The long standing argument between academics and professionals still continues between the differences of ‘management’ and ‘leadership’. “While management is generally associated with the pragmatism of ensuring that an organization functions, whereas, by contrast, leadership is more concerned with coping with and leading change, setting strategy, and the aspirational aspects of organizational development (Kotter, 1990)”.
Somewhere between trying to navigate this tension, we have failed to acknowledge that the two really are interdependent – a great leader will cope with and lead change but they will also make sure the organisation can still function. We can argue the differences however I think it is a better use of all of our time to focus on developing tools for leading complex change in a digital world.
Why? Because unless you’ve been living under a rock, the professional world has shifted dramatically in the last 5 years and the system needs an overhaul. By ‘the system’ I mean the ‘human system’ and the humans in it need to install a few upgrades.
In the last 100 years laws have continued to be created and refined around ‘fair work’, minimum wage, human rights, professional right and as a result the human resource function has evolved from policy and payroll to risk management and human upgrade hub.
There are tools galore for leading and managing people available these days – from Peoplesoft, Salesforce, HRIS, Flare to leadership or outcome based frameworks like Agile, Design Thinking, ADKAR, Six Sigma or The Wonder Mindset, however leaders and managers alike still require new capabilities to empower Leaders and Managers to evaluate external evidence and stakeholders needs and preferences, understanding context and local environment and practically understanding the experience and judgement to even make a decision that is fitting for the most appropriate tool or framework to upgrade their human system. The humans need an upgrade.
My Dad, Martin Nally recently coined the term ‘Real Time People Management” – he is an HR futurist and guru and it certainly stuck when he said it to me. Our human leaders and managers must get better at applying theory, measuring, evaluating in the moment – the human lag in this rapid and fast paced reality that we all currently lead and work is just not cutting it.
I am a huge fan of evidence based leadership and have always sought to create processes that apply, measure and evaluate to ensure that we capture data that tells a story to either validate or challenge the process. Whether that is looking at KPIs and whether they actually improve individual and organisational performance or Design Thinking and whether that actually saves the organisation money, time or creates more innovation ideas that create greater value for the organisation – the key to sustainable organisational change is measurement and evaluation.
Sure, I talk about WONDER and Innovation – but I have always sought to seek and create sustainable impact. For the impact to be sustainable – it needs to be measurable!
The future is demanding a more wholistic and integrated version of self at work and at home.
So recently; when seeking to create a WONDER MINDSET leadership framework, a future focussed and user friendly framework that is beneficial to leaders at work and in life, my challenge to myself was to create a framework that was inspirational but also measurable.
I wanted the capabilities to be simple and the commitments/statements that brought the capabilities to life to feel accessible and easy to self rate and self measure. I wanted the framework to create a human upgrade.
I believe the key to future organisational development lies in creating authentic and engaging learning that enables and empowers our leaders to self manage and develop self awareness.
I challenged myself to steer away from words like ‘strategic’ and ‘decision making’ and used research around the skills for the future to think about the building blocks we all need to focus on to help prepare us for a future we can’t even imagine yet.
We deliver this framework already with some of our clients and we love the self awareness, ownership, communication and accountability that those using the framework are self reporting.
If you’re looking for a Leadership Framework to implement in 2020, speak to us about how we can support your roll out.
We share our frameworks and ideas as open source as we believe the greatest way for us to upgrade the whole system is through collaboration, open-source and trust. We trust you’ll credit us with this framework if you choose to implement it without our help.
Your Chief of Wonder – Sarah Nally