Young leaders are exemplifying new forms of responsible leadership to address the decade’s societal challenges.
Redefining responsible leadership
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, business and political leaders recognized that the 2020s require new strategies and commitments to address the world’s most pressing problems: climate change, economic fragility and inequality, the skills challenge and the negative consequences of some new technologies. Responsible leadership is crucial to creating value for all stakeholders.
In January 2020, Accenture and the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders and Global Shapers communities launched the Responsible Leadership program to create a new framework for responsible leadership and to help organizations cultivate environments in which it can flourish.
Our report Seeking New Leadership identified the five key elements of responsible leadership that help leaders deliver value on three fronts: organizational performance, continuous innovation, and sustainability & trust. It showed that companies that combine top-tier innovation with top-tier sustainability & trust, outperform their industry peers, with 3.1% higher operating profits and greater returns to shareholders.
The past year's economic, health and social crises have highlighted the need for leadership teams to embrace the five elements of responsible leadership urgently. The crisis is also accelerating longer-term socio-economic and business trends that demand leaders to embed these elements throughout their organizations.
Young leaders around the world are challenging leadership norms, bringing their own diverse experiences and backgrounds to shape and inform how they lead responsibly through these exceptionally challenging times.
Equity, diversity, and inclusion has been a common thread in efforts to bring these elements to life. From listening to diverse stakeholders, displaying vulnerability to enable an inclusive atmosphere, or ensuring that the latest innovations are available in an equitable fashion, leaders are living the five elements.
"A new generation of leaders has put equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of their organizations. By exemplifying responsible leadership, they are showing how to create value while leading with values."
— Ellyn Shook, Chief Leadership & Human Resources Officer, Accenture
Addressing today’s societal challenges
Fostering an inclusive environment where diverse individuals have a voice and feel they belong.