Are you prepared for this moment in time?
Our increasingly chaotic world is hitting a WALL. This wall is imposed by climate, nature, and human strife. Every industry, organization, and community must be transformed if we are to bring about a future that all of us want. YOUR LEADERSHIP is needed!
This moment calls for you to dynamically mobilize your organization and its stakeholder system to realize Cooperative Advantage
Cooperative Advantage is crucial for success in our increasingly chaotic world and advances the enlivening theme of our book, Flourishing Enterprise. Cooperative Advantage harnesses collective potential by shifting the power dynamics from “over others” to “with each other.” It is validated by scientific and practical insights.
Delineating Leading, Following, and Unifying:
Leading: actions that connect, coordinate, and co-create a desired future. Leaders artfully combine four Leadership Elements introduced later to engage themselves and their groups, organizations, and systems.
Following: executing and reciprocally influencing.
Unifying: understanding and integrating multiple perspectives into a higher unity that activates combined ability to create and act. Leaders leverage strengths, transform conflict, and unify action through replacing control with reciprocal influence. Leaders and followers adapt and shift roles to fit each situation.
Our mindsets shape how we perceive and interpret the situations we face. They also shape our intentions and our responses. Four Leadership Mindsets enable Cooperative Advantage:
- Cooperation: I consistently model potent cooperation and realize its advantages.
- Care: I act with care, kindness, and respect for all people and all life.
- Opportunity: I create the highest possibility from each situation.
- Mastery: I continually learn, grow, and master Leadership Competencies.
Leaders can realize the advantages of Cooperative Advantage through artful application of four interconnected elements: I. Processes, II. Spheres of Influence, III. Layers, and IV. Competencies.
Leadership is enacted through processes, (formal and informal sets of actions) that advance a desired future. Leadership Processes can include and integrate multiple Spheres of Influence (Element II). Process excellence requires effective leadership of tangible and intangible Layers (Element III) and the right Competences (Element IV).
II. Spheres of Influence:
Cooperative Advantage calls for skillful leadership across and among four Spheres of Influence: 1. Self, 2. Group, 3. Organization, and 4. System.
“Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, raising performance to a higher standard, building personality beyond its normal limitations. Your first and foremost job as a leader is to take charge of your own energy and then help orchestrate the energy of those around you.” – Peter Drucker
- Self: As Peter Drucker suggests, leading self is the foundation for leading others. It includes cultivating an inner calm to replace reactivity with skillful response.
- Groups: Recognizes that people and work activities connect within and across groups.
- Organizations: Includes integrating and unifying people and processes within and beyond the organization.
- Systems: Includes mobilizing and integrating webs of interdependent people, groups, and organizations.
Ninety per cent of S&P 500 business value is derived from intangible assets (up from 17% in 1975). Tangible leadership focuses on physical assets (e.g. plant, machinery, computer equipment, inventory, cash).
Intangible value is created through innovation; the result of potent cooperation when people work together in combined flow and co-creation. This requires nervous system attunement. Attunement is enhanced when we are calm inside and our physical, emotional, and mental capacities are aligned and mutually supportive. Attunement is particularly challenging amid chaos and stress. Hence, intangible leadership requires both nervous system attunement and resilience. With practice, leaders can learn to dynamically regulate their nervous systems to reliably re-attune and respond from flow and creativity.
Cooperative Advantage calls for leadership excellence to artfully apply and integrate Leadership Mindsets and Leadership Processes, Spheres of Influence, and Layers. Cooperative Advantage is advanced through proficiency with four Competencies.
As we develop these competencies, we improve how we lead, follow, and unify. The compounding effects of practicing together fuels higher and higher levels of leadership excellence and world class performance.
As in sports and the performing arts, a growth mindset, deliberate practice, and challenging conditions can foster superior development. In the workplace, leaders develop increased competence as they are challenged to connect, coordinate, and co-create under increasingly complex and chaotic circumstance.
You can introduce Cooperative Advantage through the following four steps:
- Assess your leadership effectiveness. Assess enabling mindsets and the effectiveness and congruence of your Leadership Processes, Spheres of Influence, Layers, and Competencies. Identify strengths, shortcomings, current performance, and readiness to meet this moment in time.
- Establish priorities. Use a collaborative strategic blueprinting process to update your direction to meet this moment in time. Establish your priorities based on your renewed direction and the output of step 1.
- Begin with a small group pilot. Choose a priority to pilot; begin with a small and committed group.
- Design and launch a broader effort. Use lessons from the pilot and findings from steps 1 and 2 to plan subsequent efforts. Consider Appreciative-Based Strategic Convening to mobilize crucial systems.