Rising to the challenge…

In the surreal world of UK politics I find myself strangely fascinated by the spectacle of the leader of our country being chosen against a set of completely undefined criteria – would any CEO be selected this way?

I suspect it is useless speculation to imagine what these criteria might be, but this blog offers a few thoughts on ‘adaptive leadership’ – brought about by a belief that many commonly stated leadership frameworks are inadequate for today’s workplace with its different expectations and needs.   I have based it on an article of mine in the June 2019 edition of theHR Director*.

Adaptive leadership is founded on a mindset that welcomes diversity.  This is not the narrow definition of diversity which often ends up with either perceived or genuine tokenism and comments like ‘the HRD is our diversity champion’, but rather an openness to different ways of doing things.  Counter-intuitively, the closer a leader gets to the ‘top of the pyramid’ the more open their mindset must be.

Three shifts in thinking will be needed for the new generation of leaders:

The New Wave of Adaptive Leadership

Adaptive leaders are not those who are trying to establish a ‘fluffy’ heaven on earth with no idea of cost – an unrealistic pipedream that leads to business failure.  Rather, they possess a combination of the ‘conventional’ skills of being able to understand context, set clear direction and lead effective execution, with an open mindset that welcomes diversity and the ability to create a culture that reflects it.

If our next UK Prime Minister is to be more successful than our last, then they will need to open to change – rather than assuming they simply embody it.

To read a copy of the article in the June 2019 edition of HR Director magazine, please get in touch.


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*First published in theHRDirector June 2019. Reproduced with permission
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