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‘New Economy’ leadership: valuing social relationships, ethical

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1 ‘New Economy’ leadership: valuing social relationships, ethical
practice and sustainable processes - Dr Ngaire Bissett Technology People Profits

2 Turbulent times: redefining L’ship practice
Trad. L ‘person’ (Grint 2005): individualist traits, born-to-rule 20th C - dark-side: behaviourism: learnt socialisation, meritocracy, achieved ‘position’ 21st C - context, multi-factorial, dynamic pressures: flexible, adaptive, capabilities, focus L ‘process’ and ‘results’ Accountability pressures: beyond business of business is business Global competition, customisation, 24/7 commitments, environmental/economic sustainability, Gen Y self-actualising employees, citizenship expectations/values, ‘prosumer’ technologies (McAfee 2006 ‘Dawn of emergent collaboration’) Overwhelmingly complex demands = from classic Superman (sic) to Kent, and Lois, teams.

3 Knowledge economy conditions
Intellectual capital: knowledge, information, intellectual property, experience, used to create value/advantage Competitive/customer benefits derived from what company/institution knows, how it uses what it knows and how quickly it can learn something new Innovation-producing contexts require skilled relationship-building leaders, creating meaning Contradictory institutional tensions: individualist, hierarchical, autocratic. 3

4 Ongoing leadership seductions
Top-down, Theory X (McGregor) control-orientated, performance management systems Captain-of-the-ship, remote strategic fantasies versus white-water-rafting realities Narcissistic trap: ‘Believing one’s own press’ (Hayward) Knocked off the pedestal, taking-a-scalp, retribution Beyond superficial surveys: in-depth ethnographic observations (Sveningsson & Larsson 2006) From transformational helicopter L to mundane socialised encounters (Alvesson & Sveningsson 2003) Emotionally-engaged, change-agent, facilitators.

5 Re-framing L-as-distributed practice
‘In praise of the incomplete leader’ (Ancona et al 2007): including range stakeholders, sense-making, relating, visioning, inventing ingredients, partnership L governance (Kev Rudd) approach Leaderful organisations: ‘creating shared contexts for learning and developing leadership capacity’ (Grint 2005:143) (Ideo, Semco) ‘Theory Y’ potential: Scandic collaborative learning conditions= environmental/social/econ. capital outcomes 3fold ‘heterarchy’ benefits: (i) L synergy greater than its parts; (ii) boundaries L porous, encourages individual involvement, (iii) facilitates innovation through reflection on what counts as valuable experience.

6 Blended L: delegation and direction
Participative L: self-organised networks Al-Qaeda (Wheatley 2007), US civil rights mv’t ML King and Ella Baker (Grint) Blending distributed capacity with decisive decision-making; meaningful delegation (power and responsibility) plus supportive infrastructure (Collinson 2007, FE principal, Christine Nixon, Chris Sarra) Affirming aspects COP L ‘continuous learning’ model: trust, risk-taking, mistakes as route to innovation, culture of openness, transparency, communication & praise, face-to-face encounters Emotional-Cultural Intelligence integrity based L = sense of belonging, perceptions fairness/equity, commitment, motivation, self-esteem, enterprise, empowerment – ‘felt order’ Diverse inputs: more systemic & ethical accountable systems (the Gandhi approach – principled practice).

7 Part 2 - Learning Conversations
Action learning and the leadership development challenge

8 Remote versus ‘in context’ learning
Lab development programs, short term, abstracted, prescriptive, decontextualised, controlled Action learning ‘experiential’ base (Peters & Smith 1998): transparency limits, CEO transitions 5 L learning journey methods: doing, observing, reading popular accounts, testing fads & fashions remedies, engaging with soft/hard theory/research Interweaving the action-driven, relational & conceptual (SOL, Senge et al Shell, Nike, HP, Xerox) From tame to wicked problems (Kelly et al 2006): donning expanded reflective practice L lens. 8

9 Reflective practitioners
An agent who contemplates previous deeds, automatically reflecting on the actions involved, the role of the various actors, and the circumstances In thinking back as to what happened poses: ‘why’, ‘how’, ‘where’, ‘what’ reflexive questions Such practitioners are constantly learning, evaluating and refining their practice, even after years of experience They also apply what they have learnt from one situation to the next. 9

10 Reflective practice capacity building
Enhances self-awareness Develops creative solutions Improves problem-solving skills Increases evaluative abilities Enhances action planning capabilities Improves effectiveness as a leader 10

11 Systems biomimicry learning
Naming the tacit: re-valuing the ‘mundane’, everyday, leadership and learning through repetitive patterns (Kelly et al 2006) Sharing white-water-raft: expansive reflections, collaborative learning conversations, story-making vehicle (Parry & Jackson 2008) ASPIRE framework: aspirations, skills, partnerships, engagement, innovation, results. 11

12 ‘Leadership as art’ training
Succession management: learning the ‘inspire’ architecture of L in the practice field Leadership action-driven experimental learning (Peters & Smith –LADL 1998) Employing philosophers to handle complex integrated problems/puzzles/patterns Leaders of the future: people who know how to ask! expects no easy answers (Drucker) Communication: 21st C L learning metaphor. 12

13 Socially-orientated KE pragmatism
‘Systemic leadership is ethical in that it creates community, encourages creativity and “intends” the good in its purposes and practices, effective in that it fosters “emergence” and organisational renewal’ (Collier & Esteban 2000: 207). Collective intelligence interdependent capabilities: co-sensemaking, co-relating, co-visioning, co-inventing, ‘Turning general ideas into specific organisational strategies and practices takes imagination, courage, persistence, patience and passion – engaging the relational, emotional and ethical’ (Senge et al 2007: 44). 13

14 LADL development program participants learn how to:
Identify and implement current organisational strategies while designing for the future Get things done within the organisation’s cultural and political norms through organisational ‘savvy’ Contribute to organisational learning by confronting old patterns and spearheading new ones Differentiate puzzles (having an answer) from problems (having many answers) Identify critical problems and ask valuable questions Act with courage in conditions of ambiguity, complexity and risk Develop and contextualise many sources of information and contribute to effective organisational knowledge management Self-develop through organisational and social experience Act in concert with others, yet know when to act alone Leverage their own non-traditional capabilities and those of others Communicate via traditional and emerging technological means in order to build and utilise networks (Peters & Smith 1998: 287).

15 Examining your leadership capabilities Signs of weak sensemaking
You feel strongly that you are usually right and others are often wrong You feel that your views describe reality correctly, but other’s views do not You find you are often blindsided by changes in your organisation or industry When things change, you typically feel resentful, (that’s not the way it should be!)

16 Examining leadership capabilities contexts
Signs of weak relating You blame others for failed projects You feel others are constantly letting you down or failing to live up to your expectations You find that many of your interactions at work are unpleasant, frustrating, or argumentative You find many of the people you work with untrustworthy.

17 Examining leadership contexts Signs of weak visioning
You feel your work involves managing an endless series of crises You feel like you’re bouncing from pillar to post with no sense of larger purpose You often wonder, “ Why are we doing this?” and/or “ Does it really matter?” You can’t remember the last time you talked to your family or a friend with excitement about your work.

18 Examining leadership contexts Signs of weak inventing
Your organisation’s vision seems abstract to you You have difficulty relating your company’s vision to what you’re doing day-to-day You notice dysfunctional gaps between your organisation’s aspirations and the way work is organised You find that things tend to revert to business as usual.

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