Published on 22 Aug 2022

Moving beyond the ‘Chosen One’ approach to collective leadership: Opinion

Stock image of a group of people meeting around a table

In an op-ed piece, Dr Koh Cheng Boon, Senior Lecturer at NTU’s NBS, discusses how over the past two and a half years, the world has been primarily Disruptive, Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous, and Diverse (D-VUCAD); and this is expected to continue in the foreseeable future.

"Coupled with recent changes in global business and governance, contemporary leadership research has signalled a dramatic shift in the way organisations are led and managed: the traditional “heroic” approach of appointing one person to lead others appears to be giving way to a new paradigm of collective leadership," he elaborates.

He also set this piece in a Singaporean context, where he examined Singapore’s Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) - the city state’s whole-of-government response to the novel coronavirus outbreak – as an example.

“Its “collegial and partnership approach to governing” empowered the taskforce to engage in decentralised decision-making, instead of keeping to the traditional practice of centralised, hierarchical decision-making. Its success in keeping COVID-19 at bay in the nation through rapid and well-coordinated community action is a testament to the effectiveness of collective leadership,” he wrote.

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