Leadership

Covid-19 pandemic: now is the time for emergent leadership

The crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic, unprecedented in modern times, is having a devastating impact on lives and livelihoods. At the time of writing, 4.5bn people around the world are in “lockdown” – an emergency protocol of forced self-isolation and social distancing to avoid a high rate of transmission. This while our medical and scientific community scrambles to provide […]

April 30th, 2020|COVID-19, Leadership|1 Comment|

Make disturbance your friend 

The crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic, unprecedented in modern times, is having a devastating impact on lives and livelihoods. At the time of writing, 4.5bn people around the world are in “lockdown” – an emergency protocol of forced self-isolation and social distancing to avoid the high rate of transmission. This while our medical and scientific community scrambles to provide […]

April 21st, 2020|Leadership|0 Comments|
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    Being before doing: leading disruption starts by turning inward

Being before doing: leading disruption starts by turning inward

The crisis of the Covid-19 virus spread, unprecedented in modern times, is having a devastating impact on lives and livelihoods. At the time of writing, a quarter of the world’s population is in “lockdown” – an emergency protocol of forced self-isolation and social distancing to avoid the high rate of transmission. This while doctors and scientists scramble to provide […]

April 15th, 2020|Leadership|0 Comments|
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    Hofstede’s legacy and separate national responses to the Covid-19 crisis

Hofstede’s legacy and separate national responses to the Covid-19 crisis

Dutch social psychologist Geert Hofstede’s theory of cultural dimensions, captured and revised in three volumes (here, here, and here), has informed research in cross-cultural management and international business for decades. It has also been under criticism by management scholars for its excessive determinism, perpetuation of cultural uniformity, and cultural categorisation into binaries. Others have iterated the risk of ecological […]

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    Still moving: will we come out of the coronavirus crisis in a different place?

Still moving: will we come out of the coronavirus crisis in a different place?

The crisis of the Covid-19 virus spread, unprecedented in modern times, is having a devastating impact on lives and livelihoods. At the time of writing, a quarter of the world’s population is in “lockdown” – an emergency protocol of forced self-isolation and social distancing to avoid the rate of transmission. This while our medical and scientific community scrambles to […]

April 8th, 2020|Leadership|1 Comment|

How to build a better relationship with the boss

Imagine a prevalent phenomenon in the workplace: A leader has several direct reports, but only one or some of them are included in his or her inner circle to enjoy more opportunities for learning and growth. You may wonder: What chemistry has this group of followers generated in the daily interaction with the leader so that they are “chosen” […]

Change when the clock is ticking

Much is being said right now about the phenomenon of change as an ongoing process: change is in fact, changing. In today’s dynamic disruptive world, we are in a constant state of flux. Better get used to it! Build the skills to become agile! But what if you must also pull off a singular large disruptive change, and one in […]

August 6th, 2019|Leadership|1 Comment|

The culture of overconfidence

To those waiting with bated breath for the ‘U-turn’, I have only one thing to say: ‘You turn, if you want to. The lady’s not for turning.’                                  
Margaret Thatcher, October 1980
When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, Sir?      […]

May 16th, 2019|Leadership|0 Comments|
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    How change helpers succeed: pay attention to your own process

How change helpers succeed: pay attention to your own process

In our first article in this series, we shared our views on how change helpers can best enable true movement in their client systems, rather than create lots of work and more busy action. We contended that the answer lies within the change practitioner, not the change theories or models or toolkits in their repertoire. In a sense, paying […]

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    Change leaders can either create solutions or help people find their own

Change leaders can either create solutions or help people find their own

“Truth loves its limits, for here it meets the beautiful”, Rabindranath Tagore

Too much wasted effort in change ends up in busy action — launching lots of initiatives that create more work and never seem to stick — or fail to crack the nut of changing behaviour. It all feels (very) heavy. To assuage this situation, research and development in the […]

April 22nd, 2019|Leadership|0 Comments|

Do we even know what ‘follower’ means?

Ninety years have elapsed since Mary Parker Follett (1927) applied the term ‘follower’. The amount of literature based on the notions of follower and followership has increased enormously over the years. In an American leadership journal I found 1105 articles published on followers and followership, and in a European journal 439.

In a newly published article, I have argued that […]

April 10th, 2019|Leadership|2 Comments|

Lead like an anthropologist – and lead change well

In a previous article, I defined change as “the disturbance of repeating patterns”. And it is nigh on impossible to do this skilfully unless you can see, acknowledge and deeply respect the purpose that our cultural patterns and taken-for-granted routines serve. This requires going to source. The problem is, not many of us are able to cleanly see the causal […]

February 7th, 2019|Leadership|0 Comments|

Digital technologies are revolutionising leadership

The impact of the digital revolution is being felt across all industries. The advent of computerisation, online communications, algorithms and workflow software has certainly made its mark.

Leadership education tends to assume that all leaders are at the top of some pyramid structure with organisations that require vision, direction setting and motivation to achieve targets and goals. Digital technologies are fundamentally […]

The collapse of leadership theories

After having published an article on servant leadership and another on transformational leadership I became aware that several researchers had examined these theories in order to determine similarities and differences between them. Their purpose was to understand these theories.

A theory can indeed be understood in the way in which it differs from other theories. All knowledge is conceptually mediated […]

October 16th, 2018|Leadership|0 Comments|

When CEO hubris leads to environmental innovation

Rupert Murdoch, Marissa Mayer, Jean Marie Messier. What do they have in common? All of them are famous CEOs of successful or unsuccessful business empires and all, at some point, were accused for their hubristic personalities. The ‘hubris syndrome’ is a psychological state affecting leaders in positions of authority and power. It is characterised by an exaggerated self-belief, sense […]

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    (Mis)leading ethics: towards a bearable lightness of being  

(Mis)leading ethics: towards a bearable lightness of being  

Leadership ethics are a sacred phenomenon. We are here to preach heresy. But not too much! For who would listen? Our argument in a recent paper is that there is a romanticism that underlies established leadership ethics that is as destructive as it is seductive, as responsible for unnecessary dissonance as it is for building resonance.

A degree of utopianism […]

June 6th, 2018|Leadership|0 Comments|

How to approach innovation

Here’s the big issue – most organisations/teams/individuals only embark on innovation if they can travel in ways that reinforce existing routines. We seek new results through habitual methods. I call this conundrum the difference between ‘action’ – busily launching lots of innovation initiatives yet not fundamentally shifting underlying mindsets and ways of operating, and ‘movement’ – rewiring the very […]

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    Leadership development today requires that faculty act less as experts, more as Sherpas

Leadership development today requires that faculty act less as experts, more as Sherpas

Given the appreciative response to my article on why we need a radical change in how we develop leaders, I wish to expand on its most quoted message: that leadership development in today’s dynamic landscape requires that faculty acts less as experts, and more as Sherpas.

The reason I contend this is that the leadership skills required to navigate today’s […]

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    The old man and the sea of leadership: looking for effectiveness

The old man and the sea of leadership: looking for effectiveness

Leadership has been a scientific discipline for more than one hundred years. The magnitude of research has increased tremendously. Many different objects of study related to leadership have been investigated with the ambition to solve a variety of problems that appear to be more or less relevant for those in leadership positions.

In this blog post, I present my own […]

Is leadership research betraying leaders?

If the purpose of research is to solve problems, then the question emerges of what the problem is and who has the problem. The purpose of medical research, for instance, is to provide those who practice medicine with knowledge that enables them to cure diseases, to relieve pain, and to enhance individuals’ health. Medical research thus benefits patients.

I believe […]