For over 15 years, Tom Harkin , Founder of Tomorrow Architects, has been developing leaders of tomorrow through behavioural change, leadership development and organisational transformation. 

While studies say 80 per cent of jobs are expected to be non-existent in 20 years, the complexities of uncertain work environments is inspiring the need for more creative, connected, and self-led workforces. 

As one of the Shaper’s at this year’s RCSA’s SHAPE Conference in Hobart, Tasmania (6-8 September), Tom spoke to The Brief ahead of the event to share his insights on leadership. 


For all the details on how to book your place at SHAPE click here


As one of the Shaper’s at this year’s SHAPE 2022 AU Conference in Hobart, what does it mean to you to be part of the RCSA Conference?

Having emerged from COVID and seeing the tectonic plates of change shifted, I think nothing is more exciting than talking about how we shape the narrative around the new normal we are finding ourselves in, and the potential disruptions on the horizon.  

The recruitment and staffing industry is particularly interesting as we go through the great resignation or reconsideration with the narrative on attracting, retaining and creating great talent open for authoring. 

Having dedicated most of your life developing the leaders of tomorrow – what advice would you give to new leaders looking to make a mark in the recruitment and staffing industry?  

I’m not a big one for advice before hearing from others about their context and needs, but I’ll give it a crack.

The most important capability of a leader now is to be able to adapt to changing conditions at an increasingly fast pace. I think we need to be looking for the core traits that make self-transformation possible because it will create resilience in coming decades.  

However, if organisations are not set up to support and fuel that growth, employees will be unsatisfied. 

I think it’ll be increasingly important to help organisations learn how to retain the high calibre talent they recruit. 

As a Shaper at the Conference, you will be running workshops focused on transformation. In what ways do you work with companies to support their change processes? 

I’ve been working with both consultancies and companies by supporting them to create learning cultures to ensure transformation is always in focus and increasing leader’s capacity to lead through the ambiguity of increasing complex remits.  

A company can’t transform beyond the transformation of its leaders.  

Can you give any examples of some of the ways you’ve supported companies through extraordinary situations?  

In terms of supporting businesses, these past few years have been the most extraordinary I have ever seen.  

Many of the businesses we work with have been trying to transform their businesses at breakneck speed under an avalanche of black swan disruptions putting the power in employees’ hands.  

We’ve been supporting businesses to develop their leaders, in pressure cooker situations, to be capable of leading a new normal through constant adaptation.   


To register for the SHAPE Conference click here.