Mastering the Big C Shift

When talking to leaders and leadership teams about the ways in which the world of work and leadership have changed, I like to play with the idea of the “big C-Shift”.

Quite simply, you can capture the essence of the change many leaders and organizations are struggling with by using only words starting with the letter C.

On the one hand we have “the old C world”, and on the other, the “new C World”, which present very different perspectives on how to lead and work together.

Old C

New C

Command Communicate
Control Collaborate
Conform Create
Comply Contribute
Coerce Common Good


This big C-shift has profound implications for how we work together, and for what effective leadership looks like. The skills needed to succeed in the “new C world” are different than those required for success in the old C world.

Ignoring the C-shift is not an option. If we are to succeed in the future – as individuals, as leaders, as organizations – we need to understand the implications of this C-shift. And we need to make sure that we’re developing the competencies that fit with the new set of Cs.

Idea into action:

Where are you – and your organization – on the C-Shift?

How well do you understand the implications of the C-shift – for you personally, for you as a leader, for your team, for your organization?

What can you do to support your environment to better grasp the implications of this shift?

How successfully are you operating on the “other side” of the C-Shift?

What are the skills and competencies that you need to develop so that you can excel on the “other side” of the C-Shift?

What does your team need to do to build your collective competence to excel on the “new side” of the C-Shift – to become more effective at connecting, collaborating, creating, and yes, caring?

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