The leadership role is more exposed now than at Churchill’s time. Winston lacked most of the digital tools today’s leaders have access to, including the internet.
Although today’s technology gives us new opportunities to run processes it also makes the world more transparent, thus technology is for many leaders a double-edged sword. Obviously, you must have the specific skills needed to perform the job. If you succeed you can achieve global success in a short period of time if you have the right framework conditions. If you make a mistake, it will be detected quickly. Colleagues and surroundings mark the consequences far earlier than Churchill’s ministerial collegium. Today’s leaders and managers have to find a different approach to create success, today’s leaders and managers need to include people with different strength and personality in their team.
The ability to recruit the right people is the most important management task.
If we agree that management has become a tougher task. Which management assignment is most important? I would argue with recruitment. If you as a leader succeed in recruiting the right people in your team, you will have covered a combination of correct attitudes, expertise, and experience within the company’s critical functions such as sales, marketing, production, product development, economics, and HR.
Amid the well-known critical shortage of technology specialists, it is imperative that leaders acknowledge a new pool of talented individuals and highly skilled experts. The key to success is ensuring a diversity of both talents and perspectives. This includes neurological diversity, such as that represented by those within the Autism Spectrum.
Particularly in companies driven by competence, recruitment will be extremely important. Let’s look at sports as an example: Real players who fit together as teams can achieve the impossible. Within technological fields, the difference may be binary: It may be a development breakthrough or a cyber-attack, or not – “almost” doesn’t count. Because neurodiverse people are wired differently from “neurotypical” people, they may bring new perspectives to a company’s efforts to create or recognize value.
Neurodiversity as a competitive advantage
Due to the importance of recruitment, knowledge-based companies should have HR managers in their top management. And the importance will increase. The availability of top talent is limited. Demographic factors throughout the world indicate scarcity. In the digital age, neuro-diversity should be viewed as a competitive advantage, not a hindrance. By recognizing and developing the skills of this widely overlooked talent pool, we can address a critical skills shortage in our economies. Such opportunities are not to be missed.
A growing number of prominent companies have reformed their HR processes in order to access neurodiverse talent; among them are SAP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Microsoft, Willis Towers Watson, Ford, and EY.
A senior leader who has understood the importance of recruitment has made sure to build a competent team of innovative managers. And a successful manager differences’ by understanding the importance of recruiting for a neurodiverse workforce. We call it The Dandelion Management Style.
Team with “social partners” for expertise you lack.
Managers in, say, a tech company know a lot about many things but usually are not experts in talent acquisition and how to access the best pool of candidates to meet your company’s needs. Can the top manager then lean to external recruitment companies? Yes, in this case, it would be smart to find an external sparring partner. If you buy external services on what could be a future core competence, make sure you embark with someone who is professional and experienced with the challenges faced by such candidates, as well as the vast untapped resource that they represent.
Specialisterne has been internationally recognized as the first and foremost example of a company paving the way for innovative companies to benefit from diversity by including autistic people in competitive jobs. Through our assessment program, we help companies transform their traditional recruiting and talent acquisition models, and train managers to welcome and embrace neurodiversity. Specialisterne is helping systems across the world to navigate local employment regulations and to utilize the inherent skills of autistic and neurodiverse talent to create value for all.