Complex Adaptive Leadership: Embracing Paradox and Uncertainty

1st Edition

Routledge
Published November 11, 2016
Reference - 256 Pages
ISBN 9781138256286 - CAT# Y313561

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Summary

Complex Adaptive Leadership argues leadership should not be something only exercised by nominated leaders. It is a complex dynamic process involving all those engaged in a particular enterprise. The theoretical background to this lies in complexity science and chaos theory - spoken and written about in the context of leadership for the last 20 years, but still little understood. We all seem intuitively to know leadership 'isn't what it used to be' but we still cling to old assumptions which look anachronistic in changing and challenging times. Organisations and their contexts are increasingly paradoxical and uncertain. A broader approach to leadership is needed. Nick Obolensky has practised leadership in the public, private and voluntary sectors. He has also researched it, and taught it over many years in leading business schools. In this exciting book he brings together his knowledge of theory, his own experience, and the results of 15 years of research involving 1,500 executives in 40 countries around the world. The main conclusion from that research is that the more complex things become, the less traditional directive leadership is needed. Those operating in the real world, nonetheless, need ways of coping. The book is focused on helping practitioners struggling to interpret and react to increasingly complex events. Arranged in four parts, it provides a number of exercises, tools and models that will help the reader to understand: - why the context for leadership has changed, and why complexities in organisations have emerged - what complexity is and what lessons can be drawn from this emergent area of scientific study - how Complex Adaptive Leadership can be exercised in a very practical way at two levels: organisationally and individually, and how to get more for less - the actions that can be taken when Complex Adaptive Leadership is applied. The book will particularly appeal to practitioners wishing to add to their knowledge of leadership theory.

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