Leadership Inspired by Nature: Redesigning for Resilience

Successful transformation is less about structured hierarchies and more about flexible re-combinations of adaptive interdependent systems within systems. Sometimes these re-combinations grow then stabilise and other times they help open windows of instability leading to new combinations that then provide new growth; failure becoming as instructive as success. This dynamic non-equilibrium in business requires a shift in conventional management thinking from over-reliance on top-down, hierarchical approaches to managing within complexity.  Managing within complexity juggles and combines varying styles and techniques. It encourages bottom-up emergence to flourish; establishing an all-pervasive values-based work ethic whilst guiding and coaching.

Leaders of the future unleash human potential with clarity of purpose and an openness to continual learning aligned to core values.  Leaders are the learners, the ones who seek ‘personal mastery’ (as Peter Senge puts it) whilst remaining interconnected to the whole. Leaders are people who understand who they really are, aspire towards greatness in themselves and inspire greatness in others (not egoic greatness but soulful greatness).  Leaders become teachers, taking time to assist and empower others to lead themselves.  The quest for optimal leadership is about encouraging a creative tension – balancing personal mastery with openness and a deep sense of belonging amongst a community of stakeholders across a diverse business ecosystem.  Another of life’s nuances – finding the harmonics of the individual and the collective learning; where each is symbiotic with the other.

Andy Wood, CEO Adnams ‘The job of a leader is to sprinkle water on to talent and allow it to grow’.

Create the conditions conducive for co-creation and it will naturally flourish.  Positive virtuous cycles start to unlock as people find the optimal pathways for their own value-creation potential, with the desire to overcome challenges, learn, help and share experiences feeding it.  Less energy is siphoned from value-creation activities to management overhead, leaving more available to move forward with the vision of the organisation and innovate.  Self empowerment and collective orientation overcome challenges with opportunities; the leaders refocus their attention from management to empowerment – encouragement through coaching, rather than management through fear.