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CHALLENGING YOURSELF THROUGH ADAPTIVE LEADERSHIP

Tim Millett
Published by Tim Millett
08 October 2013

Have you wondered why some companies seem able to handle whatever comes their way including the difficult economic conditions over the last year? While other companies go bankrupt, the successful companies deliver results over and over again. If you could look inside these companies there’s a good chance you will find adaptive leaders who remain invigorated and ready to accept any challenges coming their way while becoming change agents.

On the other hand, if you could talk to the management of companies struggling to survive even in good times there’s an even better chance you will find unenthused managers without clear goal-based focus and seeking comfort in the lack of change. They are unable to challenge themselves to meet challenging times and so flounder until the organisation becomes stale and unproductive.

Challenging yourself to be an effective leader within an organisation means learning how to be dynamic rather than static. A dynamic manager is one who is trained and ready to use knowledge, skills and abilities to help others achieve peak performance no matter what circumstances are presented. It is about working within the environment presented and then influencing that environment to achieve organisational success.

Adapting To Internal and External Forces

Being able to adjust to changing factors and influences has never been more important for businesses. Technology has created a world in which consumers have access to products from anywhere at any time and even small businesses can sell globally while competing with the giant enterprises. It is a world where the large will not eat the small, instead the quick will eat the slow based on a company’s ability to respond and adapt quickly. Unfortunately technology has also made managing people more difficult as employees often work in isolation and hold great power within their hands through internet access.

Businesses that are resilient and have leaders able to manage change are able to maintain flexibility. Product innovations, improved customer responsiveness, satisfied employees, and efficient product delivery usually are signs of a resilient business.

On the other hand, the over-managed or inflexible organisation tries to operate in a rapidly changing marketplace using the same marketing and delivery strategies.

People working within this framework are often unmotivated and uncommitted because their efforts are only meant to maintain a status quo meaning little input is requested or required. If you don’t ever change anything, then there’s not much need for team participation.

Adapting to the Challenge

An organisation is only as adaptive as the people managing it, and that means it is critical that a company promote an innovative corporate culture. The best place to begin is through the development of adaptive leadership. Adaptive managers challenge themselves to do everything necessary to keep the organisation in which they operate as adaptive to the marketplace as possible.
In a training program designed to show managers and team leaders how they can develop their skills and abilities to peak performance, adaptive ways of thinking are taught and encouraged.

  • How can organisational leaders refocus their attention on new outcomes more in line with changing market forces?
  • How can managers develop employee abilities in a way that promotes their personal success while promoting peak organisational performance?
  • Is it possible to redefine the leadership role in a way that increases team flexibility and creativity?
  • Is it possible to take particular steps that will encourage new ways of thinking?
  • Can managers do a better job of rewarding organisational members responsible for successfully instituting innovation or change?
  • Can teams be formed that will better integrate departments leading to increased productivity?
  • Are managers able to delegate decision making that empowers employees?
  • Are goals and objectives challenging?

It is easy to get comfortable in a position and keep on doing the same things over and over again. Unfortunately, doing the same things leads to getting the same results. Challenging managers to be innovative leaders able to manage change within a responsive organisation is the first step towards becoming a market leader.

In other words, adaptive leadership can lead to a resilient organisation.

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