Project Management

Straight Talk with PMI: Making Disruption Work

1 Feb 2022
Dave Garrett

In this edition of Straight Talk, we welcome a fascinating guest, Costas Markides, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, London Business School, in conversation with PMI's Chief Strategy and Growth Officer, Dave Garrett. Costas decodes the current disruptive landscape and the multi-pronged issues facing leaders and organizations.

He gives actionable and practical insights to navigate the currents, face the headwinds, tame the threats, and prescribe today's leaders to embed a mindset of “continuous urgency” to manage and embrace change. He also underscores the importance of being authentic and honest to drive purpose-driven, organization-wide change. 

If you enjoyed the summary of Costas and Dave discussing how to navigate workplace disruptions, you can see the full interview in five parts below.

Costas brings decades of experience as an academician and a management guru—a powerhouse of ideas and inspiration. He is also one of the world's leading experts on business strategy and strategic innovation. He has consistently topped the Thinkers50 list of global thought leaders.

In this episode, Costas talks about his academic and executive mentoring and the need for leaders to be authentic, honest, and unafraid of making mistakes.

C-Suite conversations are dominated by talks of managing disruption. In this episode, Costas takes a nuanced view of seeing the challenge. He touches upon the pertinent point that disruption comes with threats and opportunities; therefore, we must look at the scheme of things from the human psychology perspective. We need to strategically approach threats and opportunities in a balanced way. 

Costas gives a sense of what organizational mindset is needed to set the correct level of urgency. Leaders need to ingrain a positive attitude and inspire employees by showcasing convincing proof points to achieve their organizational goals. 

Today organizations talk about innovation, experimentation, and customer centricity, among others, as they ride the disruption. But an organization that intends to manifest these aspirations needs to make the change “personal” and “emotional.”

They need to communicate and talk about how the organization empowers the customers and creates a visible impact through compelling real-life transformation stories. And these stories must bring in a strong emotional connection and a sense of purpose.

Disruption is continuous, and it comes in never-ending waves. It has created numerous organizational and leadership challenges. Costas talks about his new book, Organizing for the New Normal – Prepare your Company for the Journey of Continuous Disruption.

While disruption has existed throughout the years, it is not just a post-COVID-19 phenomenon. Costas touches on multiple challenges facing leaders today; one is managing the complexities of a multigenerational workforce. For instance, today, a typical large organization has five generations of employees working, posing substantial challenges. And the panacea lies in focusing on the similarities and commonalities rather than the differences.

Dave Garrett Dave Garrett

As Chief Strategy and Growth Officer, Dave will craft and drive the execution of the PMI strategy to create a clear growth path. He works across the organization to define, test, and deliver "new products that matter," to deliver dramatic increases in value to our customers. He is charged with assisting PMI to build teams that are aligned and integrated seamlessly across the organization. Dave will continue to be responsible for mergers, acquisitions, and strategic sourcing partners for PMI to address the emerging new work ecosystem.