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Inclusive Leadership: Aligning the Different

Idea posted: July 2014
  • Strategy
  • CSR & Governance
  • Leadership & Change
  • Marketing
Institutions: Mercer LLC

Globalization, advances in technology, and the impact of emerging markets have made the leadership of organizations increasingly complex. To address this complexity leaders need to embrace the ‘different’ and to become ‘inclusive’.  Inclusive leaders have the skill to engage with people with different backgrounds and outlooks, are willing to adapt personally, and are able to create a shared vision which brings diverse individuals to a collective focus on a coherent end-goal. Organizations should follow the advice from Apple and their strapline “Think Different.”

Idea #415
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Participants in the 2013 Clipper Round the World Race

Leading Dynamic Teams: Alignment, Capability, Autonomy

Idea posted: January 2014
  • Leadership & Change

This Idea offers insights from a round-the-world yacht race to reveal several key behaviours that make a real difference to team performance. Using sports teams as a metaphor for understanding team dynamics in organizations and the associated leadership challenges can be useful. However sports teams generally seek short-term black or white goals; whereas in business, and life, the time horizons are longer and the outcomes much more graded. Trans-ocean sailing teams provide a more realistic environment for leadership analysis. 

Idea #301
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The Wizard of Oz – a publicity still of Jack Haley, Ray Bolger, Judy Garland and Bert Lahr promoting the 1966 CBS broadcast of the 1939 MGM feature film (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Leveraging Diversity through Integrative Thinking

Idea posted: August 2013
  • Strategy
  • CSR & Governance
  • Leadership & Change

Increasingly, companies are embracing diversity. It is right on moral grounds alone, but also they feel it can contribute directly to competitive advantage. Many corporate websites echo the thought that the real power of diversity comes in the form of happier customers and increased profit. Many companies routinely create diverse work teams seeking to capture the financial value of leveraging diverse and opposing views. If only it were so easy. The teams need supporting structures, organizational norms and real tools to achieve their goals.

Idea #187
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Covver Illustration from Developing Leaders 8, Julian Burton, www.delta7.com

Bridging Organizational Governance Gaps

Idea posted: July 2013
  • CSR & Governance
  • Leadership & Change

What the Board spells out as good practice, and what motivates managerial behaviour is not necessarily the same thing. The gap between both can lead to serious consequences, not unlike the scandals that took place at Enron, WorldCom and more recently, the BBC. How can your organization create a sense of moral responsibility from ‘the bottom up?’

Idea #179
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Plato (left) and Aristotle (right), a detail of a fresco by Raphael (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Character - The Unspoken Essence of Leadership

Idea posted: June 2013
  • CSR & Governance
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour

In assessing leaders at any level in an organization, three questions are asked:

  1. Do they have the competencies to be a leader?
  2. Do they have the commitment to be a leader?
  3. Do they have the character to be a good leader?

This Idea focuses on leadership character because it is the most difficult to define, measure, assess and develop. Its aim is to define those dimensions of leadership character that are most important in today’s business environment and suggest how character can be developed.

Idea #157
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Tweedledee and Tweedledum, John Tenniel, an illustration for ‘Through the Looking-Glass’ by Lewis Carroll, 1871

Leadership: Is it in the Genes?

Idea posted: January 2013
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour
Institutions: NUS Business School

Are leaders born or made? When looking at this question, some people believe that leadership can be taught and developed, while others believe it is essentially ‘hard wired’. This Idea, however, suggests that neither can be said to be accurate. Both genetics and the environment play an important role in leadership formation; the real question is, how much?

Idea #189
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