What is the role of leadership in crisis?
Leaders are condition creators
- Shape context (environment)
- Nurture parts of the context that allow people to flourish.
- Create conditions for all leaders within the system to co-create change
- Work with the interface of authority
- Allow collective-leadership to emerge within constraints
- Help prepare others for adaptive environments
- Help others embrace and understand complexity:
- What is complexity?
- Emphasise complexity is continuous. It’s not going away
- Help increase comfort with complexity. Reduce threat.
- Help people recognise complex situations vs ordered situations
Leadership behaviours that don’t work well in complexity
- Humans try to response to uncertainty with order – Build new habits to break these behaviours
- More helpful response:
- Let’s see whats going on now in the present moment.
- I don’t know, I need to pay more attention
- More helpful response:
- Leaders can fall into a reactive trap
- Mistake – Leaders rely on the past – we did this ten years ago
- Leaders try and overly control and shape the system
- Leaders default to an order response and deny the complexity
- Fail to seek novel solutions. Rely on what has worked in the past
- How to enable an adaptive response?
- Create an Adaptive space – conflicting and connecting
- Engage with emergence with a sense of direction towards an outcome
- Opposing forces in tension – push for novelty vs push for stability
- Engage the tension – embrace conflicting – amplify diversity
- Ordered response we try to remove conflict
- Need to start connecting the conflict towards some outcome
- Amplify connections towards some agreement
- Turn this into new normal(reality) of the system
Inner-Capability of Leaders to lead others in Complexity
- Not knowing is seen as a threat
- We physically and emotionally experience complexity
- Shame is important to learning – Potential of shame increases shame and drives learning
- The experience of many today is: Not knowing plus fear of death
- Leaders need to work on themselves to be comfortable to embrace this uncertainty.
- Allow all voices to be heard: fear, shame, guilt. Embrace diversity. Create collective-intelligence
- Learn to embrace the tension between formal (hierarchy) and informal(community) systems
- People have a reactive response to complexity, driven by threat
- Questions for leaders:
- How do I prepare myself internally to handle the adaptive nature of the system/environment
- How do I deal with all of the things coming at me?
- Some leaders are natural complexity thinkers – not everyone will be able to think in this way but they can be trained in behaviours and skills
- Leaders need to work at three levels – Myself, my environment, others
Individual v Collective Leadership
- Leaders job is to create leadership through the system
- Leader should drop the hero complex
- Leadership is not a scarce resource
- Leadership is meaningless without the the followship (and vice-versa)
What is the question that emerges in this complexity?
- What is the task of leadership? How might it be forming and reforming?
- How do we help all of us handle the complexity of our collective challenges?
- How do we build more resilience into our complex systems?
- Generative Emergence – Benyamin Lichtenstein
- Leadership in emergence
- Leadership of emergence – How to run organisation
- Paradox is at the heart of the system
- Real change is happening at the micro-local level
- Answers are transient and questions remain