Updated: Jan 7, 2019
Adaptive leadership is not 'being flexible'. The styles, traits and abilities of an adaptive leader are similar to those of a leader who can organise and manage change strategy flexibly, but there is something deeper and more attuned to themselves, their teams, their organisation and wider horizon.
Before we can think about traits and learning how to become an adaptive leader - we need to think about the challenges we face in business today. We tend to solution focus and still many organisations look towards the hierarchy to bring the solutions and make the decisions.
An adaptive leader can develop change strategy and programmes and continue to enable people to thrive within the change, is not afraid to try new things and willing to take risks which they manage and learn from.
Ron Heifetz is a leading scholar, consultant and Director on the subject, explains the single biggest failure of leadership is 'to treat adaptive challenges like technical ones'.
As part of this focused week, I'll be looking at how Leaders can use adaptive strategies to work out a solid change movement using adaptive strategies. Adaptive challenges are really hard to find and even harder to find a solution, they require well planned out experiments and an element of risk, measured and mapped by the Leader and their team. Adaptive challenges take a long time to work through and cross boundaries in organisations, sometimes whole industries.
Much of the time the issues are deep rooted in behaviours and culture of the whole organisation, can you think of a time when you have tackled something so engrained that it didn't feel possible to move forward? How did you do it? What skills and strengths did you bring? How did you recognise the challenge? It is likely you tackled it as an adaptive challenge if you were successful.
I go into lots of detail of adaptive challenges in the full day workshop, Change management. Here you get to try out an experimental adaptive challenge and work it through, taking it back to your organisation. We have a 1:1 coaching session before you start working on your challenge and after as part of the course.