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Leadership: Enemy of the People - Keith Grint

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In this session Keith Grint makes reference to the default preference for interpreting situations as critical and the associated decision-style of command which often undermines our attempts to address wicked problem adequately. As a result, ‘leadership’, defined as persuading the collective to take responsibility for collective problems, is often regarded not just as difficult and dangerous, but as ‘the enemy of the people’. Not only are we likely to be addicted to command but we are also likely to be allergic to leadership.

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Leadership: Enemy of the People - Keith Grint

  1. 1. Leadership: Enemy of the People?Keith Grint<br />
  2. 2. Leadership: enemy of the people?<br />Is Leadership the solution or the enemy of the people?<br />The Cassandra Complex: <br /> just because you’re right doesn’t mean people will believe you<br />The Cuckoo Clock Syndrome: are we addicted to Command?<br />
  3. 3. Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People<br />Norwegian coastal town has invested in public baths for the new tourist season led by Dr Stockmann & his brother, the mayor.<br />Dr Stockmann realizes that the town tannery is poisoning the baths & suggests delaying opening<br />Nobody supports him – he is ‘An enemy of the people’<br />
  4. 4. Chief Brody (Roy Scheider): Enemy of the People (of Amity)<br />
  5. 5. Cassandra Complex<br />Cassandra, daughter of Priam – Trojan King. <br />Apollo falls in love with her & gives her the ability to foretell the future <br />But when she rejects his advances he curses her, ensuring that, though she retains the gift of prophecy, <br />…..nobody believes her.<br />
  6. 6. Leadership, defined as: <br />getting the collective to face complex collective responsibilities,<br />is unpopular and dangerous <br />What is popular? Command<br />
  7. 7. Command & The Cuckoo Clock Syndrome<br />Harry Lime (Orson Welles) –eponymous Third Man (1949) set in early post war Vienna. <br />Famous scene set on top of the Riesenrad, large Ferris wheel in the Prater amusement park. <br />Lime confronts his erstwhile friend Holly Martins (Joseph Cotton) about latter’s sentimentality.<br />
  8. 8. “In Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. “<br />
  9. 9. “In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace—and what did that produce? “<br />
  10. 10. “In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace—and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.”<br />
  11. 11. The Cuckoo Clock Syndrome<br />Peace, patience & mundane activities generate tedium & stasis<br />Crisis, competition & violence generate progress<br />Crisis requires decision-making through Commanders<br />Commanders temporarily alleviate the symptoms of a Critical Problem but cannot address the causes if they are generated by Wicked Problems – that would require collective action<br />Does this lead to an addiction to Command – hence permanent crisis – and an Allergy to Leadership?<br />
  12. 12. Typologies of decision style and problems<br />
  13. 13. The Problem with Change<br /> Do different kinds of problems require different kinds of change?<br /> 1. Critical Problems: Commander<br /> 2. Tame Problems: Management<br /> 3. Wicked Problems: Leadership<br />
  14. 14. Problems, Problems, Problems<br />Critical Problems: Commander<br />1. Portrayed as self-evident crisis; often at tactical level<br />2. General uncertainty – though not ostensibly by commander who provides ‘answer’<br />No time for discussion or dissent<br />Legitimizes coercion as necessary in the circumstances for public good<br />Associated with Command<br />Encouraged through reward<br />Commander’s Role is to take the required decisive action – that is to:<br /> provide the answer to the problem <br />
  15. 15. Plato’s Philosopher-Kings: <br />Omnipotent and Omniscient Commanders<br />White Elephants:<br /> 1. Albino Elephant: Deity - Omniscient & Omnipotent<br /> 2. Expensive & Unnecessary & Foolhardy Expense<br />
  16. 16. Problems, Problems, Problems<br />Tame Problems: Management – <br /> Problems as PUZZLES – there is a solution<br /> Can be complicated but there is a unilinear solution to them – <br /> these are problems that management can (& has previously) solved<br />Tame and Wicked Problems (Rittell and Webber, 1973). <br />The problem of heart surgery is a Tame problem<br />It’s complicated but there is a process for solving it <br />& therefore it has a Managerial Solution/Answer<br />Launching a(nother) new product is a tame problem<br />Relocating is a tame problem<br />Management’s role is to engage the appropriate process to solve the TAME problem<br />
  17. 17. Management as a Science<br />F W Taylor’s engineering: <br />the application of science to achieve the one best solution<br />Problem <br />Solution<br />
  18. 18. Wicked Problems have no simple solutionbecause:<br />Either novel or recalcitrant<br />Complex rather than complicated (cannot be solved in isolation)<br /> Sit outside single hierarchy and across systems – ‘solution’ creates another problem<br />They often have no stopping rule – thus no definition of success<br />May be intransigent problems that we have to learn to live with<br />‘Solution’ may precede the problem<br />Symptoms of deep divisions – contradictory certitudes<br /> Have no right or wrong solutions but better or worse developments<br />Uncertainty & Ambiguity inevitable – cannot be deleted through correct analysis –<br /> Keat’s “Negative Capability”<br />Problems for leadership not management; require political collaboration not scientific processes - role is to ask the appropriate question & to engage collaboration<br />
  19. 19. Hybrid Leadership<br />Leaders as wheelwrights: Leadership as an art<br />3C. BC Emperor Liu Bang held banquet on consolidation of China <br />Surrounded by nobles, military & political experts. <br />Guest asked Chen Cen (military expert) why Liu Bang was Emperor. <br />Chen Cen: ‘What determines the strength of a wheel?’ <br />Guest: ‘The strength of the spokes’ <br />Chen Cen: ‘2 sets of spokes of identical strength did not necessarily make wheels of identical strength. The strength was also affected by the spaces between the spokes, & determining the spaces was the true art of the wheelwright.’ <br />
  20. 20. '04<br />'08<br />'12<br />'24<br />'28<br />'32<br />'36<br />'48<br />'56<br />'60<br />'64<br />'72<br />'76<br />'80<br />'84<br />'88<br />'92<br />1900<br />'20<br />'52<br />'68<br />1996<br />Height in inches<br />Fosbury Flop<br />Scissors<br />Fosbury Flop<br />Straddle<br />Height in Inches<br />Western Roll<br />Scissors<br />1900 1920 1952 1968 <br />1900 1920 1952 1968 1996<br />
  21. 21. The problem of NIS improvements: Tame - efficiencies & budget cuts<br />The problem of NHS improvements : Wicked – from NIS to NHS – <br />e.g., 811,000 people in hospital in 2008 in UK through alcohol; cost - £2.7bn.<br />Professor Ian Gilmore, president of the Royal College of Physicians<br />Birmingham Total Place Final Report report (2010: 5)<br />96% of health spend on treating illness only 4% on keeping people well. <br />
  22. 22.
  23. 23. The highway from one merchant town to another shall be cleared so that no cover for malefactors should be allowed for a width of two hundred feet on either side; landlords who do not effect this clearance will be answerable for robberies committed in consequence of their default, and in case of murder they will be in the king’s mercy.<br />Given at Winchester, October 8, in the thirteenth year of the king's reign. —Statute of Winchester of 1285, Chapter V, <br />King Edward I<br />
  24. 24.
  25. 25. 2003: FBU fire strike: reduced fires <br />
  26. 26. Peter Connelly (also known as "Baby P<br />But what happens when an issue like this occurs?<br />
  27. 27. Peter Connelly (also known as "Baby P<br />Sharon Shoesmith<br />Head Haringey<br /> children’s service<br />Extra Safeguarding Process<br />Ed Balls<br />Children’s <br />Secretary<br />
  28. 28. +7.5%<br /> increase in referrals<br />2008/9 – 2009/10<br />Peter Connelly (also known as "Baby P<br />Sharon Shoesmith<br />Head Haringey<br /> children’s service<br />Extra Safeguarding Process<br />Ed Balls<br />Children’s <br />Secretary<br />
  29. 29. USS Benfold 1997-1999<br />Guided missile destroyer<br />The Problem: the worst performing ship in the US Pacific Fleet<br />
  30. 30. Problems & Power<br />Crisis<br />Tame<br />Wicked<br /> CoerciveCalculative Normative <br />CommandManagementLeadership <br /> Etzioni’s typology of compliance<br />
  31. 31. Normal distribution of situations/problems<br />But what happens when the problem isn’t solved?<br />Increasing uncertainty about solution to problem<br />LEADERSHIP<br />Ask Questions<br /> MANAGEMENT <br /> Organize Process<br />WICKED<br /> TAME<br /> COMMAND<br />Provide Answer<br />CRITICAL<br />Increasing requirement for collaborative compliance/ resolution<br />CACULATIVE/<br />RATIONAL<br />NORMATIVE/<br />EMOTIONAL<br />Soft power<br />COERCION/<br />PHYSICAL<br />Hard power<br />
  32. 32. What happens when management fails to tame a problem?<br /> First Response: keep doing what you’re doing<br />Increasing uncertainty about solution to problem<br />LEADERSHIP<br />Ask Questions<br />MANAGEMENT <br /> (Re) Organize Process<br />WICKED<br />TAME<br />CRITICAL<br />Increasing requirement for collaborative compliance/ resolution<br /> COMMAND<br />Provide Answer<br />CACULATIVE/<br />RATIONAL<br />NORMATIVE/<br />EMOTIONAL<br />Soft power<br />COERCION/<br />PHYSICAL<br />Hard power<br />
  33. 33.
  34. 34. What happens when management fails to tame a problem?<br />Second Response: recognize a different category of problem<br />Increasing uncertainty about solution to problem<br />LEADERSHIP<br />Ask Questions<br /> MANAGEMENT <br /> Organize Process<br />WICKED<br />TAME<br /> COMMAND<br />Provide Answer<br />CRITICAL<br />Increasing requirement for collaborative compliance/ resolution<br />CACULATIVE/<br />RATIONAL<br />NORMATIVE/<br />EMOTIONAL<br />Soft power<br />COERCION/<br />PHYSICAL<br />Hard power<br />
  35. 35. A Critical/Command Response<br />If it’s critical – command the answer<br />Brook no dissent<br />Do what needs to be done to get stability<br />Do it now! <br />Increasing uncertainty about solution to problem<br />LEADERSHIP<br />Ask Questions<br />WICKED<br />COMMAND<br /> Provide . Answer<br />TAME<br /> MANAGEMENT <br /> Organize Process<br />CRITICAL<br />Increasing requirement for collaborative compliance/ resolution<br />CACULATIVE/<br />RATIONAL<br />NORMATIVE/<br />EMOTIONAL<br />Soft power<br />COERCION/<br />PHYSICAL<br />Hard power<br />
  36. 36. A Wicked/Leadership Response<br /> Why have we got into this state?<br /> What do we need to agree to stop it recurring?<br /> Let us take this opportunity to rethink this.<br /> Let us not allow the moment of change to pass.<br />Increasing uncertainty about solution to problem<br />LEADERSHIP<br />Ask Questions<br />WICKED<br /> MANAGEMENT <br /> Organize Process<br />TAME<br /> COMMAND<br />Provide Answer<br />CRITICAL<br />Increasing requirement for collaborative compliance/ resolution<br />CACULATIVE/<br />RATIONAL<br />NORMATIVE/<br />EMOTIONAL<br />Soft power<br />COERCION/<br />PHYSICAL<br />Hard power<br />
  37. 37. But are we addicted to Command?<br />Increasing uncertainty about solution to problem<br />And are we allergic to Leadership?<br />COMMAND:<br />Provide Answer<br />MANAGEMENT: Organize Process<br />TAME<br />CRITICAL<br />Increasing requirement for collaborative compliance/ resolution<br />CACULATIVE/<br />RATIONAL<br />COERCION/<br />PHYSICAL<br />Hard power<br />
  38. 38. Why might we be Addicted to Command & Allergic to Leadership?<br />1. Fear of Failure<br />Leading a Wicked Problem implies you don’t know the answer<br />But do we assume leaders have to know the answer?<br />Does the fear of failure drive people to adopt Command <br />when they should be Leading?<br />
  39. 39. 2. The partial role of the media in promoting crisis<br />30 July 2009 Disorder Fears If Swine Flu Crisis Grows<br />There have been dire warnings of civil disorder and a breakdown in the basic infrastructure if the worst fears over the imminent swine flu pandemic are realised.NI health officials have briefed hospitals to be prepared for overwhelming volumes of swine flu cases and associated civil disorder.<br />SWINE FLU CRISIS COULD BRING NHS TO ITS KNEES July 25,2009 <br />
  40. 40. 1,799<br />Global <br />Deaths<br />From <br />Swine Flu<br />As at 20/8/9<br />
  41. 41.
  42. 42. DIARRHOEA<br />
  43. 43. 3. Time, Speed & the Adrenaline Rush: Carpe Diem Commanders & commanded as adrenaline junkies <br />Anxiety over ‘indecision’ – Keats Negative Capability – the time & space to reflect (Versus ‘the first 100 days’ syndrome)<br />Role of crisis & epic history-making <br /> Lord of the Rings<br /> Harry Potter<br /> Gladiator<br /> Pearl Harbour<br /> Inglourious Basterds<br /> Terminator<br />
  44. 44. 4. The followers’ fear of freedom<br />Erich Fromm (1942) <br />Fear of freedom – why we have an almost compulsive submission to authority. <br />Modernity uprooted people from communal relationships & this intolerable loneliness and consequent weight of responsibility drove us to seek solace in the protective arms of authority – fascist or democratic – for only that way could we avoid the fear generated by personal responsibility. <br />What Bauman calls, ‘the unbearable silence of responsibility’<br />
  45. 45. 5. The difficulty of Leadership: <br />The Romance of Collaborative Leadership (Leonard)<br />Collaborative Leadership is rooted in a form of egalitarian culture that <br />positively inhibits decision-making. <br />Partners need to – but tend not to – give each other permission to take responsibility to decide.<br />We often don’t so either we fail to decide or <br />we revert to Commanders:<br />
  46. 46. 6. Nietzschean Anxiety over determining causation<br />If we cannot determine causal agency then ‘the problem’ is potentially irresolvable<br />Scott Snook : accidental shootdown of US Blackhawks in Iraq<br />There was ‘no bad guy… no smoking gun, no culprit.’<br />Wrong answer – find a cause<br />Durkheim’s scapegoat<br />
  47. 47. Was Ibsen right?<br />Is Leadership the enemy of the people?<br />

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