'Traditional management strategies are useful in dealing
with technical problems, but in situations where beliefs and values
come into play technical "fixes" tend to exacerbate the problem. By
definition, adaptive challenges involve a disparity between values
and circumstances.' Heifetz, Ronald, et all - The Practice of
Damien O'Malley (Senior Consultant OMC group) facilitated a
workshop on how leaders can close the gap when faced with adaptive
challenges. 'Before a broader organisation can start believing
the impossible is possible, a leader must embrace a new perspective
and set out to disprove the old way of thinking'. But why does
it matter? It matters because change is the norm and solving
adaptive challenges with mechanically-based leadership and
organisational practices are not adequate to the adaptive
challenges being faced.
An adaptive leader cares to understand the type of challenge: is
it a technical problem, easy to identify, can be solved quickly
with experts or by authority, or is it an adaptive challenge,
difficult to identify, requires changes in beliefs, values,
relationships and approaches to work? An adaptive leader can then
clearly frame key questions and issues to ensure organisations
operate in environments they can withstand, challenge current
roles, expose and manage conflict, and challenge the norm.
A key takeaway and point of reflection from Damien's workshop
was that 'Authority is not to be confused with leadership.
Leadership challenges the status quo in order to make progress,
rather than the stabilising functions of traditional
Jeff Gordon who is the Sales and Marketing Manager of Winchester
Australia provided personal insights on leadership qualities
and ways to help discover the best version of yourself. 'Invest
in yourself, do what you love that takes you away from everything
else to be the best you', and 'when we nurture ourselves
we are able to nurture others'. Jeff demonstrated some
examples of setting up pillars in our lives that are aligned to our
values, such as play, work and home. When we give each the time it
deserves we can live much happier and rewarding lives.
A comment that particularly resonated across the room is that
'perfectionism is a death sentence'. Leaders are not
perfect and nor should they strive for perfection, being open to
change and even accepting second best is ok when it aligns to your
beliefs, purpose and values.