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Paradoxes in a global world 2014

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Paradoxes in a global world 2014

  1. 1. 2014 Confederation of Danish Industry DI – Dansk Industri Leadership paradoxes in a global world Face contradictions and balance managerial tensions THINK GLOBALLY, ACT LOCALLY, PANIC INTERNALLY
  2. 2. Workshop objectives and goals Objectives: • Introduce paradox thinking as a framework for exploring and understanding organizational and managerial tensions • Expand managers’ tool box to deal more constructively with increasing complexity Goals: • Aid understanding of and ability to deal with divergent perspectives and disruptive experiences created by the complexity of organizational life • Provide a mindset and tools for identifying, making sense of, and managing paradoxes • Discuss leadership paradoxes in own context and gain new perspectives 2
  3. 3. Program 3 Andrea Straub-Bauer Bente Toftkær •Introduction •What is paradox? •3 levels of paradox •Paradox in own context I What is paradox? •Working through paradox •Paradox in own context II Understanding paradox? •Ways of dealing with paradox •Paradox in own context III Dealing with paradox?
  4. 4. 4 Think long-term Innovate Think global Collaborate Individual performance Decentralize Directive Deliver short-term results Improve efficiency Act local Compete Team excellence Standardize Democratic Global leadership requires balancing contradictory needs and requirements
  5. 5. 5 John is the VP for Health and Safety of a globally operating technical equipment provider. He is in charge of rolling out corporate health and safety standards across the organization’s production facilities located in 10 different countries, incl. North and South America, Europe, and Asia. Aligning processes and procedures across Europe and the USA has been challenging, but nothing compared to the implementation of standardized procedures in Asia and South America. Time and time again, John experiences tensions created between HQs corporate CSR strategy and its global commitment to high safety standards and its low-cost production focus in emerging market locations. What is at stake here? What types of tensions can be identified? Global roll-out of corporate health and safety standards
  6. 6. Paradox – what is it? Paradox • Contradictory yet interrelated elements (dualities) that exist simultaneously and persist over time • a “both-and” situation between two or more contradictions where a synthesis or choice is not possible or necessarily desirable Dilemma • Competing choices, each with advantages and disadvantages • an “either-or” situation where one alternative must be selected over other attractive alternatives 6 A B
  7. 7. Paradox in own context I 7 Group activity: Discuss briefly what type of tensions or divergent pressures you experience in your organization right now. How does that affect you?
  8. 8. Three levels of paradox 8 Leadership role Competing demands/behaviors expected from managers in their leadership roles Individual Personal pressure experienced between individual and collective identity and/or values Organizational Nature of organizational life with competing organizational designs and processes Source: Inspired by L. Lüscher (2012) “Ledelse gennem Paradokset” . . . . INDIVIDUAL ROLE ORGANIZATIONAL
  9. 9. 1. Organizational paradox 9 internal external flexible focused Source: Model based on Competing Values Framework, L. Lüscher (2012) “Ledelse gennem Paradokset”
  10. 10. 2. Role paradox 10 Source: Model based on Competing Values Framework, L. Lüscher (2012) “Ledelse gennem Paradokset”
  11. 11. 3. Individual paradox Individual paradox has a personal dimension • Relates to relationship of individual managers with the organization, management, and peers as well as the task • Often experienced as contradictory dynamics, e.g. disconnect between words and deeds • Involves emotions, personal experiences, and values between the individual and the group • Personal paradoxes include e.g. • trust vs. control • being popular vs. being unpopular • job security vs. new challenges • personal interests vs. company interests • optimism vs. problem focus • competing vs. collaborating 11 Source: L. Lüscher (2012) “Ledelse gennem Paradokset” INDIVIDUAL
  12. 12. Program 12 Andrea Straub-Bauer Bente Toftkær •Introduction •What is paradox? •3 levels of paradox •Paradox in own context I What is paradox? •Working through paradox •Paradox in own context II Understanding paradox? •Ways of dealing with paradox •Paradox in own context III Dealing with paradox?
  13. 13. Working through paradox 13 Source: Lüscher, L. & M.W. Lewis (2008). Organizational Change and Managerial Sensemaking: Working Through Paradox. Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 51, No. 2, 221-240. A process of helping to make sense of tenuous demands to reduce anxiety, escape paralysis, and enable action MESS Problem either orDilemma Paradox: both-and Workable Certainty
  14. 14. 14 Facts Action Behavior Vision MESS Problem either orDilemma Paradox: both-and Workable Certainty Identifying the mess and extracting the problem: A questioning strategy for analyzing the problem Source: Attractor Model inspired by Karl Tomm’s Framework for distinguishing 4 groups of questioning (1988)
  15. 15. • What was the situation about? • Who was involved? • For how long? • What did it mean to you? • What did you do to deal with it? • What worked out well? • What was the hardest lesson learned? • What was the prize? • What did you win? Facts Action Beha- vior Vision Discovering the FACTS Source: Attractor Model inspired by Karl Tomm’s Framework for distinguishing 4 groups of questioning (1988) 15
  16. 16. • How did your stakeholders play their part in the dilemma? • Who had risked the most? • Where in the process did you feel the strongest need to choose between the competing values? • What did you learn about the ”either/ors”? • What did you learn about the possibility of ”both/and”? Facts Action Beha- vior Vision Discovering the BEHAVIOR Source: Attractor Model inspired by Karl Tomm’s Framework for distinguishing 4 groups of questioning (1988) 16
  17. 17. • Let us imagine that you are most capable of managing this kind of situation in the future, what would be most characteristic for the situation? • If you should see this situation from a totally different point of view, what will you see that you could not see before? • What does the vision look like which could encourage you to do more of ”both-and” and less of ”either-or”? Facts Action Beha- vior Vision Discovering the VISION Source: Attractor Model inspired by Karl Tomm’s Framework for distinguishing 4 groups of questioning (1988) 17
  18. 18. 18 • What needs to be challenged in the way of dealing with competing values in the future? • What needs to be directed in a more decisive manner by you? By your manager? • If your stakeholders and you were to achieve even better results the next time, what would be the most important thing to do a little different? • What kind of positive difference would that make to you? To others? • If you should take one small step towards an improved pay-off-balance (”both-and”) what would that be? • When will you do it? Facts Action Beha- vior Vision Discovering the ACTION Source: Attractor Model inspired by Karl Tomm’s Framework for distinguishing 4 groups of questioning (1988)
  19. 19. Paradox in own context II 19 Group activity: Discuss the new insights that you have gained in relation to handling the tensions that you experience in your organization right now. MESS Problem either orDilemma Paradox: both-and Workable Certainty
  20. 20. Program 20 Andrea Straub-Bauer Bente Toftkær •Introduction •What is paradox? •3-levels of paradox •Paradox in own context I What is paradox? •Working through paradox •Paradox in own context II Understanding paradox? •Ways of dealing with paradox •Paradox in own context III Dealing with paradox?
  21. 21. Ways of dealing with paradox … requires exploring rather than suppressing tensions 1. Acceptance 2. Integrative thinking 3. Positioning 21 In order to avoid paradox paralyses: Paradox must be solved through alternative ways of thinking
  22. 22. 1. Acceptance 22 • Embrace and live with paradox • Regard paradox as a persistent and unsolvable puzzle • Engage anxiety and thereby face challenges surfaced by tensions • Discuss tensions to foster more creative considerations Paradox is a pre-condition of organizational life, especially in a global business world
  23. 23. 2. Integrative thinking 23 • Consider divergent ideas and/or alternative poles simultaneously • How can apparently opposing views be brought together and combined in new ways? 3rd solution through innovation and creative thinking MESS Problem either orDilemma Paradox: both-and Workable Certainty
  24. 24. 3. Positioning Conscious positioning at one pole and actively distancing from another based on strategic, human or organizational considerations. Turning your back on one alternative and accepting the consequences 24 internal external flexible focused X
  25. 25. Critical skills sense making and giving • Reflection – consider multiple dynamics and perspectives for spotting and dealing with paradox • On the personal level • On the organizational level (maturity) • Courage and resilience • Communication (what, how, who) • Behavior – ”walk the talk” 25
  26. 26. Paradox in own context III 26 Share in your group the reflections that you’ve had in terms of “how to deal with your own paradox”? Can you see an opening for 1) integrative thinking and/or 2) positioning? What are the consequences? How will you communicate it: 1) to whom? 2) what is the key message?
  27. 27. Closing reflections What does it take from …? Individual leader • Ability to recognize and accept interrelated relationships of underlying tensions • Emotional stability, courage, maturity, and integrity • Communication skills in order to reduce anxiety in others • Ability to self-reflect and embrace conflicting demands Organization • Collective tools that allow members of the organization to seek and integrate new information through distinct structures, cultures, learning processes, and managerial capabilities • Maturity => Ability to make room for, balance, live with, and capitalize on conflicting and competing elements 27
  28. 28. Global leader paradox navigator … is an influential actor capable of thinking paradoxically, guiding social reflection, helping others examine tensions, and accommodate complexity rather than suppressing it. 28 ”
  29. 29. Further readings • Lüscher, Lotte (2012) “Ledelse gennem Paradokset – om ledelsesmæssig handlekraft i organisatorisk kompleksitet”, Dansk Psykologisk Forlag. • Smith, W.K. and M.W. Lewis (2011) ”Toward a theory of paradox: A dynamic equilibrium model of organizing”, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 36, No. 2, 381-403. • Lüscher, L. & M.W. Lewis (2008) ”Organizational Change and Managerial Sensemaking: Working Through Paradox”, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 51, No. 2, 221-240. • Cameron, K.S., Quinn, R.E., DeGraff, J., and A.V. Thakor (2006) “Competing Values leadership: Creating value in organizations”, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, UK. • Lewis, Marianne W. (2000) ”Exploring Paradox: Toward a more comprehensive guide”, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 25, No. 4, 760-776. • Lewis, M.W. and G.E. Dehler (2000) ”Learning through paradox: A pedagological strategy for exploring contradictions and complexity”, Journal of Management Education, Vol. 24: 708-725. • Tomm, Karl (1988) “Interventive Interviewing: Part III. Intending to Ask Lineal, Circular, Strategic, or Reflexive Questions?” Family Process, Vol. 27, No. 1, 1-15. • Quinn, Robert E. (1988) “Beyond rational management: Mastering the paradoxes and competing demands of high performance”, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, USA. 29
  30. 30. More information about GLA www.globalleadershipacademy.dk 30

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