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Transcript of Organizatioinal Leadership
Fostering Constructive Responses to Conflict
Five Ways Effective Leaders Encourage Positive Responses to Conflict
Seven Constructive Responses
Change, Stability, and Renewal: The Paradoxes of Self-Organizing Systems
People and Organizations avoid change: they seek “Equilibrium”, but Wheatley has observed that the search for organizational equilibrium as a sure path to institutional death, a road to zero trafficked by fearful people.
Any form of present stasis is preferable to the known future of deterioration.
Open systems have the ability to continuously import energy. They do not seek Equilibrium!
Deviations from the established goal perceived as negative. But positive change can arise from noticing something new and amplify it into messages that signal a need to change.
Disequilibrium is the necessary condition for a system’s growth – dissipative systems.
Faced with increasing levels of disturbance, these systems possess the ability to reorganize themselves to deal with new information – self-organizing systems. A system responds to disturbance by creating a new level of intricate organization.
Change: The Capacity of Life
Since change is inevitable, we must work with the forces of change.
No longer need to look for a simple, singular cause for our problems. Look past the objects to the invisible level of dynamic processes.
Work with the whole of the system since no problem or behavior can exist in isolation.
Use our senses instead of just analytical skills – get a feel, pick up an impression, call on intuition. Try to find the relationship between phenomena.
“Law of dependent co-rising” – if one element of a thing is missing, then that thing could not exist – the source on the one thing is all things that make it up.
The New Scientific Management
A new awareness (or not so new) that we all participate in a world of exquisite interconnectedness.
In a quest to treat problems and workers as an engineering problem, totally forgot about the fact that it was human beings doing the work (and all the issues that arise from them).
Social science tried to copy strengths of science but failed when it tried to boil things down to single formulae.
**STOP BEING SO SERIOUS ABOUT GETTING THINGS” RIGHT”** Look for playfulness and laughter that signals being excited about surprises, not scared of them.
If nature uses certain principles for well-organized systems, there is no reason to think that the human race is exempt. We should try to learn from the new advances in science.
Ignorance, History and Moral Membership
Recognizing central features of our historical immorality has important implications for how leaders should think about some of the most important moral problems we currently face.
Contemporary leaders have something that past leaders lacked
1.A robust awareness of their own fallibility as moral agents
2.A good sense of the specific inclinations behind immoral social practices
Munro Issue 9 - Strategic Planning
•All Organizations need to plan and look ahead
•Emergent planning has replaced “review and act”
-Is this really a sign of progress?
•Key to the success of the emergent approach is involvement of constituents at all levels of the Organization
-Planning becomes the work of everyone
•The process of deliberation towards a strategic plan is more important than the “written” plan itself.
-Is this true?
•Appreciative Inquiry is an approach to strategic planning which assesses
-From whence we came
-Where we are now
-To what do we strive
The Elements of Decision Making
Case Studies in Decision-Making:
•Theodore Vail – Bell Telephone System
•Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. – General Motors
The Elements of the Decision Process
1.Determine whether the problem is generic or unique (an exception).
2.Specify the objectives of the decision and the conditions it needs to satisfy.
3.Determine the right solution that will satisfy the specifications and conditions.
4.Convert the decision into action.
5.Build a feedback process to compare results with expectations.
Janet Van Kampen
Responsibility for the Past
“The most common form of affected ignorance is the avoidance of acknowledgement of our fallibility.” Example: Slavery a direct result of Egoism.
Unwillingness to consider that some practices might be wrong
Ignorance of alternatives
Misinterpretation of Social Practices
Question: Is ignorance an excuse for moral indiscretions of the past?
Responsibility in the Present
“Human Fallibility plays a fundamental role in the perpetuation of immoral social practices”
1.Are agile and effective
2.Give up reliance on permanent structures
3.Eliminate rigidity – both physical and psychological
4.Simplify roles into minimal categories
5.Never passive victims that react to their environment
6.Develops stability to shelter from demands
7.Have boundaries that create distinctions and provide places for communication and exchange
Organizations must realize that it is dangerous to resist fluctuations and change, but remain stable with a clear sense of identity and the freedom to allow employees to make decisions. This allows a less controlling, more orderly organization that develops greater coherence and strength.
Self-organizing requires self-reference – a change in such a way to remain consistent with itself - and stability over time to be effective
Develop a deep awareness of the work, not parts or personalities, to make work more effective and see how the individual can better contribute.
Learn to work with the REAL ORGANIZATION, the dense network of interdependent relationships
To make a system stronger, we need to create stronger relationships.” Because nothing living lives alone
Imagine your organization as a spider web – filled with connections (relationships) and how to repair the web (reweave instead of cutting).
Work with the powerful process of meaning rather than deny its existence.
Stasis, balance and equilibrium are temporary. There is always change in the form of processes – dynamic, adaptive, and creative.
We need to realize and soon that nothing exists independent of its relationships (and I think this especially applies to the human race).
Embrace the emotions aroused by conflict, loss, and love. Learn to “be” together, or to “be together”?
A new posture for leaders – facilitators, stewards, etc. – that relies on new relationships.
We live in a universe of information and meaning, but be careful of information overload!!
Self-reference has endured with everything for a long time
1. Greek Delphic Oracle says to “Know Thyself”
2.The Bard says “This above all, to thine own self be true”
Self-referential exercises – Zen koans – challenge us to new levels of insight like Star Trek and pi (Wolf in the Fold, 1967).
1) Staying Calm in the Face of Conflict
2) Encouraging Civility, Fairness, and Safety
3) Teaching and Coaching Effective Responses
4) Providing Learning Opportunities
5) Embracing Constructive Conflict
1) Perspective Taking
2) Creating Solutions
3) Expressing Emotions
4) Reaching Out
5) Reflective Thinking
6) Delay Responding
Contemporary leaders choose to act based upon widespread inter-subjective agreement (consensus)
Contemporary leaders seek to satisfy needs of the many
Responsibility from the Future
Contemporary leaders are in the position to learn from the past.
Contemporary leaders must also consider what their legacy will be for future generations
The past teaches us about over-exclusivity
Future Generations can expect that leaders include individuals at the “margins of moral community”