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Distributed Leadership

y Leadership is the activity of mobilising people to

respond to adaptive challenges by clarifying their guiding values, developing new strategies that incorporate these guiding values and learning new ways of operating. This ongoing activity is achieved by individuals/organisation developing developing the 4 key capabilities of sensemaking, relating, visioning and inventing
y The capabilities are outlined in the distributed leadership

model

y Numerous models/perspectives: emergent, dispersed,

informal, organic, decentralisation, democratic y Basic idea:


y leadership at all levels, not necessarily position-related y Decision-making is but one aspect of leadership; organisation

invents the way decision-making is undertaken (Gore)


y Distributed Leadership is the undertaking of leadership at

various levels within the organisation by people with and without formal authority

Our model: based on Sloan Leadership Model


y distributed leadership model recommends developing

productive relationships and networks, visualizing the desired outcome, and inventing ways of working together to realize that vision. y How is this leadership: think of the capabilities as:
y Building blocks: enabling capabilities, creative and implementation
y

Everybody adds something to the whole

Extant literature on the organisation


y Fit with DLM
y Environmental uncertainty y Need for flexibility y Manufacturing, mass customisation, workforce, strategic options y Flatter structures y Form of the organisation: structure precedes strategy or strategy precedes structure? y Expectations of staff

Sloan Distributed Leadership


y Views leadership as a capacity i.e. a potential that is yet to be realised y This capacity resides in the individual or the organisation y This capacity is built on 4 capabilities: sensemaking, relating,

inventing, visioning: ability y If residing in individual, must cycle thru these 4 capabilities or do so in partnership with others y If residing in the organisation, formal leader must facilitate the development of these capabilities within the organisation AND facilitate boundary spanning activities at all levels y Additional component to the model: Change signature

A consideration
y DLM cannot work if you have the wrong people in the

organisation y Collins: Get the right people in the right seats on your bus y One of those people is the formal authority y After that it is recruitment y With the right people, your structure, systems, processes (i.e. components of the DLM) can be aligned y Counterpoint: All organisational structure is the art of the compromise: Ford (Bill Ford vs Jacques Nasser)

DLM continued

y 4 assumptions: Leadership is y Distributed: an ongoing process involving a set of individuals taking on a variety of tasks and working interdependently. It is not a position or a single person; Senge and systems perspective y personal and developmental (consistent with HB: change LS style; Fiedler: change member relations; personality: manifestations can be changed) y About change (manager-leader distinction)
y How you create change depends on situation:
y

Nature of followers, organisational culture, strong/weak situation

y Evolutionary: develops over time y Learn to change your style e.g. HB, personality y Affected by traits not determined by traits

The 4 capabilities: a brief look


y Sensemaking:
y is not only research y A dynamic, on-going, iterative process that requires objectivity

aimed at getting to the truth of the matter: what is the reality? y Gain Understanding
y Relating:
y 3 components: inquiry, advocacy and connectivity

y The objective of Relating is to achieve unity and

understanding by improving ones ability to build relationships.


y Inquiry: to understand where someone is coming from y This is not a license to practice subjectivism or relativism:

values impact on this y It is intended to build understanding of others. It is balanced by your self-understanding and advocacy of your own viewpoint y With these components in place, we can then try to build networks/coalitions/alliances of people to create change

y Visioning: y Much has been said, but practiced little y Aligns people y Establishes a quid pro quo
y something for something: If I give up something, what can I hope for in return

y Dreams and creative tension

y Inventing: y New ways of y Processes and structures y How can we get people to work together: pertains to mobilising people y Boundary spanning, decision-making, team work/dynamics

Change Signature
y Your characteristic way of doing things, how you see the y y y y y

world ( a world view?) Change thumbprint This evolves as well Pertains to ACTION Your actions may reflect your values What do these quotes say about their speakers?

Kouzes and Posner, 2003, p 57 & 58)

Technical Challenge

Adaptive Challenge

Sensemaking
y Simply put it is making sense y Making sense of uncertainties in environments through

interaction y Deals with the establishment and interpretation of meaning


y Links information, knowledge and meaning y People act on the basis of the meaning they create

y An ongoing iterative process directed at eliciting meaning

and hence understanding y Objective is gain an understanding of the situation the organisation is facing at this moment in time
y Nokia: paper mills (1860s) to telecommunications (1960s) y The hard reality: The Stockdale Paradox y Personal traits that assist?

Properties of sensemaking:
y y y y y y y

Grounded in Identity Construction Retrospective Enactive of Sensible Environments Social Ongoing Focused on and by Extracted Cues Driven by Plausibility Rather than Accuracy

Grounded in Identity Construction


y Begins with a Sensemaker y Situation Meaning: which hat are you wearing y Identity Dependence y The meaning you derive is contingent on the perceptual map you

apply; this depends on your identity at the time of sensemaking


y What was your identity when you stepped thru the door after the break? How did

it affect what you said or did (or did not do?) y People act in the direction of maintaining identity

y Derives from Need for a Sense of Identity y Self-Referential y Microsoft and the internet: "Sometimes we do get taken by surprise.

For example, when the Internet came along, we had it has a fifth or sixth priority. (Gates, 1998)

Contrast
y Identity: y Compare y "Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of winter. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success. (Advertisement allegedly placed by Ernest Shackleton in The Times in December 1901) y Better a live donkey than a dead lion Shackleton, Arctic explorer

Retrospective
y After the horse has bolted so that it wont happen again ... But: y The past has been reconstructed knowing the outcome, which means things never happened exactly the way they are remembered and y Memory vs recall: y What is placed into memory: selective perception: your filter y Attention is directed backward from a specific point in time. Whatever is occurring at that moment will influence what is discovered when people glance backward recall y How did you go about placing the farmers? y Would I get exactly the same account from everybody?

Enactive of Sensible Environments


y People Produce Part of the Environment they face
y Observer effect: The act of observing an object changes it y A marketing campaign: you consider possible competitor actions and

incorporate them in your plan


y People Create Environments (action), Environments Constrain

Actions
y If farmer A is here, that means pears are grown by Farmer B, implying that

the truck cannot be driven by Farmer C; also y X looks very smart and seems to know what to do; I want to impress X so I wont say anything silly; I will agree with Xs analysis
y No Detached, External Environment: y Not discrete but continuous.

Social
y Linked to preceding y Sensemaking affected by others y Physically present or otherwise y Besides if my mum found out shed kill me y People obey the rules only to the extent that they believe that they will be caught e.g. speeding, drink-driving, stealing, cheating on tax y So sensemaking is never solitary y How did other people affect what you contributed to the exercise? y Talk, Discourse, and Conversation

Ongoing
y Sensemaking Never Stops; we do it sub-consciously y Continuous Flows: y We separate experiences into blocs: at work, at home, in traffic, lunch y Seamless but containing cues we extract yet y Interruptions and Emotional Responses y Interruption to a flow typically induces an emotional response, which then paves the way for emotion to influence sensemaking. y How aware are you at any one moment? Situation awareness

(human factors)

Focused on and by Extracted Cues


y Only that which stands out is perceived: failure to match

expectations: Extracted Cue y Fundamental to learning

Driven by Plausibility Rather Than Accuracy


y Accuracy is Nice but not Necessary y Strength of Sensemaking y Why Accuracy is Secondary
y Need to Filter y Embellishment: I got the impression I assumed y Impossibility: youll never know for sure at the moment

whether your sensemaking (meaning) is right or wrong hence


y Does your story make sense: naturalistic decision-making
y Iterative

Jello
y Consumers are not buying and Sales are trending down:
y What do you do?

Sensemaking and Distributed Leadership


y Dynamic external environment y Formal Leader does not have all the answers y Others in the organisation aid sensemaking: e.g. they detect

the deviation between the expected and the unexpected: extracted cues y IBM in 1994: great technical ability. Like Microsoft did not recognise potential of internet (TV feed of Winter Olympics diverted to internet with IBM logo replaced with Sun Microsystems Logo) extracted cue recognised by lower level manager who agitated for change y By 1999 25% of revenue was net related

Lessons
y Be conscious of identity:your own and others at time of

sensemaking
y Identity and extracted cue

y Cast your eyes over past events to see if those events are relevant

(can they become part of the story)


y Jello

y Be aware that you are creating the environment in which you are

acting:
y Affect what others say, do or dont do y Constrain and opne up actions for yourself and for others

y You learn from others: y Water cooler chats, morning teas and boundary spanning y Sensemaking is not just research y Which is better a probability sample or a non probability sample?