and the Value of Human Capital
A collaborative survey on leadership development trends, priorities, and challenges in South Africa was conducted in 2013 by Knowledge Resources across 145 private and public sector organisations with an overall total workforce of 2.7m.
The results revealed that 67% of the respondents perceived mentoring as the most valuable decision-making and problem solving skills tool. Communication, decision-making, and conflict management were areas that received the highest ratings. The second dominant result on the definition of leaders and leadership was that leadership is hierarchical.
In a 2011 Forbes opinion entitled The Decline but Not Fall of Hierarchy -- What Young People Really Want, reference was made to Millennials / Generation Y who apparently thrive in an environment with little hierarchy. Young people want to communicate and collaborate across an organisation - beyond their 'bosses', and in a relaxed environment. So while leadership hierarchy is not 'dead' it can hinder leveraging the value of human capital - particularly in the context of Generation Y.
The use of social media platforms across organisations have contributed to opening up hierarchy structures that limit communication and collaboration. Given the risks of misuse of those platforms, it's important to have a social media policy, guidelines, and monitoring in place to avoid risks that could negatively impact on the organisation's reputation, and non-disclosure information including intellectual property.
While many companies have responded to the 'anti-hierarchy wave', it's evident that there is a need for a more consultative approach to leadership if an organisation is to leverage its Generation Y human capital.