The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence – it is to act with yesterday’s logic - Peter Drucker

Reflection: Leading with Humility

Reflection: Leading with Humility

 The week between Christmas and the New Year often takes on an ‘other-worldly’ quality. Retreat and introspection are nestled soporifically between festive book ends. The world slows down creating space for reflection. 

This kind of benign introspection doesn't take much effort. It would be easy to discount festive downtime as 'cerebral idling'. But it serves an important function in creating distance and bringing perspective to our otherwise hectic lives. 

For those committed to life-long learning and continuous improvement, reflection plays a central role. Margaret Wheatley sums it up in her customary no-nonsense manner:

 

“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences and failing to achieve anything useful”  

Reflection in a work context is more situation-specific. It requires an explicit evaluation of self and is bound by time and place. Our own backgrounds, assumptions, feelings and behaviour influence how we view things and need to be brought into the mix. Stretch the lens to include the wider systemic context and the foundations for reflexivity are laid. 

How do we extend the benefits of these quiet festive moments into our normal workday lives? Here are some of my reflections.

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Helping change leaders find their way through complexity

 

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Whether responsible for leading it or involved in implementing it, planned change can be overwhelming and isolating regardless of your experience and competence as a leader. So it's a major focus for TurningTides. Our Executive Coaching Framework comprises three elements - individual, relational and systemic. It's the systemic element that I want to focus on in this post.

Leaders can lose their bearings in organisational complexity 

Work environments are complex these days. Organisational boundaries are less clearly defined as services integrate and centralise in pursuit of greater collaboration and efficiency. Leading change in this context can be pretty demanding. There's a lot to think about, not least of which is connecting with, and maintaining positive relationships with the people involved in the changes.

In reality 'planned change' is a bit of a misnomer. The complex adaptive nature of systems means that the environment within which organisations operate is constantly changing and the human response, both inside and outside the organisation, tends to be unpredictable.

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