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Rethinking Complexity

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Posts tagged with the category Leadership

An article posted on the Green Belt Movement website described the late activist Wangari Muta Maathai as a Nobel Peace Laureate; an environmentalist; a scientist; a parliamentarian; a founder of the Green Belt Movement; an advocate for social justice, human rights, and democracy; an elder; and a peacemaker. Maathai lived and worked in Nairobi,...
How do today’s leaders create profound innovation in the face of complexity? According to an executive report by the IBM Institute for Business Value, they do it by “embracing dynamic tensions.” In a report released in July, "Cultivating organizational creativity in an age of complexity," Barbara J. Lombardo and Daniel...
If there is one simple ability that makes the most difference in effective leaders who are able to enroll other people in their projects, it is the ability to initiate and reach resolution in areas that arouse anxiety in either party. That same skill enables people who are not formal leaders to move from feeing frustrated and powerless to empower...
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Leading successfully in today’s fast-paced, dynamic, and competitive work environment can be a daunting challenge. With expanding workloads, increased complexity, and growing demands from stakeholders, leaders need to develop not just “human capital,” or the ability to acquire needed technical skills, but “social capital,...
Ronald Burke, the accomplished organizational change expert, once said, “There may be as many and as diverse definitions of leadership as there are for love.” Most social scientists agree that leadership and the role and makeup of a leader are among the most researched and written about subjects in business literature. There are...
Photo courtesy of the OpenView Blog.
I was chatting with colleagues over lunch during a workshop a few weeks ago when a consultant from a leadership development firm polled us about career development trends we’re noticing in our client organizations. We all agreed that our training programs targeting high-potential leaders have been selling well. We noted that due to a cruel...
Photo courtesy of the She 2.0 Network (www.she20network.com).
I experienced a series of events over the weekend that caused me to reflect on the challenges women face in this society and what we can do individually and collectively to change the way women are viewed, treated, and supported in leadership positions. The first event that sparked my reflection on this topic was viewing a show on Oprah's OWN...
Diagram courtesy of Susan Hoberecht.
Could a shared leadership framework enable organizations to deal with complexity, improve decision-making, enable adaptability and nimbleness, and increase performance across the board?  Researchers such as Craig L. Pierce and Henry P. Sims Jr. would say yes! What exactly is shared leadership and how could it improve an organization's...
I led two team projects during the last semester of my MBA program. One project involved the development of a business plan for a new deli. The other involved the development of a consulting plan for a crime-laden, Miami neighborhood seeking to become a tourist destination that could one day rival South Beach. The business plan was hypothetical....
I’ll never forget being a young manager having learned to know-it-all, or defend-it-all, but not having truly “heard-them-all.”  So, who is the them?  And, why should we stop to hear what they say? Them refers to a leader’s followers. Even though I don’t like the word "followers" because it...
Photo courtesy of the Everyday Giving Blog.
It is clear that collaboration is a necessity in navigating today's complex work environments where ambiguity and change are constants. What is not clear is how to make collaboration part of an organization's culture and the default behavior pattern for leaders. One possible solution comes from Morten T. Hansen's 2009 book,...
Photo courtesy of CNN.
As leaderless mobs of angry, unemployed 20-somethings continue to march on Wall Street this week picketing against big business and the federal government, my thoughts can't help but drift back to the pages of Marvin R. Weisbord's 2004 book, Productive Workplaces Revisited: Dignity, Meaning, and Community in the 21st Century. They return...