Jim Hagemann Snabe (Chairman of Idonea, Siemens, and A.P. Møller-Mærsk) was invited to join Bloomberg’s interview series “Leaders with Lacqua”. In a 24-minute conversation with Francine Lacqua, he shared his perspectives on leadership (including the Dreams and Details leadership model), learning from the pandemic, and the future of technology.
Hear for yourself what Jim had to say:
Some key thoughts, insights, and takeaways from the interview:
- Reinvention as a core capability: Constant reinvention has become an absolutely crucial capability and a prerequisite for businesses to stay successful over time. As cycles of disruption are constantly shortening, companies need to repeatedly drive reinvention from a position of strength to maintain competitiveness and success.
- The role of the board: The role of the board is changing. It needs to allow the executives to experiment and not restrict them by too many details. The board’s focus has to shift more towards the future than the past. It’s much about asking the right questions.
- Sustainability and diversity are an integral part of strategy and a key to its success. Sustainability should not just be a topic but deeply ingrained in the strategy. At the same time, innovation is fueled by diversity (of gender, thought, background, and ideas), which means that diverse teams become a necessity to innovation.
- Key takeaways from the pandemic: The pandemic has reasserted and demonstrated the incredible ability of humans to (drive) change. Using the realizations of the crisis and translating them to the future of business, we have the opportunity to use the pandemic to accelerate the future we have in mind – to tackle the global challenges.
- The relevance of the ‘Dreams and Details’ leadership model: The skill of a leader has moved from being able to predict future outcomes towards having ambitious visions about the future and inspiring followership. It is about empowering humans to unleash their full creativity and potential by not restricting them with plans. Instead, an organizational dream has to provide employees with a clear and logical direction, inspiration, and the purpose/meaning that generates clarity and desire within employees to find the best way to create that future. Meanwhile, you have to develop the capabilities (details) to accomplish the dream. Leaders need to dream big to be the disruptor and avoid mediocrity.
- The limiting factor of (business) plans: Creating and strictly sticking to exact plans for the future limits the creativity and performance of an organization to the creativity of the ones who create the plans in the first place. In a time of exponential development, this keeps businesses from unleashing the whole potential of the individual employees and the whole organization
- The future of technology: Merging the digital and physical. The key challenge is mastering the two speeds of development of the physical (slower) and the digital (faster). The most value for consumers will lie in the optimal combination between the two.
- Using data and tech for the greater good: With an extremely high pace of innovation in tech industries, regulators and politicians cannot be the only ones to be held responsible. Tech developers have to become more aware of and dedicated to combining profit with purpose and focus on a responsible use of data.