout or fluctuation. Therefore, all 3 dimensions of leadership should be in balance in order to ensure long-term corporate success – from analysis to communication to implementation.
  3. More time & space for reflection:
    In times of transformation, it is all the more important to create space for (self)reflection and the exchange of ideas. This means stepping out of day-to-day business in order to gain a new perspective on oneself, one's company and the current challenges – be it with a coach or with a peer group.

The Talentor Future Lab is such a space for reflection and the exchance of ideas, supported by scientific methods. Initiated in 2019 by Talentor Austria, we have been organizing Future Labs on leadership and HR topics with FAS Research for various industries. As an executive search company, the intensive exchange of ideas enables us to better understand the leadership requirements in the respective markets – and thus, to find the best candidates for our clients.

Elke Gutzelnig

Elke Gutzelnig

Marketing Management