Maverick Leaders: Taster Event

Updated: Dec 8, 2020



Maverick Leaders are unorthodox or independent-minded people. They have the traits that make the difference between being a manager and being a leader. They are prepared to challenge the status quo and think the unthinkable. Maverick Leaders are needed now more than ever.


This will be “the decade of the daunted and the undaunted”, as I said after a presentation I gave to a conference at Warwick Business School in early December 2019. The title of the talk was “Undaunted: How Successful Leaders Face Wicked Problems”.


As I prepared the talk I was also designing a new Strategic Management Forum program for Spring 2020, to look at the nature and causes of ‘predictable surprises’, which too often result in corporate crises, massive losses to investors, devastating consequences for other stakeholders, and unacceptable costs to society.


The conference talk then formed the basis of two articles, the first article to explain the context. The second article to explore the issues and share the insights from my research. Soon after, it was suggested I design a one-day conference with an international line-up of experts, many of whom will be involved in a one-year research-led program starting later in 2020.


The conference took place on 9th March 2020 as the world was starting to try and deal with the outbreak of the Coronavirus, and as stock markets around the world were crashing. It made the conference highly topical and illustrated the cost of yet another “predictable surprise”. Such a crisis had been predicted long ago. The World Economic Forum (WEF) even ran simulation events concluding governments of the world are unprepared.


Probably because the problem of predictable surprises has suddenly become highly topical again, Palgrave Macmillan have commissioned me to produce a series of interviews with the experts who spoke at the conference. A book is also in the pipeline. All these publications will focus on the same topic. How to become The Maverick Leader, the type of leader capable of facing up to challenges unprecedented in number, scale and complexity.


The drivers of the volatility, uncertainty and complexity are only likely to intensify pressure on boards, CEOs and leaders at all levels in every organisation. But not all leaders are daunted. Some have a Maverick Mindset. They use new unorthodox ways of thinking. They retain a focus on value creation and what that means to all stakeholders. They know short-term performance matters, but do not lose sight of what they must do to create future value.


Maverick Leaders continuously and iteratively innovate. And they are already adopting new, unorthodox, ways of thinking and making decisions that are needed to manage complexity. They are all too aware that the traditional tools and methods no longer work. They are the Maverick Leaders.


The Taster Event at 6 pm BST (GMT+1) on Tuesday 5th January will introduce 10 themes forming the core of our briefings and workshops programs. RESERVATION

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