Thriving in Dangerous Times

/PRNewswire/ — In response to the current changes and challenges in the market, Insigniam Performance, a global management consulting firm specializing in breakthrough performance convened a one-day executive summit to address key questions facing today’s business leaders. In particular, the executives looked into what is effective leadership in today’s world, where are the levers for innovation and breakthrough when resources are limited, and how do we mobilize and engage the best from our people and ourselves.

The summit’s keynote speaker Dr. Ronald Heifetz, Co-Founder of the Center for Public Leadership and lecturer in Public Leadership at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, spoke on “The Practice of Adaptive Leadership.”

A panel discussion with Pascal Juery, President of Rhodia Novecare; Brad Jensen, CIO of US Airways;Michael Grindon, President of Sony Pictures Television International; and Virginia Albanese, CEO of FedEx Custom Critical, was moderated by Insigniam Co-Founder, Shideh Sedgh Bina.

The outcome? A set of business principles that executives in any industry can apply to thrive in today’s times:

Adapting to change requires leadership in place of authority. Authority is constrained by people’s expectations for “decisive clarity” (i.e. immediate answers) from authority. We are prone to abdicate responsibility to authority and wait for “the answer” to “fix” the issue. Times of adaptation require the creativity and improvisation for which leadership allows.

Enhance leadership by removing the stigma of failure and encouraging many small experiments to identify areas for change. Engendering creative responses throughout an enterprise to overcome competitive and economic threats requires a perspective of leadership as an improvisational art. The more willing leaders are to encourage people to experiment with many things (often on a small scale) the faster the enterprise can make correction and create forward movement.

Celebrate the fruits of labor. We have bought into the myth of measurement. In truth, there is good that people do in their work that cannot be measured. Measurement is just a tool and there are purposes beyond measure. Fostering and recognizing the good that cannot be measured builds morale and employee engagement.

Keep the horizon of opportunity well illuminated. Keep people focused by vividly and clearly highlighting and reminding them of the opportunities in the current times.

Engage in courageous conversations. The access to courageous conversations in your enterprise begins with a leader’s courage to listen and hear conversations that are uncomfortable yet often house new opportunities. Leaders must “speak to the head, the heart, and the guts” to inspire others to action.

After the plenary discussions, the over 100 executives in attendance engaged in working sessions on:

  • •The Intersection of Breakthrough Performance and Innovation
  • •The Art of Execution
  • •Inspiration and Enrollment: The Access to Winning
  • •The Anatomy of a Breakthrough Project
  • •Enabling Successful Change

For more information on Dr. Ronald Heifetz, please visit: 
http://www.hks.harvard.edu/about/faculty-staff-directory/ronald-heifetz

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