Why so hard to change? Empathy for the leaders

Het gieten van ijzer in blokken
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Pertec Consulting in Finland makes a case for the new world – and how it differs from what we’ve known.

Partner Pentii Sydanmaanlakka* evoked empathy for today’s leaders – and what they are going through – as conditions continue to shift.

Simultaneous trends impacting today’s post industrial organizations, shifts…

  • From clockwork/assembly-line-structured organizations to open systems
  • From hierarchical reporting structures to networked organizations
  • From individual to shared leadership
  • From a narrow view of intelligence to a broader, more comprehensive one, that includes mind, body, emotions and meaning
  • From merely product focus (what)  to include process orientation (how)
  • From managing predictable order to managing complexity
  • From a mentality of ‘either/or’ to one that embraces ‘both/and’
  • From competing to collaborating

Today’s leaders are doing their best to ride a surf board through this perfect storm of change. No wonder IBM’s summer report on CEO‘s lists creativity as the number one competency.


Sydanmaanlakka recommends these stages to ease the transition:

  1. Develop self leadership, including personal development and managing wellbeing for an intention of total wellness (mind, body, emotion, meaning)
  2. Use rational, emotional and meaning intelligence when leading individuals, teams, cross-cultural and virtual collaborations
  3. Build  multiple intelligent organizations that balance efficiency, renewal and well being through the management of performance, competence, knowledge and organizational learning.

Imagine how it would be if everyone developed self leadership with an attitude of collaboration.

We are all going to need this talent moving forward, so see what you can do, okay?

Sydanmaanlakka’s dissertation, Intelligent Leadership and Leadership Competencies, 2003 from Helsinki University of Technology, is worth a scan for people looking for new ideas and open to making a new decision or two.  Creativity anyone?

*He spoke at the Creativity and Innovation Management Conference in Buffalo, 2008. ( I just re-found my notes, and could not not share.)