Effective Leadership

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Effective Leadership

Adaptive Challenge

Every problem in an organizational context represents a gap between the aspirations of the management and the things that happen in practice. If the problem is related to some technical aspects it would be lot easier to solve the issues. However adaptive challenges represent a completely different dimension of organizational issues. They cannot be solved so easily as those of technical nature. The adaptive challenges require more than applying the current expertise. Even applying authoritative decision making or standard operating procedures may not really help mitigating the adaptive challenges. It must be understood that for an adaptive challenge can be found external to the current ways of operating. While it is possible to solve the technical issues by using the current expertise it may not be possible to solve the adaptive challenges in the same way.
In the case of Figgie International the adaptive challenge was never identified. There have been resistances from the divisional heads for the changes mooted by the consultants. The resistances were either out of their anxiety to meet the budgeted bottom lines or out of genuine concerns about the change in the production process which ultimately would affect the quality of the output.
While there can be no argument on the superiority of technical and adaptive approaches to organizational changes – since both are needed – the strategic principles of leadership are to be applied for making progress on complex, adaptive problems. According to Heifetz leadership means influencing the community to face its problems rather than influencing the community to follow the vision of the leader. Further it is pointed out that the authority can be used as a resource for leadership by: • Providing a holding environment for containing the stresses of adaptive changes •…...

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