adaptive challenge - Minnesota State Legislature

Report
Legislative Leadership
Minnesota 2013
Ronald Heifetz
Harvard Kennedy School
Ronald_Heifetz@Harvard.edu
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Distinguish
Technical and Adaptive Work
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Persistent conflicts are symptomatic of a bundled
set of issues that are in part technical problems
and in part adaptive challenges.
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The Classic Error
Diagnosing and treating adaptive challenges
as if they were technical problems
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Essential Questions of Adaptive Work
1. What cultural DNA do we keep?
2. What cultural DNA do we discard?
3. What innovative DNA will enable us to thrive in the
new and challenging environment?
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Properties of Adaptive Work
1. Adaptive work demands responses outside the current
repertoire.
2. To thrive in changing conditions, adaptive organizations
must be responsive to the environment.
3. Successful adaptations are conservative as well as
progressive.
4. The people with the problem are the problem, and they are
the solution. Solutions often lie within the society.
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Properties of Adaptive Work
5. Success requires local adaptations to local environments
6. Solutions involve direct and indirect loss as people
re-fashion loyalties and develop new competencies
7. Adaptive work takes more time than technical work
8. Innovation toward adaptive change is experimental
9. Adaptive work generates disequilibrium and avoidance
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Social and Political Tension
Social and political tension and disequilibrium
are part of social learning and adaptive change
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Technical and Adaptive Work
LIMIT OF TOLERANCE
PRODUCTIVE
RANGE OF
DISTRESS
THRESHOLD OF LEARNING
WORK AVOIDANCE
ADAPTIVE
CHALLENGE
TECHNICAL PROBLEM
TIME
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Avoiding Adaptive Work
Societies and Organizations Tend to Avoid Adaptive Work
Why?
• To restore equilibrium and avoid losses
How?
•
By diverting responsibility or attention
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Displacing Responsibility
1. Externalize the enemy
2. Attack authority
3. Divide the top team
4. Kill the messenger
5. Scapegoat
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Diverting Attention
1. Fake Remedies
a. Define the problem to fit your competence
b. Misuse structural adjustments
c. Misuse consultants, committees, task forces
2. Denial
3. Unproductive Conflict
a. Gladiator fights with spectators
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Discussion Question
How can you reduce rather than amplify the constituency
pressures that will constrain your ability to collaborate?
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The Politics of Leadership
ADAPTIVE
CHALLENGE
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Discussion Question
In meeting adaptive challenges, social contracts of trust
between authorities and citizens need to be “renegotiated.”
How can you help each other challenge and disappoint your
constituencies at a rate they can tolerate?
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Properties of Authority
• A service contract
• Formal or informal
• Power entrusted for service
• Key components of the contract
• Power
• Trust
• Service
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Services of Authority
• Direction
• Protection
• Order
• Orientation to roles
• Control of conflict
• Norm Maintenance
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Trust
• Predictability
•
Values
•
Competence
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The Paradox of Trust
People will trust you when you fulfill their expectations for service
So what happens when you:
•
Deliver information that conflicts with those expectations?
•
Tell people what they may need to hear, but not what they
want and expect to hear?
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A Strategy of Leadership:
Mobilizing Adaptive Work
1.
Get on the Balcony
2.
Think Politically
3.
Regulate Disequilibrium
4.
Distribute Leadership and Responsibility
5.
Infuse the Work with Meaning
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Get on the Balcony
• Unbundle Technical from Adaptive challenges
• Distinguish ripe from unripe issues
• Frame the key challenges
• Keep the key issues at the center of attention
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Think Politically
• Find allies
• Keep the opposition close
• Own your piece of the problem
• Acknowledge losses
• Model the changed behavior
• Accept casualties
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Regulate Disequilibrium
•
Strengthen the holding environment for cross-boundary work
•
Depersonalize the conflicts: distinguish role from self
•
Maintain a productive level of disequilibrium
•
Pace the work
•
Take the heat and hold steady
•
Maintain a collective sense of purpose
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Distribute Leadership and Responsibility
•
Place the adaptive work where it must be done
•
Encourage widespread social and policy experimentation
•
Refashion loyalties to move from dependency to distributed
initiative and responsibility
•
Cascade leadership responsibility to local levels
•
Protect unauthorized voices of leadership
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Infuse the Work with Meaning
Develop a narrative that:
•
Manages expectations
•
Helps people comprehend the developments in their lives
•
Builds from and conserves the past
•
Names the losses and sustains people through transitional pain
•
Engages people in their adaptive work
•
Calls forth people’s resourcefulness
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