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Nancy Giordano: The Future of Leadership – Invest in Curiosity and Trust




With rapid technological changes and shifts in the labor market, curiosity and mutual trust are necessary keys for the success.

“A 100 percent of the work in the future will be reskilled,” announced strategic futurist Nancy Giordano. On the main stage of the Oslo Business Forum, Giordano invited all participants to take a deep breath before taking a peek into a big shift of the future.

What Does the Future Require from Us?

Human-machine interface, engineering robotics, blockchain, drone deliveries, 3D printing, 5G network, bioengineering and even more remarkable quantum computing are some of the biggest technological changes that we are reaching for in order to satisfy our personalized needs in more flexible and faster ways.

With numerous existing examples of technological innovations, Giordano explains that rapid changes through the analogy of switching from candles to a light bulb in the past – both illuminate but with different intensity. However, according to this world’s top female futurists, we need to be more active and take a strategic shift in order to adapt and develop along with these momentous technological changes.

Curiosity is One of the Crucial Navigational Strategies of the Shift

First strategic comparative is wonder vs resist, in which Giordano suggests to pick wonder. The ambiguous world we live in is requiring from us a constant wonder and explorations.

That is a trap for many business leaders. “We are waiting for the killer app, for the proof that the cloud is safe, to prove that whatever danger is, it is not coming to get us but the danger is often that we are not acting,” says Giordano. Over the years of her career, the strategic futurist has observed those companies that are thriving. What makes them successful is the rise of design thinking, along with curiosity. “It is about that you are constantly in motion and trying new things and learning, sensing and developing,” she explains.

Instead of replicating success, nurture and cultivation of curiosity are seen as seeds for successful business fruits in the future. These investments could be additional courses for employees, attending conferences or even collaboration with uncommon partnerships, as from different professional areas. Nevertheless, major attention from companies doesn’t require only technology but environmental challenges as well, such as dealing with the problem that plastics are taking over the oceans and causing incredible damage in the ecosystem.

In Order to Succeed, We Have to Reconnect and Trust Again

Despite the advancement of technology, the feeling of loneliness is one of the worldwide issues, even at the workplace. Hence, the future requires from us the shift from an individual level that spreads with one’s actions and activities as a member of society.

Giordano suggests that we need to start trusting again and reconnect with each other. It could be an embarrassing story from childhood before a meeting or any other topic of common interest that could lead to a conversation and building community, rather than just a plain building of a business. “We all deserve to be better held by each other, by compassion, understanding, and respect,” she says.

One practical suggestion that Giordano proposes is making workspace more productive by simply connecting people of the same professional area. “When you are on the edge of building something new, you want to be around others who are doing it too," she points out.

«Leadering» Instead of Leadership

Simultaneously putting these strategies into practice Giordano calls «leadering». Distinguished from the notion of leadership, Nancy explains: “It is more dynamic, more humanistic, it really thinks through the systems of it.” To simply sum up, the future asks us to reconnect, trust and always wonder for new opportunities and threats.

“This conference is energizing and people are great. I love all of the exhibits that are here and I think that everyone did a beautiful job by opening new conversations, encouraging people to think more boldly." – Nancy Giordano