The Avocado Leader

The Avocado Leader is a new term coined to reflect a change in management behaviours during the pandemic. The Avocado Leader has a soft and empathetic exterior with a hard business core.

Academics from Macquarie Business School together with management consultancy We Are Unity conducted research interviewing senior and mid level executives from ASX200 firms about how management has changed during the pandemic and the impact of COVID19 restrictions.

Key findings show the crisis has been a catalyst for transformation in the way that people work, increasing focus on mental health, introduction of flexible and smarter ways of working and the acceleration of digital disruption to future proof the business.

The survey found that during the COVID

  • 63% of leaders identified a boost to productivity
  • 57% saw improved collaboration
  • 55% saw improved efficiency
  • 87% believed their organisation was agile in response to the pandemic
  • 74% attributed improved performance to the improved use of technology and video conferencing
Avocado Leader
Image Credit: Mali Meader – Pexels

“Often, for the first time, we are seeing a human side to the organisation. In the past, there was less of the softness,” she says. “In some ways it was thrust upon them, but it is still a good outcome.”

Associate Professor Denise Jepsen

COVID19 has forced leaders to listen, learn and adapt. With many staff now working remotely the opportunity for more effective contribution and collaboration has come well before policy and hierarchy.

The downside

More than half of all organisations surveyed stated that the increase in pace and pressure of productivity has seen higher levels of employee burnout and impact more broadly to mental health.

Key Takeaways

  • Through the pandemic more leaders have demonstrated empathy and caring which has been positively received by workforces
  • The new term coined ‘The Avocado Leader’ refers to an organisation retaining a strong business core but a softer and more empathetic exterior.
  • The research has also identified that of the organisations surveyed most saw a big uplift in productivity. However that comes at a risk of burnout and impact to mental health.
Synopsis of an article from Macquarie University | The Lighthouse
Is your boss an 'avocado leader?' COVID-19's surprise bonus for workers
by Kate Cox and Associate Professor Denise Jepsen
Article source: We Are Unity - 

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