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Adaptive Leadership

WORKBOOK 2

MODULE MODULE MODULE MODULE


1 2 3 4

GETTING THINKING ADAPTIVE EXPERIMENT


ON THE POLITICALLY VS. WITH
BALCONY TECHNICAL CREATIVE
TENSIONS

In partnership with

~ 2 HOURS
ADAPTIVE LEADERSHIP READING 2

WELCOME BACK!

Stay on the balcony for awhile and a funny Mobilizing stakeholders thus requires
thing can happen. We begin to see that more than just a clear value
indeed there is no such thing as a proposition and a shared purpose. It
dysfunctional system. The seemingly involves surfacing and moving forward
suboptimal or irrational behavior of people amidst these competing and sometimes
on the dance floor suddenly reveals an irreconcilable motivations.
inner logic.
As such, leading adaptive change is deeply
Thinking politically refers to ability to use relational work. Your relationship with key
this insight to mobilize key stakeholders, stakeholders is one of the most important
rather than just trying to convince them. factors in determining results. Its also why
you can never lead alone.
Its a profound shift. As our focus becomes
less about the problem per se, and more "When leading adaptive change, you can
about other peoples relationship to the only move as fast as the people around
problem, new - and often overlooked you." - Alexander Grashow, author the
strategies emerge for how to engage them Practice of Adaptive Leadership
in narrowing the gap.
The politics of engaging adaptive change
In this module, well learn an approach for can be trying, particularly when people resist
mapping the system of stakeholders you. Avoid the politics, and its unlikely youll
surrounding the challenge you identified in shift the status quo in any lasting way.
the last module. Understand it, and you can create more
meaningful and impactful change.
Too often we try to mobilize people by
developing a strong case and then If its not just your work, then whose work is
marketing our idea as if leadership is just it? Lets turn to that question now and start
a big sales job. We then become frustrated diagnosing who your key stakeholders are.
when this approach doesnt create the buy-
in or support we expected, or were
flummoxed why people just dont get it.

In fact, each stakeholder has a perfectly


rational (in their own mind) and distinct set
of values, loyalties and losses at risk that
guide how they behave.

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ADAPTIVE LEADERSHIP READING 2

MINI REFLECTION EXERCISE Now lets look at what keeps each of your
stakeholders stuck in the status quo,
Lets brainstorm which stakeholders (both seemingly at times despite their best interest.
individuals and groups) you need to
mobilize to narrow your gap. For each stakeholder, consider their
respective Values, Loyalties and Losses
Use the prompts below as needed: (VLL). See the summary table below for
+ Someone who has a point of view on or a detail. Well first share an example on the
stake in the gap you want to narrow following page and invite you to apply that to
+ Someone who may or may not have a your challenge.
point of view but shares strong ties to the
people involved
Value + You know what people
+ Someone with formal or informal power
value based on their
in the system behavior, not based on
+ Someone affected directly or indirectly what they say
by the change, such as a customer or
community
+ Someone with something to lose if you
Loyalties + These are people, teams or
make progress on your challenge constituencies that exist
behind each stakeholder
Keep in mind different stakeholders may that they may feel
emerge depending on how you frame or beholden or responsible for
describe your gap. + These loyalties make it hard
for your stakeholder to
List of my stakeholders (individuals/groups): support you, even if they
want to
Losses + This is what the stakeholder
could lose if progress is
made
+ Potential losses could be
identity, competence,
comfort, reputation, time,
status, security, power,
independence and
resources

(To learn more about each component, refer to the


highlighted part of the reading from The Theory Behind the
Practice Chapter 6 in The Practice of Adaptive Leadership
available here)

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ADAPTIVE LEADERSHIP READING 2

Here is a quick practice exercise applying


Carlas
the VLL framework.
Values
The case study is highlighting Carla, who is
a Communications Manager at Acumen.
Heres how she explained the gap she
wanted to narrow:
Carlas
I am a Communications Manager at Loyalties
Acumen. The organization recently
re-branded. This meant new fonts,
logos and format for all PowerPoint
presentations. We have invested in
developing an easy to use PowerPoint
Carlas
template for all staff. I have also
Losses
invested in training the team on best
practices for creating presentations.
However, I keep seeing presentations
that break all the new branding rules
and often look unsightly. If I catch
them, I can help to clean them up
even if it creates more work for me. If dont buy in.
I dont catch them, I worry about how recording). Credibility with staff if they
the organization is being perceived everything (we could) in the
externally. How can I get staff more illustrated in her comment Weve tried
onboard with the new brand? about how to move forward (as
Carlas Losses: Sense of competence
Then, download and listen to the sound clip
(http://bit.ly/AdaptiveCarla) in which she the new brand.
articulates the situation more in depth. team and consultants who developed
Carlas Loyalties: The communications
Write down what you think Carlas values,
loyalties and losses are in the space to external stakeholders.
provided on the right. (Hint: Notice value- Consistent, clean branding message
laden words she uses multiple times. Also, excitement for the new brand.
notice when her tone of voice conveys Carlas Values: Staff buy-in and
emotion versus when shes matter-of-fact.)
OPTIONAL EXERCISE ANSWER KEY

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ADAPTIVE LEADERSHIP READING 2

+ First, using the space below think about your own values, loyalties and losses in relation
to the gap or challenge you identified in Module 1.

Your What is driving your behavior? List both your noble values and
Values any competing or contradicting values. Remember, how you
actually spend your time and resources says more about your
values than what you say.

Your On whose behalf are you working or feel responsible for?


Loyalties Conversely, is there anyone you care about who you might
actually disappoint or disrupt if the name of progress?

Your Again, in the name of progress, what might you lose or need to
Losses give up? Do you find yourself showing any form of loss
avoidance?

+ Then, choose a difficult stakeholder (individual or group) that youve identified on page 2
and write their VLL to the best of your knowledge. Remember, youre not judging them. If
you find yourself using words like they should" or they ought to, etc., youre probably
stuck in your own perspective and not giving voice to theirs. For more space, feel free to
use another sheet of paper to complete this.
Stakeholder ___________________________________________________

Values

Loyalties

Losses

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ADAPTIVE LEADERSHIP READING 2

Now that youve identified your key stakeholders and have a sense (or maybe just a
hypothesis) of their VLL, lets get more tactical on how to engage them. Stakeholders tend to
fall into six categories or factions.

1. PARTNERS/ALLIES 2. OPPOSITION 3. CASUALTIES

Stakeholders with the most Stakeholders who actively Stakeholders who will be
to gain if you succeed. The impede progress. They feel left behind, fired or
difference between allies the loss theyll experience disregarded in the name of
and partners: allies support isnt worth the purpose progress. Many of us
your efforts but wont take a being served. They usually assume we can drive
risk with you, while have the most to lose and change with zero casualties,
partners will put skin in therefore are the toughest but its rarely true. How you
the game. Stay loyal to faction to deal with. Spend handles casualties matters.
partners and seek to a lot of time with them so Everyone will be watching
cultivate allies into partners that you sufficiently how you handle this. Treat
by incorporating their understand and can help casualties well on their way
higher order values. pace their loss. out.

4. TROUBLEMAKERS 5. AUTHORITIES 6. YOURSELF

People who consistently Your boss or others who You and your own people
sound the alarm on the hold considerable formal or also have competing
need for change, but do so informal power. Watch commitments that will
in a way that results in their them carefully to gain affect your choices. Dont
own marginalization. insight into what the let your passion for change
Protect their voice, but also system can tolerate. Their make you a target. Be wary
make clear to them the power is not limitless, so of criticism or flattery; its
boundaries of your they can only protect you to not personal or even about
protection. a point. you.

Using the worksheet on page 8, group your stakeholders into the factions above.

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ADAPTIVE LEADERSHIP READING 2

The one faction everyone gets obsessed about is Authority. Let's take a closer look at what's
important to them and why they act as they do.

From The Theory Behind the Practice Chapter 2 - Distinguishing Leadership from
Authority (available here)

Exercising adaptive leadership is radically leadership as a verb, not a job. Authority,


different from doing your job really, really power, and influence are critical tools, but
well. It is different from authoritative they do not define leadership. That is
expertise, and different from holding a high because the resources of authority, power,
position in a political or organizational and influence can be used for all sorts of
hierarchy. It is also different from having purposes and tasks that have little or
enormous informal power in the forms of nothing to do with leadership, like
credibility, trust, respect, admiration, and performing surgery or running an
moral authority. organization that has long been successful in
a stable market.
As you have undoubtedly seen, many
people occupy positions of senior authority ()
without ever leading their organizations
through difficult but needed adaptive However, all authority relationships, both
change. Others with or without significant formal and informal, appear to fit the same
formal authority but with a large admiring basic definitional pattern: power entrusted
group of followers also frequently fail to for serviceI look to you to serve a set of
mobilize those followers to address their goals I hold dear. Authority, then, is
toughest challenges. To protect and granted by one or more people on the
increase their informal authority, they often assumption that you will then do what they
pander to their constituents, minimizing want you to do: centrally in organizational
the costly adjustments the followers will life to promptly provide solutions to
need to make and pointing elsewhere at problems. People will confer authority or
the others who must change, or be volunteer to follow you because they are
changed, as they deny and delay the days looking to you to provide a service, to be a
of reckoning. champion, a representative, an expert, a
doer who can provide solutions within the
People have long confused the notion of terms that they understand the situation.
leadership with authority, power, and And if life presented exclusively technical
influence. We find it extremely useful to see problems, people would get what they need
leadership as a practice, an activity that looking routinely to authorities for solutions
some people do some of the time. We view to problems. (continued)

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ADAPTIVE LEADERSHIP READING 2

(continued) Take a closer look at the Conflating leadership and authority is an


difference between authority and adaptive old and understandable habit. We all want
leadership. In your organizational life, your to believe that we can exercise leadership
authorizers (those who grant you authority) just by doing really, really well at the job we
include bosses, peers, subordinates, and are expected to carry out. But the
even people outside your organization, such distinction between exercising leadership
as clients or customers and possibly the and exercising authority is crucial. By
media. An authorizer is anyone who gives practicing adaptive leadership beyond
you attention and support to do your job of authoritative management, you risk telling
providing solutions to problems. In any of people what they need to hear rather than
your roles, whether parent or CEO or what they want to hear, but you can also
doctor or consultant, you have a specific help your organization, community, or
scope of authority that derives from your society make progress on its most difficult
authorizers expectations and that defines challenges.
the limits of what you are expected to do. As
long as you do what is expected of you, your Whether you are the president of a country
authorizers are happy. If you do what you or company, a hospital administrator or the
are supposed to do really well, you will be head of an advocacy organization, or simply
rewarded in the coin of the realm, whatever (simply?) a parent, your functions in your
it is: a pay raise, a bonus, a bigger job, a authority role are largely the same. You
plaque, a more impressive title, a better have three core responsibilities, to provide:
office. (1) direction, (2) protection, and (3) order.
That is, you are expected to clarify roles and
And one of the most seductive ways your offer a vision (direction), make sure that the
organization rewards you for doing exactly group, organization, or society is not
what it wantsto provide operational vulnerable and can survive external threat
excellence in executing directions set by (protection), and maintain stability (order).
othersis to call you a leader. Because Because addressing adaptive challenges
you, like most people, aspire to have that requires stepping into unknown space and
label, conferring it on you is a brilliant way disturbing the equilibrium, it is an activity
of keeping you right where the organization that is inherently uncertain, risky for the
wants you, in the middle of your scope of organization as well as for the individual,
authority and far away from taking on and, for these reasons, often disruptive and
adaptive leadership work. disorienting.

()

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ADAPTIVE LEADERSHIP READING 2

+ First, allocate the stakeholders youve listed previously to the appropriate faction(s).
Stakeholders can fit into multiple factions, but chose their primary faction.

+ Then, consider the stakeholders you previously thought were behaving illogically or
irrationally. Based on their faction and VLLs, what might be the story they tell in their
own words to describe, defend or justify their behavior in relation to the gap? Remember
not to substitute your story for theirs. If you understand this story well, youll never be
surprised by their behavior.

Take notes of what you notice (your mini Aha) and make sure you bring them to your
team discussion and/or share them on the course discussion forum with others.

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ADAPTIVE LEADERSHIP READING 2

COMPLETE YOUR FACTION MAP WITH BONUS ACTIVITY FOR ASSIGNMENT #2


YOUR STAKEHOLDERS AND THEIR VLL
Recall that in the beginning of this
Using your input on the worksheets in this workbook, we explained how your
workbook, sketch out and complete a relationship with key stakeholders is one of
visual representation of your faction the most important factors in determining
map. When you use the assignment page on results because leading adaptive change is
NovoEd platform to make the submission, deeply relational work.
make sure you include a brief description of
your gap so that others visiting your So this is a chance to enhance the quality of
assignment page will have sufficient context the relationship between you and the key
to provide feedback or leave comments. stakeholders.

In terms of the format, you can use your own As an extra exercise:
hand-drawn illustrations (either the + Choose an individual or a group who are
illustration itself or a picture you take of your part of your faction mapping that you
creation), or your original digital version of have had relatively little interaction with
the map, etc. to date

There is no right or wrong format to this + Reach out to engage them in a


assignment as long as others will be able to conversation in aim to understand their
see how you worked on it. If youre in a team, values, loyalties and losses
make sure you bring that to your team
meeting. + Some of the suggestions in "10 tips for
customer discovery in the social impact
Limnu, a virtual whiteboard, may be helpful sector (even though the context is not
for sketching your idea. You can try it out exactly for this course) might be helpful.
without signing up. Especially #7 seek out stories.
https://limnu.com/d/guest.html
Take a screenshot or a photo of your work if + After the conversation, share on the
you would like to submit that as your work. discussion forum 1) when/where the
conversation took place, 2) how you went
about setting up the occasion, 3) what
Important note: As described in Workbook you learned from the experience
1, your assignment submissions will be made
visible to other learners on the platform. If
you would like to omit some details due to the
nature of your situation, youre welcome to do
so.

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ADAPTIVE LEADERSHIP READING 2

Congratulations on completing Module 2! Take a moment to reflect on how you can further
advance your journey as an adaptive leader at this point.

CONNECT WITH OTHERS TO GAIN VALUABLE INPUT


. So many people have shared their own perspectives
on what leadership means to them. Have you
reviewed any of them or left comments to get to know
them more?
. Also, if you use the Student function and click the
magnifying glass icon, you can search for other
learners who are based in your city or nearby. See
how many people are from your region or your
country. Maybe they have challenges to work on that
might also interest you.

ENGAGE IN A MEANINGFUL DISCUSSION WITH YOUR


. COURSE-LONG TEAM
. If youre taking this course in a team, use the
workshop guide on pp. 11-12 to conduct a team-based
dialogue around the inputs from this module.
If you dont have anyone to do this with, you can
either connect with other active learners on the forum,
OR STILL invite your friends or colleagues to this
course to do this together.

HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH YOUR PEERS USING


THIS COURSE
Your work on stakeholder diagnosis using the VLL
framework doesnt stop here nor the moment you
complete your assignment 2.
Continue engaging with the key stakeholders outside
of this course to deepen your understanding of what
matters to them, why change isnt easy and what are
some of the possible ways that could help you
mobilize them effectively.
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ADAPTIVE LEADERSHIP DISCUSSION GUIDE 2

The following two pages are for those of you who have decided to take this course in a team.
Please use this guide to conduct your team session. This should be approximately 2 hours
but feel free to make modifications based on your team size and availability.

SUGGESTED AGENDA
1. Check In (5min)
2. Peer Advising Faction Mapping (20min per person)
3. Ahas (15min)
4. Preparing for the next session (5min)

1: CHECK IN (5min)
STARTING YOUR SECOND DISCUSSION
Use this time to prepare for your team discussion. Use the suggested questions to get
the teams pulse:
How are you feeling?

2: PEER ADVISING FACTION MAPPING (20min per person)

HOW IT WORKS: In your team, take turns presenting your faction map and get feedback
following the agenda below. We suggest taking 20min for each peer advising session. If your
team is large, you may want to break up into smaller teams so that you dont run over time.

There should be someone keeping time and another person taking notes while the rest of
the team does the brainstorming so that the presenter can take the notes away later.

5min: Introduction
Presenter briefly shares background on his or her gap and a summary of the
stakeholder views referencing the worksheets from this workbook and Assignment 2 (if
already completed) if needed, take an extra 5min to allow the audience ask
clarifying questions to the presenter.

5min: Brainstorming
The team members brainstorm what they believe to be the values, loyalties and losses
of the opposition group. Presenter doesnt speak at all. This will help the team build
diagnostic muscles and allow the presenter to get on the balcony and just listen.

(continued)
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ADAPTIVE LEADERSHIP DISCUSSION GUIDE 2

2: PEER ADVISING FACTION MAPPING (Continued)


5min: Role Play
The team then takes on the role of the opposition. The presenter engages the team
with the goal of making progress in narrowing the gap. The opposition should
respond true to their values, loyalties and losses. The presenters goal is to mobilize the
opposition by demonstrating an understanding and appreciation of the oppositions
values, loyalties and losses. Doing so will help generate new insight into ways to
engage the opposition, and also practice the art of diagnostic listening.

2min: Presenter Reflection


Presenter reflects on how it felt to engage with the opposition and what new learning
or perspective she/he is taking away from this experience.

3min: Feedback (from the team)


Team members provide feedback on what worked well and what the presenter could
improve upon when engaging with the opposition in real life.

Change the presenter and repeat the same agenda.

3: AHAS (15min)
REFLECT ON YOUR AHAS
Take 1-2 minutes to think about your Aha from this team work.

SHARE YOUR AHAS AND CRYSTALLIZE LEARNING


Spend the rest of the time sharing your Ahas with each other.

SHOWCASE YOUR WORK TO OTHERS


This is a bonus activity for those who had a great team experience. As a team, record
a 30-60 second video to capture any Ahas, themes or important takeaways from the
team discussion and post it on the discussion forum. Photos will also do!

4: PREPARING FOR THE NEXT SESSION (5min)


Confirm the schedule for the next session. Make sure everyone has time to go through
Module 3 prior to meeting up for the third time.

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TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE FACILITATION

REVIEW BEFORE WALKING INTO YOUR FIRST MEETING WITH YOUR TEAM
IMPORTANT TIPS EVEN IF YOU DO NOT PLAN TO LEAD THE DISCUSSION
+ Provide a safe space for the team to + Allow each participant to come up with
share At times the team discussions the answer themselves These
may become difficult. People may share discussions are not intended to feature a
experiences that are particularly painful lecture. Instead, your goal as the
or scary. Acknowledge at the beginning facilitator is to help participants and
of each meeting that this is meant to be yourself find your own voice within the
as open a conversation as possible. It is discussion. You dont need to provide
also wise to ask everyone to verbally the solutions. Everyone in your group has
affirm what is said in the space stays in access to wisdom and can help teach
the space. each other as well as teach you. A good
facilitator helps find those with the seeds
+ Open with a Check In The Check In is of wisdom in the room and allows them
the initial phase of a meeting and is to grow. The key is not to judge, not to
really independent of the module impose your own opinions and not to
content. The purpose of this is to bring dominate the conversation.
everyones focus into the room and
establish the discussion boundaries, so + Improvise Facilitation is not about
that right from the start you can be clear following the script. While we provide a
on how everyone is feeling that day and series of topics, questions, and activities,
what to expect from each other. One let the conversation guide the group.
technique is to go around the group and Feel free to add your own questions or
ask everyone to rate on a scale of 0- explore ancillary topics and lines of
100% how present they feel. Are they discussion. You all have your own
only 75% present because they had a experiences, knowledge, and wisdom
bad day at work and are still mulling over that will enhance these discussions. Use
what their boss said? Or are they 100% these topics as a starting point, and
present because theyve been looking make the conversation your own.
forward to this discussion all day?
+ Dealing with difficult group dynamics
+ Encourage storytelling people love There will be times when you will be
stories and they are far more likely to faced with challenging situations, either
remember information they hear in a from individuals or from the group. If you
story than as a recitation of facts. can learn to embrace these situations,
Encourage your group mates to share and work with them, they can be
their stories, and share your own. powerful experiences for learning and
Opening up and a willingness to be growth. The following, taken from The
vulnerable will often create a greater Facilitators Guide to Participatory
willingness in your group mates to Decision Making by Same Kaner, gives
reciprocate and share their own stories. It some typical challenges, with
builds an atmosphere of mutual trust. suggestions for how to deal with these.
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TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE FACILITATION (CONTINUED)

MORE TIPS GOOD TO KEEP IN MIND AS THEY WILL BE RELEVANT TO YOUR WORK AS
AN ADAPTIVE LEADER IN THE NEAR FUTURE

Problem Ineffective response Effective response


Everyone has Try to get the group to Differences in understanding are
different perspectives arrive at one common good. Try to draw out the
understanding by the end distinctiveness of others
arguments and ideas with caring
and humility. If you find yourself
confused or skeptical, those
moments are precisely the points
to stop and discuss. Ask: Can you
say more about that? What do
you mean by XXX?
Inconsistent Call them out Let the group know its ok to
arguments change and construct new
understandings as you go along.
That is a key sign of intellectual
growth.
Silence Filling the silence just to fill Be comfortable with silence.
the gap Sometimes people need time to
process before speaking up.
Highly vocal member Trying to control this person If one person is over-participating
dominates discussion excuse me XXX do you everyone else is under-
mind if I let someone else participating, so focus your efforts
take a turn? on the under-participators and
encourage them to
participate more. Ask: How do
the rest of you feel about this?
Minimal participation Ignore it, and act as Look for an opportunity to have a
by members who though silence means discussion on Whats important to
dont feel consent. me about this topic? This gives
involved/interested everyone a chance to consider
their
in the particular topic
own stake in the outcome of the
discussion.
Someone becomes Talk behind the persons People repeat themselves
strident and back. Confront the person because they dont feel heard.
repetitive during the break, and then Summarize the persons point of
be surprised when you see view until s/he feels understood.
their anxiety go through People just want to feel heard, not
the roof when you resume. necessarily that everyone must
agree with them.

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