Science is evolving rapidly these days, and we are happy about that. There are of course tons of academic journals and knowledge from the field that we can refer too. Here we give you anidea of the scientific findings and work in our discipline.
A conceptual framework relating to sustainability-driven leadership and organizational development.
In Proceedings from the conference 'Transforming Tomorrow: Leadership for a Sustainable Future' held in December 2014, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK. Published by the University of Cambridge, Institute for Sustainability Leadership & The Academy of Business in Society. Read the proceedings on www. abis-global.org
Inspiration and creativity
Professional Development Workshop at the Spirituality and Creativity in Management World Congress held in April 2015, Esade, Barcelona, Spain
Dancing lessons for leaders
Academic -practical- summary, 2015
The client brief of an oil & gas company for this long-term programme of four years (including dance, theater and music) was unusual, in that it set out to change the behaviours and mindsets of a group of senior project managers, rather than to supply them with new or enhanced skills or new theoretical frameworks. The client’s own research had shown that the success of its capital projects, typically involving many millions of pounds in investment, was due more to “soft” issues, involving the ability to get the various parties (“stakeholders”) involved in the projects – governments; project partners; contractors – to work successfully together as a team, than it was due to “hard” issues such as planning or technical problems. As the most recent client director of the programme, Rachel (not her real name) said in a recent interview with the authors, “We can figure out the technical side, we can solve technical issues … you know, more cost and more time will solve most problems! And from that perspective we can fix those things – but it’s not those things that are going wrong, especially on big projects.”
The key, said Roger (the leadership development programme manager, not his real name), was to stay focussed on the bigger picture and not to “whinge” about the circumstances and arrangements of any particular project.
One of the purposes of the leadership development programme under discussion was to encourage project manager delegates to adopt a more flexible, “creative” and collaborative approach to the solution of the various unpredictable problems that their complex projects inevitably presented. Nancy Adler (2006), argues that the world of business can no longer be entirely mechanistic in its outlook and approach, but must become creative, since copying established business strategies is unlikely to be successful. “Designing innovative options requires more than the traditional analytical and decision making skills taught during the past half century in most MBA programs. Rather, it requires skills that creative artists have used for years.” (Adler, 2006: 489). There is a growing recognition of the truth of this in the business world.
Delegates who had completed the programme were assigned one of four client-based mentors, all of whom were experienced project managers. Each mentor would have three or four mentees. Each mentee would be asked to think about a number of things – typically three – that they would do differently as a direct result of the programme. Client programme director, Rachel, points out that these ideas came from the delegates themselves, as opposed to them being imposed by the organization as a set of desired outcomes. The result of the programme, Rachel told the authors, was “unexpected and wonderful”.
In terms of a cost-benefit analysis, it was interesting because it was the individual participants identifying what they had done differently as a result of the programme. So it was not us projecting what we think the benefits of the programme were, this was the participants themselves saying, “I decided this differently and this is the impact that it had”, which is much more powerful in terms of actually trying to understand the impact that you can have on individuals and the role that this kind of embodied training or, you know, the performing, can have, and have people then interacting more in their day-to-day work (from not seeing the why of review meetings to almost having to turn people away, making savings of £900,000 for having learned bigger picture thinking and finding new transport routes). It was unexpected and wonderful.
A really great Podcast at Harvard Business Review Ideacast from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg talking about returning to work after her husband’s death, and Wharton management and psychology professor Adam Grant discusses what the research says about resilience. In this joint interview, they talk about how to build resilience in yourself, your team, and your organization. They’re the authors of the new book, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy.