Recently, people have been asking us what they can do to respond to the current economic crisis and the major leadership challenges they face today. We have also received numerous requests for success stories of organizations investing in their capacity for adaptive change.
Here are some new resources that we think you will find helpful:
> Our new book, The Practice of Adaptive Leadership (Harvard Business Press, May 2009), is receiving great press for tackling these very questions, and for providing clear instruction and examples for increasing the capacity to lead through uncertainty.
> Our article in the July-August issue of the Harvard Business Review, Leadership in a (Permanent) Crisis, identifies three case studies that illuminate recommended practices, tools and tactics from the Adaptive Leadership framework. A quick taste:
Foster adaptation – Julie Gilbert, Senior VP at Best Buy illustrates how important it is to encourage small experiments within the company. Best Buy was able to better meet the needs of a diversifying female customer base after empowering women within the company to begin innovating.
Embrace disequilibrium – When Paul Levy became the CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, there was a high level of disequilibrium in the hospital. The organization had both financial challenges as well as difficult internal tensions. After working through the financial issues, Levy kept up the state of discomfort in order to induce change and resist the temptation for the organization to fall back on status quo.
Generate leadership –Egon Zehnder, the founder of an executive search firm, was successful in cultivating a culture within his company that gave people at all levels of the organization the opportunity to lead. Zehnder knew it was an illusion to expect that he alone or just the executive team would find the best way into the future.
(Available in full from the Harvard Business Review: Leadership in a (Permanent) Crisis.)
> Our recent articles in Forbes, Management Advice From Charles Darwin, and in Business Week, Making Decisions Outside Your Repertoire, also provide thoughts and guidance for effective leadership in challenging times.
Lastly, due to the particular leadership challenges facing nonprofits, we are excited to announce a new pro-bono initiative with The International Rescue Committee. We chose the IRC from a large pool of applicants for ADAPT New York, CLA’s one-year pro-bono consulting offering for nonprofits navigating through the current crisis.
We continue to be amazed by the many “living examples” of organizations and communities that are adapting and thriving amidst today’s complexity. Please keep your stories coming!
Have a great rest of the summer, and look for our next newsletter again this fall!
Cambridge Leadership Associates
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