03 Aug Leadership CHANGE from Must Win Battles to Disruption!
What are the challenges for leaders?
Strategy vacillates frequently these days, often calling for innovation and disruption of direction in the past. Altered strategy should be a deliberate action based on analysis of markets, customer needs, technology, employee engagement, and other realities for the business.
When strategy changes, the culture must also adapt. However, culture change is not easy. Culture is embedded in people, processes, and activities in a company. Culture is related to feelings and behaviors: the right side of the brain. Whereas, strategy is related to logic, analysis, and calculation of the intended direction: the left side of the brain. Neuroscience has deepened this understanding of brain activity.
For almost two decades, many companies undertook the process to build strategy based on “Must Win Battle” concepts or firm goals with long-term cycles in mind. And during the same period, cultures were being shaped so that employees would adopt the Must Win Battle way of thinking.
It is a difficult for leaders to adapt, model, and lead the cultural change that is necessary to change the strategic paradigm from Must Win Battles to Disruptive Leadership.
In the Must Win Battle strategy, decisions and directions are like a chess game where everyone is supposed to know the game of play. Planning two or more moves ahead – depending of the status on the chessboard – before the next move. Within disruption, there is no well-known game of the play and few rules. The most important moves need to be based on risk-taking and an innovative mindset.
Must Win Battle calls for a systematic, controlled, and rule -based way of acting and organizing. Disruption calls for disorder and chaos with a savvy leader who can make sense of it.
Change and disruptions requires carefully built bridges to customers and competitors that empower them to embrace the new directions. At the same time, development and communications need to guide the workforce that is more diverse than ever. The young generation welcomes this business model and functions well with disorder and few rules. More traditional members of the workforce often seek to cling to a former culture and business strategy and rely on rules, control, predictability, and order.
Waves Partners offers tools and processes that enable leaders at all levels to embrace and proactively run the business in a highly productive disruptive way. Learn more about disruptive leadership.
 Rock, David and Jeffrey Schwartz, The Neuroscience of Leadership, Columbia Business School strategy+business, May 30, 2006 / Issue 43 (originally published by Booz & Company)
 Malnight, Thomas and Peter Killing, IMD Perspectives for Managers, No. 106, March 2004.