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How to lead in times of emergency and transformation

Today we’d like to share some of the insights of our joint event on What it Takes to be a Business Leader in Times of Emergency and Transformation which recently marked the start of our collaboration with Styrelsekraft, Women on boards Sweden.

We first welcomed Astrid Rauchfuss, Board Member, Strategic Advisor & Technology Expert.

To explain how she views leading in times of emergency and transformation, Astrid built upon the example of Sweden, also described by Bloomberg as ‘the sustainability valley’.

“It is not just about cool ideas and great new technologies. It is truly about building sustainable scaling business models. That’s the most important part of it and the key to success.”

She also shared her 3 key advices for women looking to advance their career: 

  • Do what you are passionate about: you will be good at this, and you will succeed
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support when you need it
  • Talk with people, let them know about you: it’s a lot about networking

Astried also highlighted crucial points to keep in mind during an interview for a board position:

  • Know the skills and knowledge the company is looking for
  • Be ready to share how you would you bring additional value
  • Know that one of the key points will be: will you and the rest of the team be a great fit?

We then had the chance to hear from Sofia Götmar-Blomstedt, CEO of PWC Sweden, on what it takes to be a leader in times of transformation. Looking at the megatrends and differences in society today, for Sofia it is crucial to consider that:

  • the complexity and the uncertainty we’re living in today are unprecedented and have a great impact on leaders
  • skills and ways of thinking need to be adapted, individuals and companies need to do things in a different way and take responsibility from a broader perspective
  • we should now aim for greater profitability but also sustained outcomes

In her opinion, we should all try to ‘Be bold enough to make changes’.

My biggest win in my professional career was when I felt that I could become a partner, a CEO, without being somebody else. I could still be a woman, I could still be a mother, I could still be myself.” 

Start-up and larger organisations can also contribute to solving the complex challenges ahead by:

  • Being bold, agile but humble
  • Having the courage to try and do new things
  • Thriving for something greater and meaningful than short term profit

For Sofia, it is crucial to create a culture where mistakes are allowed and ensure psychological safety, especially for younger people who are facing uncertain times and significant challenges ahead. We must care for each other to solve complex challenges together.

Different perspectives are also a must and diversity is essential to it. Diversity and inclusion are indeed the first step before solving the other issues. Everything else is not possible without it. As Sofia highlights ‘it is when you combine knowledge and experience that you find the best solutions’.

We want to thank our partner Styrelsekraft for co-organising the event and the speakers for inspiring us so that we can better lead in times of emergency and transformation.

If you haven’t already, join our membership to attend our upcoming events!