Harvard professor, and change leadership and management thought leader, John Kotter defines adaptive organization as one of high receptivity to change and innovation, where risk-taking is encouraged, and where people are pro-active and supportive of each other both professional and personal. Perhaps most importantly he highlights the importance of trust -. Between employees and other employees of, and between non-management and management employees
Corporate culture analysts Lisa Jackson and Gerry Schmidt defining leader adaptive organization leader who applies, and benefits from, strategic advantage as a result of having build and motivate teams and individuals who are receptive to change, which have the ability to adapt quickly and resourcefully to opportunities and threats. . They call this type of leading a “Renewable Leader”
Given that we now operate in an environment where marginal change is growing – and continues to do so, and is closely related to the introduction of a flat world, horizontal management, successful change leadership no longer enjoy the luxury of making decisions that affect many without reference to and inclusion of many of its decisions.
Engagement and empowerment are now appropriate buzzwords. However change leaders choose to interpret these words, and if they choose to deal with them, inevitably present reality is challenging. Otherwise, the market environment increasing change in many areas, and in other workforces hand with growing expectations of being “kept in the loop” and the quality of working life.
In this “horizontal world”, where information is available for all and pop culture fueled by technology and the proliferation of social media channels and tools requirements and allows for the exchange almost immediately comment on gossip, opinion and facts, people want and expect to participate and they will, and not resist changes imposed on them.
In this context, the leadership qualities required are all about facilitative leadership style based team structure and creates an environment where people make better quality and faster choices and decisions that are aligned with organizational vision.
This does not come naturally to many organizational leaders centuries, ripe and persist in the comforting routine of “command and control”.
So how does a leader become a “renewable leader,” what are the leadership qualities that make this possible? What does “participation” and “empowerment” mean in practice?
(1) Pull command and control
This means moving away from fixed reactive mode so many senior executives – especially prevalent here in the UK where I live – and leave the faith and practice that only managers and organizational leaders have any monopoly on “what if” scenario planning and leave even more dangerous idea that only they can see the changes and make contingent measures to deal with it.
(2) Understanding and accepting change is normal
The simple, obvious yet frightening reality is that change is natural and change is normal.
Renewable leaders understand this, and rather than think and work in terms of opposition and how to deal with it, they focus on building institutions with the capacity, capabilities and culture are changing friendly and change responsive.
Renewable leaders see strong competitive advantage in working on this.
Renewable leaders start by becoming friendly change themselves, they develop this among the management team, and they develop it over the whole of their networks.
(3) Show and build trust
Renewable leaders understand the importance of trust and how trust is built when they take the time to explain decisions, when they take time to connect decisions organizational vision and strategy, and when they take the time to ensure that everyone understands them.
People need and want to see the connection between what they are asked to do and the bigger picture.
Lisa Jackson and Gerry Schmidt says that a very tangible sign of high-trust organization is one in which “decision rights” operating smoothly; and this only happens when everyone is very clear about who has the power to make choices and management, and employees respect this limit.
It has taken time to build this level of trust. We are talking about confidence in the team know that their boss will not blame or influence their decisions; where they trust each other and that the decision does so with collaboration from the team; and where the decision is the one that serves the objectives of the whole organization.
These are the qualities of renewable leader.