Clergy Conference 2012 presentation by Archbishop Colin Johnson
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Clergy Conference 2012 presentation by Archbishop Colin Johnson

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A presentation given by Archbishop Colin Johnson at the Anglican Diocese's of Toronto Clergy Conference 2012. The presentation focused on adaptive leadership skills for clergy.

A presentation given by Archbishop Colin Johnson at the Anglican Diocese's of Toronto Clergy Conference 2012. The presentation focused on adaptive leadership skills for clergy.

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  • Desert, brick building, slaves, certaintyManna (old patterns don’t work), community, leadership sharing, direction unknown, trial/error, learning to be a community, new roles, lots left behindLearning as they went – discernment, prayer, attention to scripture, the Spirit, the fellowship; Matthias, the widows, deacons; prosyletising Gentiles. Role of Barnabas, as well as Peter, James, Saul/Paul
  • Technical problems: known solutions, resolvable through current structures, know-how, procedures, ways of doing thingsAdaptive challenges: only addressed through changes in people’s priorities, beliefs, habits, and loyalties; going beyond authoritative experise, shedding certain entrenched ways, tolerating losses, generating new capacity to thrive anew. Not a matter of doing your old job better, longer, with more help.
  • Sunday liturgies and funerals are a mixture of technical and adaptive: implementing the set liturgy and figuring out how to communicate the lectionary-selected gospel in a particular situation, adapting the music, intercessions, etc to accommodate the setting, pastoral context, resources present.Adaptive challenge: how to implement the mission of the Anglican Church in a multi-faith, multi-cultural community with a strong anti-institutional predisposition and lack of common narrative?
  • But because they are rooted in people’s deeply held beliefs, values, feelings and norms, adaptive problems always resurface
  • Metaphor for diagnosing a system and your place in itDiagnosing the system whole in the midst of action requires the ability of achieve some distance from the on-the-ground events – moving to the balcony – gain perspectiveFrom balcony can see pattens not evident when you are on the floor, caught up in the dance.Going to the balcony requires that you observe the system you are part of – simultaneiously detached and connected – self-differentiationMoving back and forth – oscillationMoving outside in on the system; moving inside out on analysing yourself
  • The adaptive purpose of parables Good Samaritan, Prodigal Son, See also Luke 4 – Jesus in Nazareth
  • CapacityThriveValues, purpose, processEngages all the giftsWhat is so essential it must be preserved going forward; what of all you value (note it IS valuable!) can/must you leave behind?
  • Both/and - does not produce uniformity, but continuity not only to survive but to thriveLosses are real; grief important; grieving process of Kubler-Ross (denial, anger, depression, bargaining, acceptance) People at different stagesNew norms: why dieting, or dealing with besetting sin so difficult
  • Integration of all these roles:
  • Don’t know it allAbility to check out hunches, name truths, help people tolerate conflict and discomfortResist quick fixes, saviour complex, rescuing, need to know it all; Honouring the pain that comes from change, lossBuilding community – shaping expectations, training, coalitions, consultation, shared understanding, calling on gifts, insights, mutual ministry
  • “The leader’s role is to provide the chalice that contains the community’s anxiety within safe boundaries so it can do its work productively. It is open ended, not a pressure cooker. It can spill and be lost. It can contain water that quenches thirst, or sour vinegar that embitters those who drink or good wine that lightens the spirit and creates the effervescence that enlivens a community.”

Clergy Conference 2012 presentation by Archbishop Colin Johnson Clergy Conference 2012 presentation by Archbishop Colin Johnson Presentation Transcript

  • Clergy Conference 2012Presentation by Archbishop Colin Johnson Conference Session 5: Adaptive Leadership
  • Can leaders still lead when they don’t know what to do? YES! IT’S CALLED “ADAPTIVE LEADERSHIP” 2
  • This information is taken from the following material from The Rev’d Dr. Margaret Ann (Sam) Faeth, Dr. Mary Uhl-Bien, and Dr. Ronald Heifitz. I’d strongly recommend that you buy and read Heitfitz’ book:The Practice of Adaptive leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World. Ronald Heifitz, Marty Linsky, Alexander Grashow, 2009, Harvard Business Review Press. 3 View slide
  • Adaptive Leadership• Moses and the Hebrew slaves – Journeying to the Promised Land and becoming the People of God• The Acts of the Apostles – Leadership, membership, service: • Who does what? Who belongs? Who decides and how are decisions made? What’s important? What are the priorities? 4 View slide
  • Can leaders still lead when they don’t know what to do?The obsession for the quick fix:• People feel pressure to solve problems quickly – Move to action – NOW! We’re going to die here!• Analyzing problems by personalizing them – If only “N.N.” were a leader (follower/ believer/scriptural/charismatic/younger/ nicer/stronger)…• Attributing situations to interpersonal conflict – If we could just get rid of the rector (organist/ secretary/ treasurer/ parishioner) who is opposing/causing/doing… 5
  • Practice of LeadershipTwo core processes• DIAGNOSIS – What is happening? • In the church • ACTION • In society – Take necessary action • In yourself to address the issues in the organisation – Take action toward self in the context of the challenge 6
  • The process of Diagnosis and Action1. What? OBSERVE Data collection and problem identification2. Why? INTERPRET explore multiple Interpretations of the data3. What next? INTERVENE develop a number of potential approaches to a series of actions/ interventions Re-iterate: move back and forth between data collection, interpretation, and action 7
  • Adaptive leadership process observeintervene interpret 8
  • Adaptive vs Technical• Technical problems: known solutions, resolvable through current structures, procedures, practised ways of doing things• Adaptive challenges: new situations without known precedent – only addressed through changes in people’s priorities, beliefs, habits, and loyalties – Doing old job better, longer, with more help will not address an adaptive challenge 9
  • Type of Challenge Problem definition Solution Locus of workTechnical Clear Clear; tried and Authority (expert) tested precedents will implement existing structures and rolesTechnical and Less Clear: some Requires some Authority will haveadaptive learning needed to learning to consult diagnose stakeholdersAdaptive Requires learning Requires systemic Stakeholders adaptive learning; (shared leadership) involving beliefs, norms, values 10
  • examples• Sunday liturgies and funerals are a mixture of technical and adaptive: implementing the set liturgy and figuring out how to communicate the lectionary-selected gospel in a particular situation, adapting the music, intercessions, etc to accommodate the setting, pastoral context, resources present.• Adaptive challenge: how do we to implement the mission of the Anglican Church in a multi-faith, multi- cultural community with a strong anti-institutional predisposition and lack of common narrative? 11
  • Adaptive challenge• Adaptive leadership is the practice of mobilizing people to tackle tough challenges and thrive• Successful adaptation from nature: – Preserves DNA essential for survival – Discards (rearranges) DNA no longer meeting current needs – Creates DNA arrangements to give ability to flourish in new ways and in new challenging environments 12
  • The obstacles to LEADERSHIP:• Pressure to solve problem quickly• The Quick Fix as a sign of LEADERSHIP• Deflect the hard work• Push to minimize diagnostic process – Data collection – Multiple possible interpretations – Alternative interventions“The single most important skill and most undervalued capacity for exercising adaptive leadership is diagnosis.” Heifetz, Grashow, Linsky, p. 7HE 13
  • Adaptive Leadership requires WORK TIME EXPERIMENT ANALYSIS PERSEVERENCE 14
  • Heifetz’ List of Work Avoidance Behaviours• Applying a technical fix to an adaptive problem• Define the problem to fit the current expertise• Inappropriate humour• Denying the problem exists• Create a proxy fight• Shoot the messenger• Identify a scapegoat• Externalise the enemy• Attack authority• Delegate outside the system (outside consultants to propose a fix – which can then be ignored) 15
  • Warning!• Technical solutions WILL NOT solve adaptive challenges• they will: – Lower anxiety temporarily – Create the illusion of progress – Cast the leader in the role of hero – Reduce the motivation for systemic learning – Stifle the capacity for creativity and growth 16
  • Balcony and Dance Floor 17
  • Balcony and Dance FloorMetaphor for diagnosing a system and your place in it• Diagnosing the whole system in the midst of action requires the ability of achieve some distance from the on-the- ground events – moving to the balcony – gain perspective• From balcony can see patterns not evident when you are on the floor, caught up in the dance.• Going to the balcony requires that you observe the system you are part of – simultaneously detached and connected – self-differentiation• Moving back and forth – oscillation• Moving outside in on the system; moving inside out on analysing yourself 18
  • Getting to the Balcony When to go?  At planned intervals  In the moment of  Change, conflict, crisis  Transitions  When situation is puzzling  When things are going particularly well – or very badly 19
  • • Who to go with? – Alone (but ALWAYS with the Holy Spirit) – With a “No BS Group” – With someone whose perspective, opinion, experience differs from yours• What to look for? – The FOUR ARCHETYPES of ADAPTIVE CHALLENGE: • Gap between espoused values and behaviours • Competing commitments • Speaking the unspeakable • Work avoidance behaviours 20
  • The view from the BalconyWho’s at the dance? What music is playing?What kind of dance is it?Who is dancing? Who is waiting to be asked?How much energy is there? Who is just arriving?Who is sneaking out?Where are you on the dance floor? Who is on yourdance card?Who is stepping on toes? Who is graceful? Are you intime with the beat? Who is tired? Who has energy tospare?Does the band keep playing the same tune? Or dancersdoing the same dance? 21
  • Balcony diagnostic strategyLook for: STRUCTURE – how are things organised? CULTURE – norms, values, story DEFAULTS – the way things are done hereThen seek with others: – Multiple possible interpretations – Alternative interventions Rarely is there a single interpretation of the data or a single possible intervention 22
  • LEADERSHIP Technical AdaptiveTASKDirection Provide problem Identify adaptive challenge; definition & frame key questions & solution issuesProtection Protect from Disclose external threats external threatsOrder Disorient current roles;• Orientation Orient people to resist orienting people to current roles new roles too quickly• Conflict Restore order Expose conflict or let it emerge•Norms Maintain norms Challenge norms or let 23
  • Pay attention to:• Patterns – who/what connected? Isolated? – what repeats? Changes?• Defaults – what are the preferred modes of learning? – How do the system respond to conflict? – Where is advice sought? – How are decisions made? – Does the system respond predictably in conflict, challenge or change?• Energy – Resilience – Creativity – Commitment 24
  • • Threats – What challenges the status quo? – What resources are stretched? – What norms, values, behaviours protect the status quo? – What is identified as a threat? – Are there unnoticed threats (situational, organisational, environmental)?• Opportunities – What might we learn? How might we serve? – How can we welcome new people?ideas?ministry? 25
  • • Yourself: – How do you function in the system? – How big is the circle around you? – Are you accessible or isolated? – Does the system protect or challenge you? – Who has access to you? Who wants access? Who is the gatekeeper? – Can you hear the voices of dissent? How do you respond? – What are your defaults in conflict? stress? change? fatigue? uncertainty? – What enhances or impairs your learning? – What must be preserved and protected? – What losses might you have to suffer? – What’s in it for you? – How do you take care of yourself? 26
  • Adaptive Leadership• Specifically about change that enables the capacity to thrive – Wrestle with normative questions of value, purpose and process – Multiple stakeholders priorities, defining “thriving”, then moving to realise it• Builds on the past rather than jettisons it – Both conservative and progressive• Occurs through experimentation – Improvisation; rapidly produced variations; high failure-rates; iterative 27
  • • Relies on diversity – Each variant produces capacities different from the rest of the population; not cloning• New adaptations generate losses – Displace, reconfigure, rearrange – Creates predictable defensive responses• Takes time – Persistence and perseverence – Consolidation of new norms and practices 28
  • Complexity Adaptive Theory3 entangledleadershiproles adaptive enabling leadership leadership(Mary Uhl-Bien) administrative leadership 29
  • Living into Adaptive Leadership• Learning mode• Self reflection and analysis of context• Living with ambiguity and disequilibrium• Resistance to seduction• Discernment – what’s essential, what’s less so• Pastoral care and compassion• Resistance – deflection of work, defaults,• Patience and perseverance• Building community• Dealing with values, purpose, hope• Don’t do it alone; practise in life; resist leap to action; make hard choices• The Holy Spirit leading us into God’s mission 30
  • 31
  • PrayerO God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us;through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Evangelical Lutheran Worship. Evening Prayer, p. 317 32