During these last months, I continued to go deep into the subject of organizational transformation. So I got away again from this blog to dedicate myself to this research project that you know is close to my heart. And I’m finally back with some previews for you.
Community management, collaboration, leaderful or distributed leadership, change management, Generation Y, digital tools adoption…. All our top modern issues are interconnected. Facing us, the organization of tomorrow is not a pile of teams or projects. It is a community. The community management, which is the focus of my book is actually part of a long transformational process that any organisation must undertake in our increasingly complex world.
On this blog, I am going to share two keys to transform an organisation into a community. I hope you will enjoy these new posts and I am looking forward to reading your thoughts as well!
Key n°1 – From Leadership to Leaderful
Leadership when you hold us
Some leaders tend to make the following assumptions:
- They are the only ones
- They should be up even more
- If they do not do it, another person will do it, and they risk losing their power
- They must have an answer for everything and for them to say “I do not know” is another way of saying “I am incompetent”
Is that bad? Yes, if it causes stress for them. And even more, in a complex world where no one is able to hold the knowledge required in all circumstances. Super heroes do not exist in real life!
The “leaderful” organisation
Many public and private companies seem to share the same destiny. They work with employees to achieve impossible tasks with too short deadlines assigned by management, which often include less than the nature of the problem. As for the first-line managers, they are often the most overloaded. As a result, employees feel undervalued, underused, and overwhelmed by pervasive labor (busy work) which is often neither productive nor stimulating. The conclusion is obvious: “[…] Leadership is potentially the most desperate problem we face in organisations today. “
Something can change, and change dramatically.
“We need organizations that empower each of their members by giving them the ability and willingness to assume a form of leadership in their relationships with peers, colleagues, customers, suppliers and other partners in ‘organizations’.”
The principles of leaderful
Joseph A. Realin coined the term to describe leaderful which is another vision of the leader and the organisation. He does not claim to have invented the concept, he is just trying to gather under one banner, various approaches.
This is not an approach based on empowerment models or advisory models. This is not a temporary delegation of power by necessity.
“Instead, this approach turns leadership from something that we individually have, to a new paradigm that defines leadership as a collective practice.”
This is a mutual and shared leadership. Leaderful can be translated by leadership “shared”, “mutual” or “distributed”. It is a letting go rather than a delegation.
Whatever the attempts to change the nature of command and the will to better engage employees through quality management, process simplification, learning & development or organisational development, the results will be disappointing. Indeed, as the vertical hierarchical option will not be replaced with a real opportunity to become leaderful, we will continue with some general passivity that, faced with a problem, employees will conclude – you know, I only work here!
“What could be the most leaderful about the manager is not that she takes the reins, but that she encourages others to take them when the situation justifies it. “