Harvard Business Review published a special July/August issue on “Managing in the New World.” One of the many excellent articles in this expanded issue is entitled “Leadership in a (Permanent) Crisis.” The authors state “when the economy recovers, things won’t return to normal – and a different mode of leadership will be required.” They go on to persuasively argue our turbulent times “merely sets the stage for a sustained or even permanent crisis of serious and unfamiliar challenges.”
Of course, during any time of personal or organizational adversity and change, we can wallow, follow, or lead. The authors offer three core suggestions to organizational leaders:
• Foster Adaptation – this calls for balancing the continuation of current practices while at the same time helping people develop “the next practices.”
• Embrace disequilibrium – keeping people uncomfortable enough to induce change but not so much that they fight, flee, or freeze.
• Generate leadership – building leadership across all levels of the organization to adapt to changing times.
The whole issue – and especially this article – reinforced for me the timeliness of my latest book, Growing @ the Speed of Change: Your Inspir-actional How-To Guide For Leading Yourself and Others through Constant Change. Bringing practical tools for dealing with change today feels a lot like the overall mood toward service and quality improvement in the early nineties when I published my second book, Firing on All Cylinders: The Service/Quality System for High-Powered Corporate Performance which sold over 100,000 copies. I am sure this is not just a case of me noticing the constant change issue more now because of my new book – like noticing other models of a new car you’ve just purchased.
Last week I recorded a short video clip (1:40) on “Change Isn’t News” – but the pace and permanence of change is. You can view it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlCB43hq1I0.
I also recorded a two minute view clip on how Growing @ the Speed of Change was written to build acceptance of constant change and leading behaviors at all organizational levels. You can view that at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKBDH3IpgXM.