There is a global crisis in leadership – The great resignation

The pandemic was the cause of the distortions in accessibility to, and cost of, cargo containers; the enormous rise in shipping rates; the clogging of containers in port yards; the shortage of wooden pallets; the scarcity of truck drivers; and the restriction on warehousing capacity.


The ascendant role of energy costs in the future competitiveness of European industry has been a topic of hot debate for many months. As of September 2021, wholesale electricity prices in Germany neared €130/MWh, and in France, they were even higher.

Leadership is currently facing a number of problems that put them globally in a tough position. On top of that, leaders needed to learn how to manage a remote and distributed workforce. Highly skilled people started to leave their companies for better opportunities and remote work became a number one priority for many employees.

Why should leaders care – The Great Resignation


People are resigning from their jobs at a record pace, and this is being called the Great Resignation. This phrase was coined by Anthony Klotz, a professor of management in Texas, who said a wave of resignations is coming as people abandon the workplace.

“The number of people quitting their jobs was at an all-time high in August – 4.3 million people, or 2.9% of the entire workforce.”

US Bureau of Labor Statistics


If the top performers are leaving, then those valuable skills and abilities that they possess might also leave with them. It is a loss to your organization, especially if those departing employees feel that your organization’s leadership is lacking.

It’s becoming increasingly harder for leaders to crack down on the right hybrid work set up, and keep the employees engaged and connected.

“A survey conducted by Gartner revealed that 74% of CFOs at businesses intend to shift some employees to remote work permanently.


Organizations need to become more agile and understand how people work. One of the key insights any organization can get is how their employees, partners and customers work as a network, rather than a formal, hierarchal organization.

In front of you are the network maps that JOIN21 created upon gathering data points from surveys and the organization’s existing communication tools.

Here is a quick explanation: Each dot represents an employee. The arrows between dots show whom each employee consults or sends information to, the line’s thickness representing the frequency. The larger the dot, the larger the volume of requests from other people.

1. Brokers

A broker connects many unrelated parts of the organization and has ties both internally and externally. With their visibility into several groups, brokers can help change efforts by creating balance and mutual understanding. However, without them, knowledge sharing and information between distributed units stop.

2. Silos

A silo is a group of people that is unable to freely communicate with other teams or departments. Communication within a silo is usually vertical, making it difficult or impossible for this group to collaborate with unrelated systems (e.g., merchandisers from different areas).

These isolated groups in the organization are linked only through a few individuals who serve as gatekeepers. It is not uncommon to find entire departments, branches, or even sister companies working as completely isolated silos. This means they are cut off from the information sources, unable to learn from best practices, company expertise, and basically condemned to repeat the mistakes of others. On a company level, it costs money, time and makes the organization less likely to innovate or even keep productivity level competitive.

3. Central employees

Often, people who are important in the formal network are not necessarily important in the real-world network. If you’re trying to roll out a new policy, or implement cultural change, knowing who is influential in your informal communication network is critical.

4. Isolated employees

Isolates are unconnected to the rest of the network and can be easily overlooked. If they have high potential, they are a flight risk and can be easily convinced to take their talent elsewhere.

Scandinavian leadership advantage – Using network insights

No organization is the same and every network will look different and ask for different leadership decisions. But from a value perspective, leaders who understand networks (who are brokers, silos, isolates, etc.) have a unique advantage compared to those who cling to the old, hierarchical power structures. That’s exactly where the Scandinavian leadership model has advantages. Its inclusivity makes for a perfect basis for network leadership.

“The network focus may be intimidating to some leaders because it challenges the traditional, hierarchical view. The truth is that these networks exist whether one sees them or not. If they are invisible, they are hard to influence. Once revealed, however, they unleash a flood of potential. It is in the network of people and their relationships that knowledge lives, trust grows, and work gets done.”
– Jan Taug, CEO at JOIN21

With good algorithms, new technology, and smart collaboration tools, JOIN21 can help leaders gain unique insights and get ahead of the vast majority of companies worldwide.


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