Time for truthfulness
We urgently need a new perspective on business and management
These times call for a dynamic perspective, for new leadership. Where strategy stands for a strong inner goal and a rewarding perspective. Organizations are constantly developing and leadership looks at themselves authentically. Knowing that there is permanent development and evolution. In which humanity comes first, uncertainty is embraced and letting go is crucial. In which we look deeper and think differently. Where we dare to let go of the established truths and address the real issues. Where we dare to reflect on what really matters and where we make truthful choices.
The Enlightenment has seduced us with ideas of malleability and manageability
Western societies are based on a very static world view. A perspective that finds its origin in the early years of the Enlightenment. A period in which scientists such as René Descartes and Isaac Newton laid the foundations for today’s Western thinking and doing. This perspective has an enormous influence on how we look at the world and how we started to look at it. Whether we are talking about Biology, Economics or Sociology, they all start from the same static reductionist perspective in which malleability and certainty dominate and where Mathematics is the language of the only truth. This also applies to business thinking and the associated management views. Organizations as a Lego-box. When you click the right bricks on the right plate, we automatically get the image as it appears on the packaging.
Today’s world is complex and dynamic
But that’s a very narrow view of reality. The static perspective falls hopelessly short in our complex times and our complex society. The world is so much richer and so much more dynamic. We experience this every day within our companies, within our organizations and in our dealings with each other. Therefor we need for a different way of looking at things. More dynamic. Where we start from movement, complexity and interaction. From probability and not from certainty. From autopoiesis instead of malleability. Within this perspective, the world is dynamic and not static. Steering is replaced by self-steering. Development and movement are the characteristic features and not stability and equilibrium.
Dynamics and complexity as guiding principles for companies and management
Today’s times call for a richer picture of organizations, companies and business activity. A more dynamic perspective. A perspective that is based on dynamics, constant interaction, development and interaction. This has major consequences for the way in which we make strategic choices, for the way in which organizations develop and leadership in organizations behaves and manifests itself. Closer to reality, letting go, pragmatics, unpredictability, self- dynamics, self-development, stakeholder value, space for people, planet and profit, life opportunity, social network and communality, shared inner purpose and motivating perspective, authenticity, honesty and accessibility, space for the human dimension and permanent development, are all concepts that are part of a dynamic perspective on Strategy, Organizational Development and Leadership. Are part of this dynamic perspective. Are part of successfully dealing with the complexity of today’s world.
STRATEGY: driven by a strong sense of Inner Purpose
Where within the classical perspective Strategy is mainly seen as a competition to be won, where we strive for a defendable competitive position and assume a hostile environment, this picture changes completely as soon as we approach Strategy from a dynamic perspective. Thus, the idea behind Strategy shifts from competitiveness to Inner Purpose. A deeply rooted motivation from which the organization acts. A thought regarding its purpose in life, the contribution it wants to make to and for the market. The way she wants to add value. Compare it to the inspiration of an entrepreneur. In the end, dynamic strategy is all about an Appealing Perspective. In the article: Strategy in a Dynamic Perspective I go into this in more detail.
ORGANISATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: constant adaptation and development leads to strength and innovation
How does our view of organizations change within the dynamic perspective? How does it change our view of companies? The dynamic perspective is by definition about “Organizational Development”. It is the mobility, the constant adaptation, the permanent change that is central within the dynamic perspective. Not the static management perspective. Within the dynamic perspective we view organizations as a complex adaptive system. A system of many actors that develop in constant interaction. The point of reference or focal point here is the Appealing Perspective called strategy. The basis of this complex system is Trust. Trust in the intelligence and good will of the autonomous actors, employees, in the system. This is based on the self-organized ability of people and teams, and there is room for things and initiatives to emerge naturally, also known as autopoiesis. All this is aimed at constant development. One could also say improvement.
LEADERSHIP: authentic, sincerely interested, stimulating and enthusing
If in the static perspective Leadership is often linked to Power, Authority and Dominance, within the dynamic perspective a completely different view of Leadership arises. From this point of view the dynamic Leader is a coach rather than a boss. He or she facilitates the process within autonomous teams in the complex system. His or her role is not prescriptive, but provides direction and options, facilitating possibilities and room to maneuver. In this sense, the Leader does not work from formal Power but from Informal Authority. In the dynamic perspective there is more “powerlessness” than power. Informal authority versus formal power. The great challenge of Leaders within the complex system is to provide direction and perspective and to stimulate progress and improvement.
The dynamic perspective sets completely different accents when it comes to three essential aspects of business management. Strongly driven from an “Inner Purpose”, in constant interaction with their environment and constantly changing form with leaders at all levels who serve and facilitate this continuous development process.