The management shift

Professor Vlatka Hlupic, Founder & CEO of the Drucker society and author of “The Management Shift”.

Vlatka opened the session in a very engaging way, sharing how she is on a mission to make the world a better place, and sharing findings from her latest book ‘The Management Shift’.

Why do we need to shift mindsets and culture? Because:

  • Only 13% of employees are engaged
  • Only 25% of employees are passionate about what they do
  • Only 20% of employees trust their leaders
  • Corporate life expectancy and performance have both decreased by 75%

We urgently need to shift from the old command and control approaches to a new way of working. So what needs to be done by individuals and organisations?

The Emergent Leadership Model looks at five levels of individual and organisational leadership:

Emergent Leadership

Levels 1-3 are traditional management cultures, levels 4 and 5 are emergent, which is somewhat different.

5 levels of emergent leadership

levels 1- 3 are traditional management. Levels 4 and 5 are different!
1 – terrible culture
2 – people can’t wait to get away from work and get home
3 – the mindset is controlled and the culture is orderly, and people are told what to do. People will achieve things, but they won’t go the extra mile. A majority of organisations are at this level.
4 – There is trust and focus on purpose. People are excited and have fun, seeing work as an opportunity to lead a meaningful life and contribute to society. Paul Polman (CEO, Unilever) is an example.
5 – mindset is limitless, culture is unbounded. anything is possible and miraculous innovations can happen. Examples are skunkworks teams who work away from the main culture. E.g. Google X Labs. You can’t be anchored into level 5 but you want to be there as often as possible.


How can this be done in practice? Vlatka shared her experiences of working with individual leaders to help them shift to be level 4 emergent leaders, but then started to look at how to shift whole organisations to level 4, using a 6-box leadership as a diagnostic (a kind of organisational MRI scan) and then producing a one-year plan for both individual and organisational development.

6-box leadership model


When we move up the levels, we create positive ripples. One of the key elements to moving up the levels is finding your purpose. When companies (e.g. Unilever) focus on their higher purpose, they increase employee engagement and also increase profit as a bi-product.

In the commercial sector: People + Purpose = Profit

In the public sector: People + Purpose = Pride in service


(This was live-blogged during a session at the European HR Directors Business Summit 2015 in Barcelona – I’ve tried to capture a faithful summary of the highlights for me but my own bias, views – and the odd typo – might well creep in.)

Subscribe to our Newsletter