A high performing organization is agile, capable of inventing rapidly new answers to the global, fast changing, complex and unpredictable business environment, and capable to connect expertise and experience for innovation.
In order to develop that capability, you need shared and distributed leadership that allows for initiative and quick responses. Leadership solely from the top won't work anymore : too slow, not capable of grasping the complexity of today's decisions, not capable of capitalizing on the energy and expertise of modern knowledge workers, not effective and not efficient in a fast changing world.
In order to connect the initiatives distributed leadership creates, an organization needs a strongly shared vision and strategy so people can take decisions and initiatives that are contributing in the best possible way to their collective performance.
Key Questions for Your Organization ?
- How do we build strategy focused on our challenges ahead ?
- How do we create commitment to our strategy from all our stakeholders ?
- How do we trigger distributed leadership, accountability and initiative ?
- How do we make sure that everybody truly can contribute ?
- How do we create alignment in people's actions and decisions ?
Our Take on it ?
Strategy is an exercise in thinking about your own sustainable development. It answers the question : "How can we stay competitive and preserve our capacity to develop our organization further in our specific business environment?" It tells you what you have to do to successfully address the needs of your customers tomorrow. Key success factors are :
- future oriented ?
- outward looking ?
- with involvement of all stakeholders ?
- adaptive ?
We will help you design and facilitate a process that involves all stakeholders, creates a shared purpose in the organization and engages people's energy and expertise. That shared purpose and the insight people have in the strategic choices (and the reasons behind those choices) will enable them to CONTRIBUTE and COLLABORATE in a truly autonomous way and yet connected to the rest of the organization.
We will also help you develop a culture of distributed leadership, inviting all to take the lead and initiative where they feel enthused and competent to do so.
And our managers ? Indeed managers will make a shift from traditional power where deciding, knowing the answer, controlling, etc... were key, towards a role where they essentially 'enable others to act' and facilitate collaboration, initiative, leadership in others.
In a simple and even in a complicated environment the cause/effect relationships are relatively obvious and knowable by managers. It makes sense in such a situation to create standard processes, workflows and good practice databases. It also makes sense to create a relatively strong hierarchic leadership. In a complex and more chaotic context it is an illusion to think that solutions can be prescribed. Here we can't copy solutions from the past and we need emergent and novel practices.
Waiting for answers from the C-suite, will not do the trick.
The Cynefin framework shows the relationship between the complexity of the context and the need for distributed leadership, with managers evolving towards the role of facilitator of experimentation and collaboration. The less predictable a situation becomes the more reasons to stimulate decentralized initiatives, simply because the situation cannot be controlled anymore from the center.
Gary Hamel makes the point that organizations cannot be managed by management practices (pay for performance, specialization, control, ...) that were largely invented in the beginning of the 20th century : WE NEED TO REINVENT MANAGEMENT. Move! works with leaders and managers in organizations to make that shift from controling to unleashing the energy of the people they work with.
Methodologies we use ?
Food for Thought
Gary Hamel, (2009)., Moon shots for management. Harvard Business Review.
Gary Hamel & C.K. Prahalad. (1989)., Strategic Intent. To revitalize Corporate Performance we need a whole new model of Strategy. Harvand Business Review.
David Snowden & Mary Boone, (2007)., A Leaders' Framework for Decision Making. Harvard Business Review
Paul Adler, Charles Hecksher & Laurance Prusak., (2011). Building a Collaborative Enterprise. Four Keys to creating a culture of trust and teamwork. Harvard Business Review, July-August 2011. (link to the article not available any more)
Peter Jones, Alexander Christakis and Thomas Flanagan, 2007. Dialogic Design for the intelligent enterprise. Collaborative strategy, process and action. Copyright P. Jones, Published by INCOSE.
AI Magazine, June 2012. Special World Appreciative Inquiry Conference (Ghent, 2012)