Remember when your business plan was the holy grail on market strategy? A good strategic plan defined the best way to achieve success, which relied on superstar recruits all reporting in to a leader who represented the hierarchy, often far removed from operational activities and the culture amongst the people involved in day-to-day production and delivery of the goods or services its customers bought.

There’s an evolutionary shift taking place in leading organisations, says organisation culture expert and designer of the TRANSEARCH Orxestra© methodology, Dr John O. Burdett. He’s not just talking about a better way of approaching ‘how we do things around here’.

Discussing the effective recruitment of executives, John Burdett describes senior leaders with a different mindset about what it means to lead, an attitude which has changed dramatically over the last ten years. His observations (tabled below) can be translated into leadership competencies, which are detailed in John’s book, The A-Z of Organisation Culture, launched in Australia at our seminar series earlier this year. In fact assessing those essential dimensions of leadership including employing the head and engaging the heart, are fundamental to the Orxestra© Methodology.

12 ways leadership has changed in the last ten years

Leadership 2006 Leadership 2016
The ‘plan’ Strategic scenarios
Superstars Super teams
Strategy drives culture Culture enables strategy
The team works for the leader The leader works for the team
Structure: hierarchical Structure: network centred
Team: homogeneous Team: multicultural
The one best way Comfort with ambiguity
Expertise Speed of learning
If it aint broke, don’t fix it Introducing disruptive technologies
Change management Reframe mindsets
Enrich the tribe Build community
Steady state Embrace complexity


In the complex new world of contemporary commercial business, the stoic leader who successfully maintained the status quo – a homogeneous workforce, sustainable profits, predictable growth – has given way to leaders with agility – ones who embrace technology, are prepared for or initiate disruption, and are open-minded about diversifying their product/services and client mix.

As John Burdett says, we as talent acquisition specialists should be hiring with tomorrow’s culture in mind: Are you hiring for today, or tomorrow?

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