The Big Shortage

On January 23, Professor Gianpiero Petriglieri (@gpetriglieri) of INSEAD tweeted this illustration from the WEF in Davos *. It intrigued me and I instantly favorited it. I obviously had a number of fantasies regarding the context he was in and the reasons for the emergence of his illustration. We exchanged a couple of tweets and that was it for then.

But I kept the image and have looked at it a couple of times since. I think Professor Petriglieri makes a very timely and elegant point. Hence this short post.

From my personal experience with organization and leadership development the shortage that Professor Petriglieri uncovers is right on the money. We have lots of leaders in one or two of these circles, but way too few with all three capabilities. I don’t think there are many people that come into this world having all these three naturally and neatly balanced. Rather these potential capabilities need to be recruited for, trained for and developed on the job. This is a key insight for anyone interested in having the best leaders onboard their organization when tackling future challenges.

Now, why are these types of leaders necessary at all? To put it simply, check out my last post and the film with Mr Morieux of BCG. It all fits together nicely in my view. A new kind of world is emerging and putting new pressures on us. To create simplicity in our organizations (instead of complicatedness) calls forward a different set of leadership capabilities – capabilities that up to now haven’t been the most sought after. Professor Petriglieri illustrates a shortage that we need to take seriously.

* Professor Petriglieri a couple of days later tweeted this more simplified version of his illustration. In my opinion the original one is much richer and therefore more useful for reflection and discussion.

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