Adaptive Leadership - The Adaptive Leader

Adaptive leadership is knowing what to do, when you don't know what to do. Adaptive leaders learn through experimentation and manage the context, not the instruction set. They cultivate a diversity of views to generate a wealth of options. They lead with trust and respect and provide autonomy.

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Give It Up. Productivity and Engagement

Increased productivity is a direct result of delegation and trust. Employees not trusted by their manager will be less productive and more likely to leave the organization. Employees who feel trusted are higher performers and go the extra mile to get things done.

Micromanaging employees will not result in engagement. Rather the opposite will occur. Disengagement is costly. Employees who are trusted and allowed to self-manage will be engaged. Employees need autonomy and support.

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Give It Up. Creativity, Passion and a Sense of Purpose

Delegation and trust sparks creativity. Creativity is vital for business growth.

Passion is an outcome of delegation and trust. Passion in the workplace is important because passionate workers strive to do better. 

When employees have distributed power, autonomy, clear objectives, and trust, they also have a sense of purpose. 

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Give It Up. Knowledge-based Leadership and Collaboration

When leaders delegate and trust, leadership becomes based on knowledge. Trust overcomes the tendency for people to keep knowledge to themselves believing that it gives them a position of power in the organisation and allows for the discovery and sharing of knowledge possessed by the whole of the organisation.

Giving up control fosters collaboration. It allows for collaborative innovation and experimentation. Information can be shared across collaborative networks in ways that wouldn’t work in hierarchical command and control environments. 

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Give It Up. Motivation

When we delegate and trust, employees come to work and say ‘Game on!’

Motivation will happen when employees are allowed to solve their own problems, and create their own aspirations and expectations. 

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Give It Up. Innovation

Now that we have climbed the ladder from command and control to delegate and trust, we can start to reap the benefits. Innovation is crucial to a business being able to bring new and improved products and services to the market and be profitable.

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Give It Up. Experimentation

In a world of constant change, experimentation is critical. Innovation cannot exist without experimentation. Experimentation is at the core of the success of organizations such as Amazon, Starbucks, and Google. Some experiments work while others don’t.

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Give It Up. Distributed Power

Leadership is not the right of a few but the responsibility of all.

Organizations that distribute power have new leadership practices that do not rely on the effectiveness of a few but the effectiveness of the formal and informal networks across the organization. Leadership can be spread across individuals and teams. Those not in a ‘formal’ leadership role can still be leaders. 

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Technology and New Ways of Working Will Not Be The Answer. Culture Will. Part 2.

Leaders need to work diligently to build a culture that embraces constant change, delegates decision making, avoids the unnecessary bureaucracy brought about by hierarchy, trusts people to do the right thing, encourages collaboration, experimentation and creativity. This culture provides psychological safety where there is no negative consequence for ‘having a go’. Experimentation and risk taking is encouraged within provisioned guardrails or principles.

How do leaders bring about that sort of transformational change?

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Technology and New Ways of Working Will Not Be The Answer. Culture Will. Part 1.

Many organizations now finding themselves in what is being termed the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ are looking to technology to drive the organization forward.

They want to take advantage of technology including machine learning, real-time data analytics, robotics and artificial intelligence.

One would think that with the enabling technologies for things such as artificial intelligence and machine learning being more readily available and affordable there would be a mad rush to embrace these new capabilities.

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Give It Up. Relinquish Control and Be Consistent

Employees want clear direction from leadership but they also want freedom accompanied by loose guidelines and direction. Therefore, leaders need to relinquish control. Distribution of power throughout the organization and reliance on decision-making from those closest to the action is of extreme importance.

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Who is in the danger zone?

Which zone are you in? Which zone are your people in?

We need to know our people and recognize the warning signs when they are approaching the terror zone. We need to work with them so they can identify what is in their comfort zone and what could be in their stretch zone.

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Give It Up. Autonomy

Leaders can only truly give up control by giving people autonomy.

There is extensive research and study into the effects of employee autonomy showing increased well-being, levels of job satisfaction, engagement, motivation, and productivity. This leads to reduced attrition and retention of talent within the organisation.

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