A new leadership framework

1. A New Leadership Framework - STUDENT RESOURCE MATERIAL A New Leadership Framework Getting Leadership Right: There is fast thinking and there is slow thinking. When…
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  • 1. A New Leadership Framework - STUDENT RESOURCE MATERIAL A New Leadership Framework Getting Leadership Right: There is fast thinking and there is slow thinking. When faced with complex issues that require wisdom and concentration, our results will benefit from the slow thinking, contemplative process. It isn’t the act of slower thinking that gets all the credit for brilliant decisions though, blunders can still occur. The best decisions are made when we have a “mindset” framework which the author, Mary Lippitt, describes as a mental lens to collect, evaluate, and respond to challenges. A template or framework ensures we make smart trade-off and wise decisions using tactics that help us analyze alternatives that arrive at the optimum results. The Untethered Mind: Mindsets are dynamic. This doesn’t mean indecisive, but rather they are situational, almost a strategy for action to achieve desired results. The author uses the word template, and lists six in her book. Can you recall some recent experience that could have benefitted from adopting one of these particular mindsets? Inventing Mindset – developing new products and services; Catalyzing Mindset – meeting customer needs; Developing Mindset – referring to the importance of creating a solid work environment; Performing Mindset – process improvement in quality and efficiency; Protecting Mindset – organizational culture, developing and retaining talent, building trust and cooperation; Challenging Mindset – emerging needs, future opportunities and learning from experience. Having varying mindsets to support different decisions recognizes the tendency to become entrenched in one avenue of choice or ‘group think’ and balance it with creativity and innovation. Each chapter allows readers to identify which mindset their organization needs to be in right then. There are questions to make assessments, for example if you should operate under a Catalyst Mindset or a Protective Mindset to resolve issues or conflicts at the present time. Six Results Driven Priorities Valuing Creativity, Innovation and Synergies: the Inventing Mindset: Not all leaders are creative. Not all people are creative. Fortunately not all businesses have to dominate the field of creativity. However, all businesses need to devote some resources to the inventive mindset at some point. There will always be a moving target because even the most mature of industries continually evolve or they become obsolete. This chapter reveals stories from individuals like Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, and Samuel Walton, all of whom played the Inventing Mindset card and won. Just Do It: the Catalyzing Mindset: It’s cliché today, isn’t it? The Nike slogan, “Just do it!” and with good reason. Being first to market is just about as cliché. Nobody wants to be the last in line to claim what could have been theirs if they had be operating under the ‘time is of the essence’ Catalyzing Mindset. In this chapter are best practices for demonstrating a customer- centric culture. How long should it take to recognize opportunities? They show up in interactions
  • 2. A New Leadership Framework - STUDENT RESOURCE MATERIAL with clients, customer conversations and surveys, communications with internal staff. What are you goals for internal and external customers? Setting “big hairy audacious goals” that support strong customer focus and, at the same time, guard against complacency, mediocrity, and burdensome constraints. Discover the attributes of the Catalyzing Mindset early to be top-of- mind in your industry. Building Foundations: the Developing Mindset: I chose this as my favorite chapter because there is something about operating from a solid foundation with strong infrastructure that provides a sense of confidence. Organizations suffer when the structure isn’t sound, when the interdependencies and operational systems are precariously put together. Policies and procedures are more than printed fables in binders aligning bookshelves. Documentation and the orderly flow of processes are an asset and have a financial gain or loss attached to it. If financial gain is on your vision board, you will want to pay attention when you read this chapter, especially on how to sharpen your Developing Mindset. Looking back over this chapter before writing this review, I noticed the introductory quote was the same as that chosen for my high school graduation. I don’t know why I had not noticed it the first time through. “If you build castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.” – Henry David ThoreauFoundation/Confidence Measuring and Improving: the Performing Mindset: I’ve long been the editor of a monthly newsletter for our local American Society for Quality chapter and my background includes many years of writing internal procedures and ISO documentation. If there is one thing I have come to respect, it’s the indispensable need for consistency in identifying, monitoring, tracking, and documenting procedures, problems, proposals, and solutions. Not only does this create an environment where execution and productivity increase, it builds better bridges between your organization, your customers, your vendors, and your teams. This chapter discusses how to apply the Performing Mindset, and to use metrics judiciously without going overboard to the detriment of performance. Cultivating High – Performance Culture: the Protecting Mindset: I have to share a direct quote from this chapter beginning. “When we elect this Protecting Mindset, we shine the spotlight on creating a sense of mission, building confidence, and commitment to excellence, fostering teamwork, and developing a cohesive culture.” Is that what we all want for our organizations? We want to attract top talent, desire loyalty, foster collaboration, and have distinctively energetic team members. Attracting and keeping are two sides of the same coin. It’s irrational to assume that individuals will be satisfied workers and remain loyal when workforce related issues are ignored or worse, assumed trivial. The Protecting Mindset builds bench strength, focusing on cultivating pride and trust. Adopting this mindset puts education, career coaching, advancement opportunities, and inclusion at the forefront of leadership decisions. There is emphasis on skill commitment and performance management, but instead of those being ‘enforced’ they are an outcome of individuals feeling respected, trusted, and treated fairly. This chapter burgeons with how to prioritize the Protective Mindset so key factors can be
  • 3. A New Leadership Framework - STUDENT RESOURCE MATERIAL implemented into the work culture at the right time and at the right levels for the optimum time period. Seizing Opportunities: the Challenging Mindset: And this here, is the sticking point in many organizations. Change! Can I just say that over the past couple years I have observed the word ‘change’ as part of organizational identity more times than any other time in my history? Yes, change, has always been and will always be, but as a brand or an identity, I have seen it proliferate greatly. As Mary Lippitt points out, “Progress comes from change” and most of us dislike it. We are not all visionaries and that fact often blinds us to opportunities. We see what’s there but not what’s possible. Some key points from the author are: Beware ingrained habits of thought, be willing to reinvent, and look for options and opportunities. In other words, look outside and don’t be guided by old patterns and assumptions. Keep thinking about ‘what-if’ and use the tools, such as technology, that provision for new ideas, add interest, and promote awareness across teams plus span your vendor and customer base. Lippitt provides some concrete ways to determine if you and your leadership team should adopt this Challenging Mindset at this time. Leveraging the Power of Mindsets Deploying the Mindsets to Impact Conflict and Influence: At the outset of this chapter Mary assures us that we may have read the book, but we haven’t experienced its benefits yet. These varying mindsets provide the framework for how to listen, how to lead, influence, and coach. Conflicts unresolved, fester until the disruptive behavior has caused damage and any solution is no longer as effective as it could have been. I don’t want to dilute the message of this book by condensing her summary in the final chapters. To grasp the significance of using this mindset approach, think of this book in terms of water from the well. If your organization is parched and in need of a new life infusion for dry bones, this book is like life-giving water. If you just need a little inoculation of energy, this book is your source. What goals are you working on? What challenges do you see ahead? What opportunities do you want to create? Get into the right Mindset! Nothing moves without that first step. Harvesting Team Power: Teamwork is how things get done. Whether defined as a team or not, the team exists. Rarely do individuals accomplish great things on their own. In this final chapter of the book, lies the advantages and pitfalls of working in teams and the basis of understanding dynamics so they become high-performing teams. Each of the six mindsets has a set of associated questions to help your teams navigate successfully through each of them. Leadership is a science and an art. Mindsets provide us with guideposts that help us adjust our thinking and attention, but we must be able to decipher the context, react to emerging needs, and foster agility throughout the organization. Understanding mindsets might require us to change our thinking.”
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