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. At the same time, we face a revolution in technology and communications. Every industry, organization, and community must be transformed to meet this moment and generate high performance for themselves, society, and nature. YOUR LEADERSHIP is needed!
This moment calls on you to realize Cooperative Advantage by unlocking the collective potential of your organization and its stakeholder system for high performance
Cooperative Advantage is crucial for success in our increasingly chaotic and interconnected world. It builds on the theme of our book, Flourishing Enterprise. It harnesses collective potential by shifting from top-down power to reciprocal influence; it is validated by scientific and practical insights; and it delivers important advantages.
Leadership for Cooperative Advantage is a dynamic process that includes:
Leading: formal and informal sets of actions that envision and advance a desired future.
Following: executing and reciprocally influencing.
Unifying: understanding and integrating multiple perspectives into a higher unity that activates combined ability to create and act. Leaders replace control with reciprocal influence to leverage strengths, transform conflict, and unify action. Leaders and followers adapt and shift roles to fit each situation.
Cooperative Advantage calls for leaders to collaboratively engage Leadership Processes across and among four Spheres of Influence and two Dimensions. It also calls on leaders to develop four Leadership Competencies.
Self: As Peter Drucker suggests, leading self is the foundation for leading others.
“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
Effective leaders cultivate an inner calm and replace reactivity with skillful response. They bring clarity and minimize cognitive biases (subconscious thinking errors) and emotional biases (emotional reactions that blur judgment).
Effective leaders also cultivate mindsets that enable collective excellence, including:
- 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
- Groups: Groups include units, functions, project teams, and partnerships. Group leaders coordinate people and processes within and across groups.
- Organizations: Organizations are highly effective when everyone’s efforts are properly aligned, integrated, and unified. Organizational leaders coordinate people, groups, and processes within and beyond the organization.
- Systems: Addressing today’s opportunities and threats often requires the engagement of a whole system of interrelated stakeholders. System leaders coordinate webs of people, groups, organizations, and processes.
Dimensions: Ninety per cent of S&P 500 business value is derived from intangible assets (up from 17% in 1975). The tangible layer is primarily physical assets (e.g. plant, machinery, computer equipment, inventory, cash).
Intangible leadership creates value through innovation and collaboration. Innovation is enhanced when people co-create and work together from a state of group flow. This requires nervous system coherence and attunement with others. Coherence and attunement require that we are calm inside and our physical, emotional, and mental capacities are aligned and mutually supportive. This is particularly challenging amid chaos and stress. Hence, nervous system resilience is necessary. With practice, leaders can learn to dynamically regulate their nervous systems and reliably re-attune to others to act and respond from flow and creativity.
Competencies: Cooperative Advantage is advanced through proficiency with four Leadership Competencies which are applied across the four Spheres and two Dimensions.
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 the effectiveness and congruence of your Leadership Processes and Competencies across and among the four Spheres of Influence and two Dimensions. 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.