While the literature on leadership is both broad and deep, the special requirements of transformational change raise the bar. As the 2nd of three entries in our series on Transformation, we wanted to build on a few of the takeaways (transcript) from our January series kick-off (framing). We introduced the fundamentals, with many references to the role of leaders.
Typical business case studies include merger & acquisitions, downsizings, and adopting of new products or services. But on broader public and political scales, these demands are evident as well. Both Canadian and U.S. elections have demonstrated what traits are demanded from leaders, with evaluations being rendered in the form of popular elections.
I’ve found with transformational change it isn’t enough simply to listen or engage:
Beyond familiar keywords are significant interpersonal and motivational challenges that are daunting for anyone under pressure. Providing strong leadership during high stakes change is profoundly difficult.
So what are the traits or characteristics we’d want to see? How will we know a transformational leader when we see one?
Here are a few questions designed to explore this critical, if not timely, topic.
- Q1. How does a leader’s integrity and character enable or block transformation?
- Q2. Building trust is crucial in any relationship; why is it so much more important during times of change?
- Q3. Letting go of control requires trust in team and enough humility to let go; is this possible when all eyes (BOD, Wall St., voters) are watching? How?
- Q4. Being adaptable often loses out to consistency in the calculus of profits and Wall St. and social platforms. How do risk taking (in the form of flexibility) enable transformation?
- Q5. Last time, we discussed ‘owning the end state;’ clear accountability is critical and often shared in successful organizations; how can a leader keep this in focus?
We hope you’ll join the conversation. We meet every 3rd Monday from 10-11 p.m. ET, though we often start early and finish late to accommodate time zones. We use hashtag #orgdna, but will often tap related tags when we’re discussing relevant topics, e.g., #leadership (this month!), #orgchange, #leadchange and #workforce.
Looking forward to what’s almost always a lively conversation!
Chris aka @sourcepov, Charlotte NC
1 Comment | tags: adaptation, confidence, integrity, risk taking, trust, vision | posted in leadership, transformation
In September 2014, we launched a comprehensive discussion of social and organizational change horizons. We tapped insights from Margaret Wheatley, framed here: Wheatley on Social Innovation: Do We Regroup? Our general takeaway was that social change inside organizations and out remains incredibly difficult. We agreed there are many in-depth discussions ahead to unpack it all. And we shared an overarching question: How might we best make progress?
Here are the discussion threads we surfaced to guide our chats in 2015. As you have time, review these topics, and tweet out about those you find the most interesting, useful and relevant in the near term. We’ll pick up and extend the conversation in our monthly Twitter exchanges.
Our next #cdna chat is scheduled for Monday FEB 16 at 9 p.m. ET.
- Q1. SOCIAL CHANGE vs. INNOVATION
- a. Gap perception: grappling with ‘what needs to happen’ vs. ‘what’s been achieved’ (Tony)
- b. Innovating within our sphere of influence. (Scott). We discussed this in some detail during our January 2015 chat, with this frame, and the transcript here; thanks to Scott Smith for teeing this up and for being our guest moderator. What more can we learn from this discussion?
- c. Does the conversation take us toward Asimov’s ‘Psychohistory’? (Scott)
- d. Change v. innovation: are both like ‘deviance’ .. in the end, subjective? relative? (Kim)
- e. Not all social change is innovative (Kim)
- f. Midgley’s boundary critique: who decides? who gets marginalized? (Alice)
- Q2. MOTIVATION
- a. Harmonizing motivation (Christy), perhaps via Maslow’s ‘pack’ response? (Jamie)
- b. Gaming self and team to stay in flow (Christy)
- c. Spreading methods (Christy)
- d. Planning for change around adoption curves (Mike)
- e. Does economic pain trump all other motivators? (Jamie)
- Q3. CULTURAL FORCES AND TIME DIMENSION
- a. Cultural resistance: our brains’ firmware seems programmed to hesitate (Scott)
- b. Prescriptive behavior (Redge); market imperatives taken to be givens (Paul)
- c. The function of speed vs. perceived value, and challenge of normalizing (Christy)
- d. Wheatley: we are not in charge of time arc of change, or its scope, reach or uptake (Kim)
- Q4. CHANGE DRIVERS
- a. Visionary leadership (Tony), and a capacity to see a different world (Paul)
- b. Case studies for social change: IBM/Gerstner, Apple/Jobs, GE/Welch (Chris, Redge)
- c. Modeling change from a place of integrity (David)
- d. Empowered individuals as means to disrupt cliques (David)
Click on the hyperlinked author to see the original tweet, or check out the cdna 9/15 transcript to see the conversation. Thanks as always for the investment of time, insights and positive energy. We always learn something.
Chris (aka @sourcepov)
2 Comments | tags: #cdna, culture, planning, social change, social innovation, threads, vision, wheatley | posted in change, social change