“Sustainable leadership”: myth or reality in 2022? Towards a new era of talent management?
Sustainable leadership seems to be the new buzzword, but what are we talking about? Does it imply that in the upper echelons of corporate decision-making, the leader’s main objective today is to last through the display of declarations of intent on corporate social responsibility?
If, on the other hand, it were a question of integrating into the company’s global reflection on its sustainable development, a reflection on its managerial culture, and on the development of its human capital, we would enter in 2022 the new era of talent management, such as TOD promotes.
In October 2021, the Senate passed the first reading of the bill to impose quotas for women in the management of large companies. Beyond the feminization of corporate management bodies, the real issue that boards of directors and corporate executives are now addressing, under the new concept of “sustainable leadership”, is that of a different kind of governance, which engages the responsibility of boards of directors and executive committees. It is not about putting in place sustainable leaders in the sense of the length of their mandate, nor leaders interested in sustainability issues, such as respect for the environment or diversity. It is about transforming the culture of companies through a human governance, carrying meaning and different values, which would integrate this notion of social and environmental responsibility at the heart of long-term strategies.
In terms of recruitment and development, this translates into the inclusion of different profiles, but above all into a different way of looking at talent, a way that does not focus on the past experiences of candidates but on the values they embody, on their ability to create meaning and value, both for their colleagues and for all the company’s stakeholders.
This is the heart of sustainable leadership: embodying the company’s raison d’être through the value it creates in the eyes of all its stakeholders. But in order to include different profiles, or to look at the company’s talents differently, the global ecosystem must be modified so that everyone’s diversity can be expressed, so that everyone has the freedom to be who they are.