Workforce | Skills

Workforce Capabilities to lead in a hybrid world

At a recent CEDA panel facilitated by Future Leadership, experts convened to discuss the pressing need for a shift in leadership paradigms in response to rapid environmental disruptions.  

At a recent CEDA panel facilitated by Future Leadership, experts convened to discuss the pressing need for a shift in leadership paradigms in response to rapid environmental disruptions.  

By pinpointing and embedding key capabilities such as adaptability, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, and initiative into talent selection, development and succession planning, organisations can build a culture of capability to enable dynamic capabilities at an organisational level. 


Panellists Kate Breheny from Bupa, Amy Singe from Yarra Valley Water, and Tim Drinkall from Metro Trains Melbourne shared their experiences and strategies in fostering leadership capabilities within their organisations. They highlighted the importance of adaptability, enterprise leadership and innovative thinking as crucial in today's dynamic work environment. 

The discussion also covered the implementation challenges of future capabilities. Combining evidence-based approaches with practical implementation strategies is vital for cultivating a leadership culture attuned to future demands. 

The panel concluded with a dynamic Q&A session, allowing attendees to engage directly with the speakers on various topics, including the impact of technology on leadership, inclusive culture strategies, regulatory challenges and the evolving job landscape. 

Kate Breheny noted the distinct shift from transactional to relational leadership. She posed that capabilities must be developed cross-functionally to move beyond inputs and outputs to desired outcomes. Ms Breheny mentioned the new requirement for leaders to be equipped by HR with the right information to inform better conversations, with the ability to pick up on nonverbal cues and apply the concept of ‘connection before task’ – knowing when to shift between deeper conversations about health and wellbeing, to work-oriented discussions. 

Tim Drinkall emphasised the importance of a “one-size-fits-one” approach to capability building. He noted the importance of focusing on the leadership capability people will bring in talent attraction, saying: It’s crucial to value people and business skills over knowledge. We look at how you lead, versus what you knowbecause essentially, we can teach you what you need to know. 

Amy Singe emphasised the need to concentrate on “ruthless prioritisation” and divert repeatable, linear tasks to technology, leveraging human capability for the “messy, complex, human dialogue-based work. She spoke about the challenge of productivity amid “organisational debt, saying we must harness AI to help remove the layers of bureaucracy that can stifle innovation in workplaces. 

This discussion underscored a pivotal shift towards leadership that not only envisions the future but is also equipped to navigate it through enhanced human interaction and adaptability. As organisations worldwide grapple with unprecedented changes, the insights from the panel offer valuable guidance on developing leaders who are not only effective in their roles today but are also prepared to lead tomorrow.