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The Leaderful Fieldbook


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Joseph A. Raelin’s The Leaderful Fieldbook is a practical guide for those committed to transforming conventional leadership and organizations into “leaderful practices” and “leaderful organizations.” It is a how-to volume for implementing the theories and principles presented in Raelin’s previous book, Creating Leaderful Organziations. Raelin maintains that the paradigm of the leaderful organization is more effective in 21st century organizations than conventional leadership initiatives. It is a newer alternative to the traditional model of leadership, which invests resources in particular individuals who hold positions near the top of a vertical hierarchy. The leaderful model applies to the modern organization where vertical hierarchies are less prevalent and networks, relationships, and partnerships are no longer defined by geography or rank.


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The Leaderful Fieldbook

  1. 2. THE LEADERFUL FIELDBOOK Strategies and Activities For Developing Leadership In Everyone AUTHOR: Joseph A. Raelin, Ph.D. PUBLISHER: Davis-Black DATE OF PUBLICATION: 2010 163 pages
  2. 3. FEATURES OF THE BOOK The Leaderful Fieldbook is a guide for coaches, organizational development consultants, or any change agent who wants to foster leadership behavior in others throughout an organization. Each chapter of the book provides tools to apply to the task of facilitating change at one of five levels: individual, interpersonal, team, organization, and network.
  3. 4. THE BIG IDEA A leaderful organization is characterized by leadership that is diffused throughout, where anyone can rise to the organization’s leadership needs, not just select individuals who are ordained to be leaders. When people are given every chance to participate in and affect the outcome of a project or venture, their willingness to invest themselves in it are greater than if their participation is more limited.
  4. 5. INTRODUCTION Unlike the traditional “heroic model” of leadership, where leadership authority resides in individuals and derives from their rank in a hierarchy, Joseph A. Raelin’s paradigm of the leaderful organization is not based on individual authority, rank, or behavior. In his paradigm, leadership is diffused democratically throughout an organization. Raelin’s model of leaderful practices and leaderful organizations rests on principles called the Four C’s: concurrence, collectiveness, collaboration, and compassion.
  5. 6. INDIVIDUAL-LEVEL CHANGE Raelin offers activities to help learners discover or increase awareness of their social, political, and emotional reactions; or certain attitudes or behaviors that might block their effectiveness within an organization. These activities include: Setting My Personal Learning Goals – geared toward discerning what barriers are blocking personal and professional effectiveness. A coach helps learners to identify their learning style as activist (doer), reflector, theorist, or pragmatist. They name specific goals and analyze them against prescribed criteria.
  6. 7. INDIVIDUAL-LEVEL CHANGE Leaderful Questionnaire – an activity meant to reveal one’s disposition toward each of the Four C’s—concurrence, collectiveness, collaboration, and compassion. The resulting score indicates one’s inclination toward either traditional or leaderful practices. The Group Citizenship Behavior Questionnaire is designed to measure one’s interest in serving a group or organization without regard to exclusive self-interest. Since altruism is not an automatic norm within groups, cultivating “citizenship behavior” is a logical first step toward leaderful behavior.
  7. 8. INDIVIDUAL-LEVEL CHANGE Nine Shapes , along with a case study called Hang Time: Suspension Above the Problem , presents opportunities for learners to pause reflectively,or “hang,”in order to consider their behavior and how they make decisions. The goal of the exercise is to stop, reflect, analyze, and also consider others’ reflections and analysis of a situation before deciding how to resolve it.
  8. 9. INTERPERSONAL-LEVEL CHANGE Activities in the form of structured dialogues call upon learners to practice reflective listening and reflective learning. Practicing Dialogic Skills helps learners to acquire a set of skills Raelin calls “advanced dialogic skills,” meant to foster deeper, more meaningful interpersonal conversations. A lengthy exercise, it centers on five skills: being, speaking, disclosing, testing, and probing.
  9. 10. INTERPERSONAL-LEVEL CHANGE Left Hand Column is a technique to raise awareness of unfortunate assumptions and inferences often made during difficult conversations when people’s inclination to couch or overcontrol language can limit opportunities for learning and dilute the process of reaching decisions cooperatively. Being too diplomatic, trying too hard to avoid upsetting people, or trying to avoid being perceived in a certain way can frustrate meaningful communication and the effort to achieve mutual objectives.
  10. 11. INTERPERSONAL-LEVEL CHANGE Balancing Advocacy with Inquiry is a short, simple exercise in which participants briefly state their views on a topic. After reflectively listening to each other’s views, they develop a list of questions about the others’ stated views, and then verbally raise those questions, although they are not answered. The emphasis is on the value of inquiry itself, particularly as a balance to opinion and advocating for one’s own opinion.
  11. 12. INTERPERSONAL-LEVEL CHANGE The Stolen Idea Case is a case study in which one colleague claims credit at a meeting for an idea that is not his own, but which he “stole” from a colleague who is also at the meeting. Small groups use a variety of engagement styles to react to and manage the potential conflict arising from interaction between the two colleagues. The case supports using the collaborating style of engagement.
  12. 13. INTERPERSONAL-LEVEL CHANGE In Practicing What I Preach , learners play the role of the person to whom they want to propose a new way of doing something in the workplace that would engender more democratic practices. The goal is to help learners to narrow any inconsistency between their espoused values and their actions. Feedback from an observer helps the learner determine how well the inconsistency was addressed.
  13. 14. INTERPERSONAL-LEVEL CHANGE Journeying to Engage Our Intercultural Competence focuses on intercultural sensitivity. In communicating with people from other cultures, false assumptions and stereotypes sometimes surface or can be just under the surface. The goal is to heighten one’s sensitivity to a culture or sub-culture other than one’s own. Using a Continuum of Cultural Adaptation, learners rank themselves privately, in a journal, on a continuum ranging from finding no value in exploring cultural differences but putting some value on simply getting along, to the other extreme of incorporating another culture’s idiosyncrasies in order to achieve a multicultural identity.
  14. 15. INTERPERSONAL-LEVEL CHANGE Peer Coaching Using Action Learning is designed to lighten a coach’s burden by engaging learners in peer-to-peer coaching – something increasingly popular in this era where horizontal ties are replacing vertical ties in organizations. Peer-to-peer dialogue on personal feelings or insecurities can be easier and more productive than dialogue with someone holding a higher position in a hierarchy.
  15. 16. INTERPERSONAL-LEVEL CHANGE Hiring the Temporaries is a case study of a mid-level manager who wants to hire temporary employees but believes her supervisor will reject the idea. Using the Left Hand Column technique, the manager reviews what she said, felt, and thought as she spoke to her supervisor on the matter. Then, she redrafts the dialogue to be a more positive, productive, and collaborative exchange.
  16. 17. TEAM-LEVEL CHANGE The mission of the team-level change agent/facilitator is to raise team awareness of its internal dynamics so that members can better know the challenges and benefits of mutually developing the team. The facilitator might need to behave like a more traditional leader at first, but early in the transformation process, members should get comfortable with shared responsibility and leadership. Learning to Facilitate is a straightforward exercise in which a learner practices certain facilitation skills with the team, then team members complete a feedback sheet and share it.
  17. 18. TEAM-LEVEL CHANGE The Pilot and the Mountaineer is a case study on concurrent leadership. Learners analyze how two individuals clearly emerge as concurrent leaders in the midst of a survival training exercise. The Ned Wicker Case looks at the dynamics of a new business group of nanotechnology engineers as it functions at various points on a continuum from democratic to authoritative leadership. It focuses a “freshly minted” MBA, Ned Wicker, the group manager who successfully manages a team of highly specialized engineer-employees.
  18. 19. TEAM-LEVEL CHANGE Team Member Leadership Roles prescribes fives steps for identifying leadership roles each learner might be ready to fill: shaper, implementor, coordinator, completer-finisher, monitor-evaluator, team worker, plant, resource investigator, and specialist. Leaderful Team Development is an exercise in tracking team development along continua of five dimensions: discretion, autonomy, empowerment, motivation, and culture. Jointly, team members decide where on the continua their team is. It is a simple exercise providing a chance to “check in” or assess the status of team leadership.
  19. 20. TEAM-LEVEL CHANGE Team Reflective Practice for Self-Renewal is another exercise meant to assess and maintain the effectiveness of a team’s current efforts. Team members identify issues that they believe could impede team performance, then describe how they perceive those issues impact the team. They mutually choose one issue on which to focus, and decide if it warrants immediate action. Facilitating a Team During Its Growing Pains is a case study based on Raelin’s consulting experience at a large utility company. It illustrates how three specific guidelines for facilitating team change were followed when a few teams were working to improve public perception of the company in localities where substantial installation projects were underway.
  20. 21. ORGANIZATION-LEVEL CHANGE Change agents can provide opportunities for molding structures and systems that tolerate dissent; encourage open communication; and assure access to information, power, freedom, and learning opportunities. Raelin offers seven activities toward those ends: Brokering Leaderful Change begins with a facilitated dialogue and a series of questions that prepare an organization for change and gauges its readiness for it. Next, it explores the multiple roles played out in any change scenario—roles of the change agent, the change team, and various stakeholders.
  21. 22. ORGANIZATION-LEVEL CHANGE Closing the Gap Between Espoused and Enacted Values asks learners to identify artifacts of their organization’s culture: stories and myths, manner of dress, jargon, and other things representing its values. Learners discuss certain questions that further reveal the organization’s enacted values. Acting on Our Leaderful Values encourages learners to assess how well they carry out some of the most important organizational values consistent with the leaderful model, and how any recognized barriers to their practice can be overcome.
  22. 23. ORGANIZATION-LEVEL CHANGE Picturing the Self and Organization captures and promotes reflection on the role and responsibility of learners relative to their organization. Demonstrating Organizational Commitment introduces the Organizational Commitment Survey through which learners assess their commitment and citizenship behavior and engage in dialogue about differences and patterns across their survey scores.
  23. 24. ORGANIZATION-LEVEL CHANGE Meaning-Making Skills introduces the concept of meaning making by using a number of techniques to articulate the organization’s meaning: looking for patterns in a situation, using humor to draw attention to something meaningful, or portraying a certain image. The point is, within the leaderful context, that anyone can become a meaning maker within an organization. Assessment of Worker Participation assesses the level of worker participation in the organization, with an eye toward fuller, more democratic participation in decision making. The process is based on results of a 23-question survey, Assessing Features of Worker Participation.
  24. 25. NETWORK LEVEL CHANGE Life in organizations has grown more complex and dynamic as boundaries have become less distinct and people increasingly participate in multiple webs of networks, partnerships, and social and professional relationships. Social networks are typically characterized by collaborative practices and resource sharing. While one of the institutional members of the network may mobilize others’ participation, most social networks are self-organizing, resulting in members participating to further their self- and collective interests. Raelin calls those who do play a critical role in organizing and sustaining networks “weavers.”
  25. 26. NETWORK LEVEL CHANGE The first activity, Stakeholder Dialogue , asks learners to develop a stakeholder list and to organize it by useful criteria, such as titles, demographics, function, or degree of involvement–either primary or secondary. Then, learners practice the necessary dialogic skills to engage their various categories of stakeholders in productive discourse. Critical Moments Reflection introduces the “Critical Moments” strategy developed at MIT and is particularly useful in clarifying roles and facilitating collaboration, and in surfacing underlying assumptions within a social network.
  26. 27. NETWORK LEVEL CHANGE The Network Citizenship Behavior Questionnaire introduces the concept of behavior by network participants that is “over and above normal operating behavior” and assesses its impact within the network. Questions for Network Weaver Self-Analysis is a 20-question self-assessment to assist network weavers in scrutinizing some of the critical strategies and proclivities that make for effective performance.
  27. 28. NETWORK LEVEL CHANGE Ten Lessons for Managing Networks prescribes a set of ten lessons to serve as the basis for dialogue between a network manager and stakeholders to access information, exchange resources, and solve problems occurring at the boundaries of one’s organization. Lessons include: have patience, focus the agenda, be creative, and recognize that leadership is shared. The sixth activity, The Four Dimensions of Quality in Network Relationships , outlines four specific steps to building quality relationships in social networks, and prescribes certain actions that can enhance the value of network connections.
  28. 29. NETWORK LEVEL CHANGE Seven Core Principles for Effective Public Engagement presents a set of principles for evaluating the democratic quality of network decision making. Also listed are practices that network members should avoid in public engagement, and a list of others that should be practiced more often.
  29. 30. NETWORK LEVEL CHANGE Network Weaving: Redesigning an Annual Conference to Strengthen a Community of Practice , is a case study that concludes the chapter. The goal was to strengthen internal networks and working relationships of a loosely connected, mostly online community. In the spirit of creating a leaderful network/organization, the change agents worked with the primary weaver of the existing network using Questions for Network Weaver Role Development.
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