Our change work is informed by a rich array of theory and practice, bringing with it multiple modes of working. The following two frameworks and approaches are particularly influential in our leader development work. We favour them because they enable us to work with the visible and the invisible, and with both individual and collective, aspects of performance. They are well-researched, easy to work with and are profoundly and practically helpful, providing a quick route in to the nub of the developmental challenges before us.
Anderson & Adams: Mastering Leadership
Anderson and Adam’s work, described in Mastering Leadership, offers a straightforward approach for making sense of what it takes to lead effectively in complex environments. Distinguishing helpfully between our creative competencies and our reactive tendencies it quickly gets to the heart of the challenges leaders are facing and provides clear developmental pathways for enhanced leadership effectiveness.
Written “for leaders swimming in complexity, wanting and needing to thrive, knowing it could be different … also for leaders who are thriving in complexity and are hoping to teach others how to do the same”, it offers a simple-to-understand framework powered by complex thinking.
At ChangeTools, we work with the online 360 Leadership Circle Profile and Leadership Culture Survey to support individual leaders and leadership teams to evolve their practice of leadership, as a discipline. Comparing results against a large database of global leaders, the insights gained have profound implications for leaders and their work.
For an introduction to the framework and to get a feel for what raters are asked to do when giving 360 degree feedback you can complete the free online self-survey of the Leadership Circle Profile. Note, you’ll need a copy of Mastering Leadership to hand, to answer the question that unlocks access!
Torbert & Colleagues: Transformations of Leadership
Bill Torbert and David Rooke’s 2005 Harvard Business Review article, Seven Transformations of Leadership, describes leader development in terms of adult developmental stages. It was chosen in 2012 as one of HBR’s 10 best leadership articles ever.
Kirstin has had the pleasure of training and spending time with Bill Torbert over the past couple of years. As he embarks on his second retirement, his life’s work continues to expand and develop, finding new forms and new audiences through his network of friends and colleagues. Chief among these is Global Leadership Associates who publish the Global Leadership Profile (GLP). As a certified GLP coach, Kirstin helps people to step in to active leadership in the face of evermore complex environments. Working with seven leadership levels, this is rich, rewarding and respectful work, enabling leaders to explore and develop their characteristic ways of making decisions and relating to others.
For a more in-depth look at this body of work, read: Action Inquiry: The Secret of Timely and Transforming Leadership. Action Inquiry – as a leadership practice – serves to increase the effectiveness of our actions and, in turn, helps others to become more capable of self-transformation. A simple-to-understand practice for learning that requires attention and discipline to practice moment-to-moment.
Action inquiry is a way of learning anew, in the vividness of each moment, how best to act now. The source of both its difficulty and potential is that action inquiry requires making ourselves, not just others, vulnerable to inquiry and to transformation. ~ Bill Torbert
For those of you looking for down to earth, practical applications of action inquiry, we highly recommend Street Smart Awareness and Inquiry-in-Action, by our friends Jane Allen and Heidi Gutekunst. It is a delight, spanning simple and profound practices for developing more mature and aware decision making and action in everyday life. Happily, one of our own street smart stories makes an appearance.
To learn more about how ChangeTools can support individual leaders and leadership teams using these approaches, contact Kirstin for a discussion.