Saturday, November 23, 2013


Leadership is both art and science. The most elegant, interesting and challenging art of leadership is to streamline sorts of flows-positive emotion flow, collective workable flow, transcendental wisdom flow, etc.

Organizations across the vertical sectors deal with paradoxes and pathologies across individuals, teams, loose groups, and network-enterprise, deliver impressive business outcomes and unlock its performance. Economic and political models provide some insight into the tradeoffs associated with either approach via massive individuality vs massive collectivity. To adapt to the ever-evolving digital new normal, leadership is about bridging today and the future, to know oneself is necessary to understand the filters and the bias. Leadership in itself is a constant learning process that requires the leader to predict, to share insight, and take a continuous journey for building core competency and improving their leadership maturity.

The leadership influence expands into multidimensional scope to create momentum for business transformation: To deal with unprecedented complexity, top leaders are expected to be more informative, intelligent and sophisticated, and to be able to lead by influence, not by brute force. In such a hyperconnected and interdependent world, the mass collaboration through the digital platform is already driving changes to enterprise systems and exposing them to societal changes as well. The interesting dimensions to explore are multithreading- the philosophical dimension with deliberate processes for raising questions, identifying faulty reasoning, and thinking outside the box; the psychological drivers behind a desire for such massive connectivity, or the resistance to such an existence; the technological lens with a structural view to overcome technical challenges and enable the large scale of transformation; the biological perspective on anthropological concerns broadens our vision to grow the business as a living thing, enforce people-centricity, harmonize the balance cycle, and move up the business to the next level of maturity. 

To amplify their influence, define their leadership brand and reputation, top leaders need to observe, perceive, and pay attention to the myriad of internal, external, national or global forces, develop talented people and hold people in high regards, not only for who they are but for the potential that lies inside of them. The most elegant, interesting and challenging art of leadership is to streamline sorts of flows: generating and appreciating in-depth thoughts, understanding and transcending them into wisdom; developing positive emotion flows via empathetic communication or constructive criticism; unleashing the collective potential by transforming a crowd into a workable collective and into high performance teams to achieve the “art of possible.”

The leadership synergy is created through thought provoking inquiries of the future of organization, emerging trends and opportunities: With the faster pace of changes and continuous disruptions often led by emerging technologies or dynamic ecosystems, things do interact, particularly in the case of "nonlinear" interaction, you can't separate things properly or you cannot predict the actual effect of interaction straightforwardly. Simple variables can be both cause and effect. Top leaders should spend more time looking forward in order to co-develop and participate in the future in a more proactive way. Reality will not be still. The only problem about the future is that it is usually here before we are ready for it. Future orientation should help leaders prepare to meet what's coming!

In specific, taking a systematic view for understanding interconnectivity of things is an increasingly important skill to gain a holistic understanding of complex situations in which it is challenging to predict the behavior of the whole from the behavior of the parts; and in which the relationships between component parts are more important than the parts themselves. So foresight is critical to improve leadership effectiveness and the future orientation is part of the foundation of running a successful digital organization, focus on the business goals and navigate the organization in the right direction.

The leadership climate for innovation and improvement sets the tone to nurture a creative environment: The digital world today is much more complicated, because now there would be the-likely competitive interests of the individual and the collective. That requires business leaders to demonstrate an ability to embrace diverse viewpoints, juggle multiple and competing demands for steering the business in the right direction, and establish the trust and principles to inspire creativity, develop a cohesive organizational innovation strategy, scrutinize the business mentality, management methodologies and practices, and inspire unconventional problem solving.

In reality, many lagging organizations still think of their innovators as misfits. Senior leaders as policy makers create the leadership climate for innovation by setting business personality tone or the organization's risk appetites, breaking down the old belief or habit and enforcing a creative environment in which inquisitiveness and humility are appreciated, curiosity is encouraged, and creative thinking is rewarded. Organizations with more open minded leadership, flatten structure and flexible management style can build their differentiated innovation strength based on a triangle with three vertices: culture, method and people.

As the saying goes "practice makes it perfect" for either building leadership strength or developing professional skills to reach the high level of intellectual and emotional maturity, Either looking further or acting wisely, the importance of daily pattern of business leaders’ personal involvement to their improvement would do a great job to surrounding - either to the workplace or to society, for driving incremental change or making a leapfrog transformation significantly.


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