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The Survival Guide for Leaders:

Tactics for Tough Times

August 18, 2009


Angelia Herrin

 Executive Director, Harvard Business


Publishing

© Copyright 2008 Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved. PAGE 2
Ron Heifetz

 Cofounder and Principal,


Cambridge Leadership Associates

 Founding director of the Center for Public


Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School
 Bestselling Author:

© Copyright 2008 Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved. PAGE 3
Who We Are

Harvard Harvard
University Business
School

MBA Program

Executive Education

Harvard Business
Publishing

© Copyright 2008 Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved. PAGE 4
Leadership in a (Permanent) Crisis?

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Two Phases of Crisis Leadership

Emergency Tasks:

•Presence
•Speak to people’s experience
•Maintain poise
•Drive the prepared organizational responses
•Improvise as needed to the extent that’s possible

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Adaptive Phase

Goals:
• Tackle the immediate adaptive challenge
• Build an adaptive culture

Tasks:
• Catalyze adaptation
• Embrace disequilibrium
• Generate distributed leadership

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The Adaptive Context

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Today’s
Leadership
Tasks

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Catalyze Adaptation

• From “best practices” to “next practices”


• Confront loyalty to legacy practices
• Distinguish the essential from the expendable
• Run numerous experiments

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Catalyze Adaptation

Helping people develop “next practices” that will enable the


organization to thrive in a new world, even as they continue
with best practices necessary for current success.

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Catalyze Adaptation

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Embrace Disequilibrium

• Keep your hand on the thermostat


• Depersonalize conflict
• Create a culture of courageous Conversations

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Embrace Disequilibrium

Keeping people in a state that creates enough discomfort to


induce change but not so much that they fight, flee or freeze

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Embrace Disequilibrium

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Generate Leadership

• Acknowledge interdependence
• Distribute leadership responsibility
• Protect voices of leadership without authority
• Leverage diversity

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Generate Leadership

Giving people at all levels the opportunity to lead


experiments that will help the organization adapt to
changing times.

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Generate Leadership

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Leadership With Authority

Area of Focus Technical Adaptive


Provide Problem Definition Identify the Adaptive Challenge;
Direction:
and Solution Frame key questions & issues

Protection: Protect from external threats Disclose external threats

Order:
Disorient current roles;
Orient people to
resist orienting people to
current roles
new roles too quickly
Orientation

Conflict Restore order Expose conflict or let it emerge

Challenge norms
Norms Maintain norms
or let them be challenged

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The Personal Challenge

You won’t achieve your leadership aims if you sacrifice


yourself by not taking care of your needs.

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Getting up on the Balcony

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Use Partners

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Distinguish Role From Self

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Listen

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Manage One’s Hungers

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Anchor Oneself

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Purposes
Beyond Measure

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© Cambridge Leadership Associates
Discuss Adaptive Leadership in your Organization

Contact: Ron Heifetz

Cambridge Leadership Associates

info@cambridge-leadership.com

p. 617.576.5766

www.cambridge-leadership.com

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© Cambridge Leadership Associates
Change Management Center

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Change Management Center

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Change Management Center

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Q&A…………………Thank You!

To learn more about The Change For further reading on Adaptive


Management Center or to
Leadership, please see the July-
receive a demo please contact:
August issue of HBR:
Barrett Coakley
Harvard Business Publishing
Leadership in a (Permanent) Crisis
bcoakley@harvardbusiness.org
By Ron Heifetz, Alexander Grashow
www.harvardbusiness.org/corporate
and Marty Linsky.

© Copyright 2008 Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved. PAGE 33