Continuous transformation is the new normal for the majority of organizations and creactive leadership is the vehicle that turns individual competences into team, unit, and business wide assets in the benefit of the organization and its customers.
Companies and their leaders face significant opportunities as well as challenges in the modern continuously transforming business landscape. This is true in general and particularly in times of significant disruption and crisis, and as we have experienced recently, this is when the influence, agility, efficiency, and resilience of an organization and its people come to play.
Eroding Leadership Hierarchies
The traditionally so effective, assertive, and directive management culture has given way to a more impactful leadership style, where leaders increasingly ensure things get done by leveraging their influence, engagement, and emotional intelligence, rather than through hierarchical bossing around. For us at Leadx3m, it's been particularly interesting to observe over the past ten plus years, how internal organizational hierarchies have flattened out, and how the distinction between direct reports, freelancers, consultants, and partners has increasingly blurred. In fact people, projects, and roles change more rapidly than ever before within and between organizational boundaries.
Consequently, there simply is less room for good companies with ok bosses, or bad companies with outright nasty and narcissistic bosses. As long as people have a choice, they will vote with their engagement when choosing interesting winning projects, or who they want to spend time with. It's a fact that the best talent always has a choice, and increasingly it's been made between companies that either nurture a culture of managing their employees merely as a resource or leading their people as co-creators of something exciting and meaningful. Good leaders and organizational culture combine elements of management and leadership. Effective communication is necessary for effective execution while leading with example and often from a customer perspective is essential for reaching strategic objectives promptly.
The Challenges of the Modern Leader
We believe and there is plenty of evidence that organizations with leaders who genuinely value the human element are likelier to thrive over time. The feeling of appreciation makes people do more than they are expected, whereas leaders who continue to observe their organizations from a purely functional and performance-driven perspective will have a much harder time moving forward. That said, continuous transformation can be stressful for any leader and organization, especially in times when global politics and business have more often than not unpredictable impacts even on regional businesses.
Leaders have always been challenged to secure resources to operate sustainable organizations, and to generate well-being for their people, customers, and shareholders among its stakeholders. Today that task is just so much less predictable and it's not only due to immediate business risks, it's also due to regionally and globally fueled uncertainties lying around like rocks in the water for a sailor exploring new waters. No wonder the days of the super leaders and the aspiration to become one, seem to have faded a bit from the glory days of the past decades. Now people are driven by specialist roles that are essential for the business core, without the administrative burden and being charged to deal with risks and uncertainties that come with an executive role.
Enhancing Creactive Leadership
At Leadx3m we regard leadership as something highly behavioral rather than conceptual traits. In our creactive leadership mindset, we divide leadership into bitesize elements, by making a clear distinction when analyzing specific components and showing clear relational patterns when feasible. The underlying belief is that leadership indeed can be taught and training should be on the particular role and responsibilities, leadership capabilities, development opportunities, and the tailored needs of the organizational setting. Consequently, we aim to advance leadership that generates sustainable growth and wellbeing. The underlying assumption is that at best organizations employ people who possess a certain kind of creative and actively engaged mindset, which sets them apart from other employees and leaders for that matter. Creactive Leadership is not an untrainable talent, rather it's bound to the culture and norms in terms of behavior across all levels of people in a particular organization.
The majority of leaders probably would agree their core role is to continuously assess risks and cope with uncertainties, which is expected to result in the survival and sustainable growth of the organization. As some of our clients have said, it's easies to tolerate while being part of a winning team, no matter how weak or nasty the existing culture or leadership is. This may well be true for a short period, but for us, the exciting organizations are the ones that can do good while doing well by taking care of people and other stakeholders over time.
Consequently, the secret of success is creactive leaders who tend to apply a slightly different logic when sensing, making decisions, and engaging people around them. Importantly such individuals operate more like self-nominated entrepreneurs than selfish career-oriented organizational ladder climbers, who make decisions based solely based on short-term changes to the stock price or other metrics. Hence, such leaders are not afraid to promote calculated initiatives when considered gainful for the cause of their employers, and they will do so regardless of their current role or responsibilities, no matter what level they formally belong to in the organizational hierarchy. For this to sustain, such leaders need strong support form the owners via the board, or senior leaders if they are working within the hierarchy of a larger organization.
Such self-organized leaders are particularly strong believers in the culture and values of their employers and the surrounding society at large. We call these everyday heroes Creactive Leaders, some may also call them entrepreneurial managers or intrapreneurs, while critics may call them corporate rebels or disruptors. We are strong advocates for the positive force and believe creactive leaders are generally a force of good, driving the mission rather than self-actualization. Our expertise in the area tells us also that creactive leaders typically have high moral grounds. They tend to share the limelight with others, rather than boost themselves as the sole superheroes of their organizations. As we tend to say at Leadx3m, Together We Can!
In this video Dr. Markus Wartiovaara Director of Hanken Business Lab from Helsinki discusses with me the relevance of creactive leadership, Boston as a business hub, and some other relevant topics, enjoy!