Here are the top news stories in talent & organization from this week.

It’s time to part with the leadership hierarchy of the 1980s

According to Maile Carnegie, head of digital at ANZ Bank, the classical 1980s hierarchy of legacy companies is no longer effective today. In an interview with MIT Sloan Management Review’s Gerald Kane, she advocates for distributed leadership, one that’s about shifting leadership, skills and capability while moving to agile. “Today’s leaders need to lead through influence rather than through command and control,” Carnegie argues. “That’s quite hard for people who have really only had one quiver in their leadership bow, which is command control.” She believes success in the 20th century was defined by managing others who did the work, instead of actually doing the work. “You have people who were at one point a great marketer or a great data scientist or a great software engineer. They then got promoted, and the promotion meant they were no longer actually doing their craft. So, the first thing to focus on is to get people back at being excellent at their craft—their technical mastery.” Legacy companies should also let go of their fear of failure, she argues. “One of the really interesting things you see in these more contemporary companies is that they’re failing every single day to achieve their purpose, and they’re comfortable with that,” she says.

How to ensure employees adopt HR tech

This HR Technologist blog post highlights five ways to streamline the transition to new technologies and avoid change resistance by the workforce. 1. Talk before you purchase: Healthy communication is key to keeping the workforce in the loop. 2. Keep it simple: Training must be relatable, lucid and broken down into clear action points. 3. Ensure opinion leaders are with you on the migration: Influencers are the flag-bearers for the transformation and will help build enthusiasm for new programs. 4. Action a communication plan at every level: For a smooth transition, consider regular meetings and reviews. 5. Insist on feedback and save space for flexibility: An open mind-set helps familiarize employees with the solution. “With these ideas in implementation, a transition pattern could become far easier, with room to determine adoption figures, study resistance and its causes, and focus on insightful transformation trajectories,” the article notes.

A new model for HR of the future

“As automation and work change, leading and engaging around the new ways of working will require different communication, new types of performance support and a new level of openness around alternative approaches to the work,” writes Tracey Malcolm in this Willis Towers Watson Wire blog post. She describes a new model for HR, one that balances architecting for the new ways in which we work and how work will be done. According to Malcolm, this new model should focus on three key areas or roles: work architect, coach and integrator. The work architect will deconstruct and reconstruct jobs based on automation, work and skills. The coach will foster, reinforce, develop and sustain leaders and managers. The integrator will be in charge of sourcing talent and risk. “The opportunity to lead the business into the future will fail if it’s tied to old roles and a model designed to solve for an out-of-date and legacy workplace. It’s time for HR to redirect its skills and capabilities toward truly transforming the organization,” she writes.

Building agile leaders

In this Business2Community blog post, Rick Lepsinger outlines the five competencies of agile leaders and how organizations can build these skills. 1. Develop situational awareness by using critical thinking skills and creating an extensive network of contacts. 2. Embrace systems thinking by acquiring a broad knowledge of the organization through experience in a variety of departments, functions and geographical locations. 3. Develop prioritization skills by balancing the urgency of tasks and goals with the resources at hand. 4. Develop and maintain self-awareness through a loop of feedback, self-assessments, coaching and practice. 5. Build personal integrity by demonstrating a set of attitudes and behaviors that enable others to trust a leader. “These tips and guidelines will be a deciding factor that separates great leadership from mediocrity,” Lepsinger writes.

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