Developing Leadership in Complexity


The organisation that you belong to (actually all of the 'external' organisations and agencies that you interact with too) functions as a complex adaptive system. To a greater or lesser extent, everything - your people, strategy, technology, culture, competitors, regulators, customers, etc - is connected.

As a participant or 'agent' within a complex system, everything you do (or, indeed, don't do) has a bearing - intended or unintended - on the behaviour of other 'agents' and upon the system as a whole. Likewise, as a component of a greater whole, you are impacted upon or changed by emergence elsewhere in this system.

The success of your organisation, indeed its' very survival, lies in its' ability to learn from feedback and adapt within the context of the wider system - a system that simply doesn't stand still! 

Accordingly, your efficacy as a leader lies in your ability to enable your organisation to interact with and learn from that system. 

However, much of what is recognised (indeed 'rewarded') as 'effective leadership' today does little to equip leaders for this challenge. Actually, with it's emphasis upon simple 'cause and effect', top-down control and rational measurement, it may even blind us to it!

Today, more than ever, Leaders need to lead by asking searching questions and challenging norms (not by imposing a particular dogma). They need to develop, support and encourage others to enquire - as thinking, feeling individuals - into the 'system' and their experience of it. They need to attend to the interactive spaces between people and ideas - enabling dialogue and embracing discordant-thinking as a creative force. 

...At Everything is Connected Ltd, this is what we do.