Sunnie Giles on five new leadership “mandates”

In The New Science of Radical Innovation, Sunnie Giles focuses on the competencies that leaders will need if their organizations will be able to win in an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world. Change remains the only constant and it seems to occur faster and with greater frequency than ever before.

Albert Einstein once defined insanity as doing the same thing the same way several times, expecting results to be different. I was again reminded of that as I absorbed and digested what Giles characterizes as five new leadership “mandates.” Briefly, here are a few key points:

Decision-making: “Decisions must be made at the boundaries of the organization, where it interacts with others in the environment because that’s where information is most current and relevant. Employees will demand more autonomy and self-organization.”

Control and Accountability: Leaders “must build a team that heals itself by curating peer policy. To institute this type of self-policing, leaders must clear all hurdles n the communication by maximizing transparency (e.g.share everything in an all-hands meeting, except things that will put you in jail or devastate your company.)”

Performance review and feedback: “Instead of annual performance reviews, leaders must provide real-time feedback, focusing on what they want to see more and less of, instead lf good or bad performance.”

Risk management: Too much is happening too fast. Have fast failures on a small scale are. “Leadership competencies must include flexibility in thinking, tolerance for ambiguity, and resilience to failures.”

Results: If your organization has both short-term and long-term goals, it should also have both short-term and long-term incentives and rewards. Consider a five-year rolling average.

The New Science of Radical Innovation was published by BenBella Books (April 2018).

To learn all about Sunni Giles and her work, please click here.


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