Talk – 35min
In organizations, change comes from leadership. That’s not necessarily connected with status and authority and, in fact, leadership can be manifested in many different ways (i.e. individual or collective) and styles. Still, the main force behind change is leadership. I’ve been coaching teams, organizations, leaders and managers along their path to agility for years. In this talk I’d like to point out how leadership in adaptive organizations is much subtler and pervasive than what we usually think and that its foundation lies in some character qualities that are frequently overlooked or underrated. Among this qualities we can find curiosity, empathy, courage and an attitude to listen deeply (which are in itself a personal journey of self-discovery and self-awareness) and that we need to be connected with ourselves as well as with others, before we can even start to think how to influence our environment from a leadership position. Active listening is also a practice that enables system-awareness and dialogue at the organizational level, something that adaptive organizations are in dire need of, if they want to to operate in innovation and adaptation rather than recycling old paradigms over and over again. This is a critical aspect if we want to create organizations that operate, internally and externally, on different assumptions than post-industrial, mechanistic organizations. Indeed, I believe this is the main reason behind many of the failures I’ve witnessed in Agile adoptions — namely, introducing change at the superficial, operational level, while being unable or unaware of changing the fundamental paradigms by which people operate and interact. In this talk I’d like to explore all that, share real-life stories and examples, mixed with a little bit of science, philosophy and practical advice, hoping that this will help organizations to better understand and create the kind of leadership that will let them thrive in a complex, adaptive world.