14. October 2022
Using Change Goals to Inform Leadership
In a transformative situation, an adaptive leadership style is key. But what does this mean and how can you adapt?
I like in this context the recent MIT Sloan Management Review article ‘Leading change Means Changing How You Lead’. The article encourages leaders to assess contextual effectiveness by three leadership tasks:
- Mapping. Map the changing dynamics and create a vision.
- Mind-setting. Create shared conviction and enthusiasm for what successful change will bring about.
- Message. Activating change among the broader organisation.
They then lay out that for three different types of transformation and how these three ‘Ms’ should be adapted:
- Enhance Magnitude. This is when a business is well-positioned but can step up. In this context, mapping is about excellence. The mindset is about rising to the challenge and messaging about the core as a priority.
- Reimagine Activities. This is when the challenge is more on how the business is done. Here, mapping is about innovative approaches (e.g. digitalisation, machine learning). Mind-setting is about experimenting, and messaging is about the benefits for customers.
- Shift Direction. This is when a real shift in direction of the business is needed. Mapping here is about why a pivot is needed. Mind-setting is about building belief in the new destination, and messaging is about a sense of possibility.
As a Chinese proverb expresses: „The wise adapt themselves to circumstances, as water shapes itself to the pitcher that contains it“.