Blogging about networks, collaboration and leadership

Shifting from a V.U.C.A. to a W.I.S.E. world

Shifting from a V.U.C.A. to a W.I.S.E. world

V olatile U ncertain C omplex A mbiguous – these four words which make up this acronym V.U.C.A. have become a dominant description of our times. First coined by the leadership theorists Warren Bennis and Burton Nanus in 1985 in their book “Leaders. The Strategies For Taking Charge”. The term was later adopted by The U.S. Army to describe the lack of clarity they experienced as the world shifted from the Soviet Union as their one unambiguous enemy to a post-Soviet world characterized by multiple threats. V.U.C.A. has become the acronym of choice to describe the turbulent times in which [...]

New leadership skills and sensibilities are essential for a rapidly complex and changing business environment.  The growing need for agility has led to the realization that leadership is a team sport which requires the co-ordination and collaboration of many leaders. Moreover, the importance of leadership lies not only at the level of a team, but increasingly at the level of the network. With information flowing at unprecedented speed, no single person can possess a complete overview of the current state of affairs in a business. Due to an environment characterized by complexity and rapidity, it is crucial for leaders to [...]

Cultivating Network Cooperation with Leadership Reconnaissance The design of most leadership development programs has traditionally been utilized to provide a space and opportunity for individuals to reflect upon their leadership strengths and weaknesses away from day-to-day business pressures. Typically the individuals who attend such leadership development sessions are pre-selected based upon their previous performance and perceived future promise to the organization. By that as it may,  the cutting-edge leadership paradigm has another focus on  the level of the network through Network Leadership . Fostering such a novel approach to leadership from the network perspective requires fundamental shifts from the long-established [...]

Culture and competitive advantage are connected

Culture and competitive advantage are connected

A unique Global Culture Survey which involved 3,200 management leaders around the globe was just released. Managers responded to questions about the influence of culture on business success. The Katzenbach Center, an institution which is part of the accounting firm Price Waterhouse Coopers carried out this annual Global Culture Survey. There are many key takeaways from the results of the survey. One in particular really got my attention: "66% of the C-Suite and board members surveyed said that culture is MORE important to performance than the organization's strategy or operating model." This assessment is supported by more detailed data. Respondents were [...]

A misleading myth Change requires a combination of both honesty and authenticity. There is a long-held and predominant myth that 70% of all change efforts fail. This level of failures has been recognized as the absolute truth for over 30 years. But is is it really true? Where did this frequently cited number come from? In their best-selling business book Reengineering the Corporation which was published in 1993 the authors James A. Champy und Michael Hammer state: "Our unscientific estimate is that as many as 50 percent to 70 percent of the organizations that undertake a reengineering effort do not [...]

Focus on Culture! In his initial run for President, Bill Clinton is famous for reducing his campaign message to campaign staff to one simple sentence: "It's the economy stupid!"  During his presidential campaign, there were many competing issues to engage with such as foreign affairs (the first Iraq war had just ended and the Soviet Union had just been dissolved), healthcare, trade policy, attacks on his character - to name only a few.  However, he told his campaign staff that the only issue which really mattered was the economy. With the support of this fixated focus , he was able [...]

We have encountered the enemy and the enemy is us A four year research project conducted by the MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte has just come to an end.  For a period of over four years, more than 16.000 people were surveyed about their experience with digital disruption and the adequacy of their organization's response. The results are in. "The true challenge of mastering digital disruption (and a major part of the solution) is enabling people.   Companies can effectively navigate the challenges of digital disruption by undertaking initiatives which are far more organizational and managerial than technical." Source: [...]

Encountering Holocracy I became aware of Holocracy in 2016 when I read an article in the German language newspaper Handelsblatt on the recent work of the distinguished Professor Gary Hamel who is known for introducing the concept of c ore competencies in the 1990s. This theory suggests that companies can build a sustainable competitive advantage by identifying and investing in the core processes that drive their business.  In more recent years, Hamel's work has taken a very different direction. He is concerned with the future of management. He believes that in many ways hierarchical management is actually impeding the generation of value.  Somewhere in the footnotes of [...]

    The 4 Enabling Disciplines