Leadership is changing from a static set of prescriptive corporate competencies to a dynamic framework of adaptive learning processes.

The change is driven by a shift in ownership. Once, leadership was owned exclusively by corporate entities. Now, it is increasingly owned by leaders themselves.

The trend will continue. We expect a new framework of human-centered awareness to replace the old model of dehumanizing competencies. An enlightened commitment to this new approach will lead to the death of conventional competency assessments.

In the future, companies will not thrive on ossified institutional competencies. They will succeed as a more powerful expression of their purpose, values and opportunities acts as an energizing framework for better leadership, engagement, innovation and value.


In the future, leadership development will not be determined by HR.

It will be brought to life by the human resourcefulness of talented and motivated people as they work together to turn their inspired imagination into reality.

The future of leadership development requires leaving the safe shore of simplicity and certainty to navigate the uncharted and risky sea of complexity and uncertainty. It cannot be controlled, only navigated, through the constant iteration and experimentation of leadership.


The constant feedforward/feedback loop of uncertainty in leadership roles will be chosen by individual leaders, not assigned by authority.

Leadership will come alive as leaders step into the real drama of their individual performance, not into the pretend theatre of an organizational play.

Performance appraisal will fade from the rehearsed realm of theatrical criticism, to flourish instead as the authentic embodiment, enactment and fulfilment of each leader’s real human purpose.


In their development journey, leaders and those who support them, will work more from a genuine position of curiosity and doubt, than an apparent position of certainty and expertise.

For this reason, the development of mechanistic leadership tools and techniques will decline even further. In their place, leaders will develop mega-cognitive capabilities (like critical thinking, collective intelligence and learning power), and meta-affective capabilities (like ethics, empathy and collaborative inquiry), too.

As artificial intelligence accelerates and our collective responsibilities grow, these meta-capabilities will be critical in our need to ‘stand back, step up, see more, and do more good’.

In a digital world, mindset will prove to be more important than toolkit.


Innovation in developing our human capability will be built on the evidence of neuroscience. Behavioral standards will be fluid rather than fixed.

As leaders develop this ability, they will naturally become more self- and situationally-aware, enabling them to see, and deal with, a bigger picture of the world we do not yet know.

In that world, a higher premium will attach to creating value for multiple stakeholders, for the longer term. For this reason, we think leaders and those who support them will be remunerated for increasing equity, rather than crudely, for just giving their time.


Our perspective on the future of leadership is incomplete. If you find this article interesting, and have a point of view of your own, why don’t you join us on our journey?

To get involved in our next symposium on the Future of Leadership and Leadership Development, contact any one of us via our LinkedIn Profile