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Visionary Leadership in a Turbulent World: Thriving in a VUCA Context – Top Reviews on our Book!

Visionary Leadership in a Turbulent World: Thriving in a VUCA Context  – Top Reviews on our Book!

VUCA Tower copy

In a VUCA world, one of the key skill sets and mindsets is that of collaboration. The power and strength of collaboration is modeled in the forming and completion of the book you see on this image. Nine authors from different parts of the world agree to collaborate on this project, each leveraging their area of strength and expertise, while clearly and carefully synergizing their contribution with the overall theme of the book. The process, though, was not easy. We continually faced VUCA as we attempted to pull this incredible book together for you, the reader. Our esteemed publisher, Emerald Publications just released this fantastic effort and we would like to invite you to share our success.

Please check out the great reviews on “Visionary Leadership in a Turbulent World: Thriving in the New VUCA Context”. This book is available directly from us as well as Emerald Publications, Amazon and other major online book retailers.

Top Reviews on our Book!
‘In today’s world, if a company does not take into consideration the fast changing and tumultuous environment we operate in, it is impossible to outperform itself. In order to be successful, the leader of an organization of the 21st century has to act and think differently. This book gives great insight as to what the new thinking and actions can be whilst providing the context to apply them. Furthermore, the diversity of thought of the various authors makes it a varied and interesting read.’

– Hugues Jacquemin, CEO and General Manager, Ticino, Switzerland, Mining and Metals with High-Performance Materials

VUCA resets the way we think about leadership and how it is practiced. This collection explores the implications of VUCA from a variety of conceptual perspectives and the actions needed to facilitate effective leadership.’ – Rob Goffee, Emeritus Professor of Organisational Behaviour, London Business School

‘The subject matter is very topical and important, and I believe humanity has been here before, repeatedly over many generations. The unknown future always seems so uncertain based on the known (if not totally understood) past. I believe that leadership is eternally generational and human nature is generationally consistent. I would recommend this book to leaders for its depth and plausibility of research insight and practical theory.’ – Brian Bruce, Murray & Roberts CEO: 2000 – 2011; Deputy Chairperson of Council at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2016

‘A superb read containing practical and provocative insights to remove fears related to significant business shifts. Adapt, connect and collaborate to remain relevant and create impact.’
– Corinne Heijn, Founder & President United Success

‘The context of the 21st Century is an effect of an amalgam of influences (such as globalization, social media, and 24-7 news cycles) that is increasingly being described with the shorthand term, VUCA – volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. This context affects everything and has profound implications for leaders and their leadership. How does one go about leading when
the center never holds, where control is impossible, and where assurance of direction is a pipe dream? The authors’ writings that constitute “Visionary Leadership in a Turbulent World” provide excellent frameworks for thinking about leadership in fresh ways–ways that will allow readers to fashion their own approaches in response to the reality of VUCA. I heartily recommend this book to managers, students, and scholars to aid them in their leadership journeys.’– 
Mark E. Mendenhall, J. Burton Frierson Chair of Excellence in Business Leadership University of Tennessee, Chattanooga

Would you like to get in touch with the authors? 

Chief editor and chapter author, Rob Elkington: rob@globalleader.ca  
Managing editor and chapter author, Madeleine vd Steege: mads@synquity.com 
Editor and chapter author, Judy Glick-Smith: judy@mentorfactorinc.com
Editor and chapter author, Jennifer Moss-Breen: jennifermossbreen@creighton.edu 
Author, Noel Pearce: n.pearse@ru.ac.za
Author, Bettina von Stamm: bettina@innovationleadershipforum.org
Author, Fred Krawkuck: fred.krawchuk@gmail.com
Author, Suzanne Martin: martin@transformperiod.com
Author: Elizabeth Tuleja: etuleja@nd.edu
Order now and get & delivery within a week
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How to Get Everyone on the Same Page

How to Get Everyone on the Same Page

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Why does every organization need a vision statement?

A vision statement explains ‘what you aspire to reach’ as an organization and why that matters.

The purpose of a vision is to focus and inspire each person in the company in a meaningful way. Furthermore, the process and people you involve to craft your vision is also important! Research shows successful companies are true to the vision.

e.g Amazon

“Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”

Philips

“At Philips, we strive to make the world healthier and more sustainable through innovation”


A Vision Health Check

Does everyone in your company know what the vision statement is?

Does your vision resonate personally with individuals? Is it inspiring??

Do people own and share the vision with others in simple language?

What do you do to keep this vision alive?

Does your vision immediately show in the way you

  • behave towards each other
  • the way you do business
  • the way your systems and operations run
  • how you meet customer needs?

Can people in the company relate their daily roles and responsibilities straight back to the vision?

 


 

If you don’t have a vision statement?

Commit to the importance of having a vision statement:

Plan the process

  • Decide who should be involved in designing the vision. It needs to be supported to work. If you want everyone to own it, it needs to be shared and co-created
  • Meet to design a vision – meeting off site, somewhere in nature will definitely help you think out of the box, inspire and keep the energy up

Answers these questions together:

  • Why do we exist? What is our ultimate purpose – this is your vision!
  • How do we ideally want to achieve our vision – this is the basis of the strategy that will help you achieve that vision
  • What specific products and services will achieve our vision

Make it work!

  • Reduce your vision statement to two or three lines that are inspirational, but simple. Make it comprehensive yet detailed
  • Decide how will you communicate the outcome, and to whom?
  • Consider how will you weave the new vision into the fabric of the company on an ongoing basis?
  • Coach your managers and staff to help everyone connect the vision to their team and individual roles. For example making it part of existing team meetings and other work processes already in place

 
When to Bring in the Big Guns!
At SYNQUITY, we are experts at helping you to craft a deep meaningful company vision, co-created and owned by everyone, connected to your teams and individual roles, communicated in the way you behave towards one another, transparent in the systems run and the way you meet customer needs.
 

How to Break Through Silo’s, Department Politics & Infighting

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Silo’s, company politics and infighting are detrimental to the bottom line and to our customers. It is also painful for leaders, colleagues, and staff due to the destructive atmosphere it creates.

In a big crisis people often have the natural tendency to draw together, step up, help out, and show the sweeter side of our humanity.

Why?

Because a crisis has the effect of sliding the bigger picture into focus. That picture is – we are all in it together. We need each other to achieve company goals and personal growth. Ego’s dim and empathy wins. Issues that separated previously, no longer have relevance in quite the same way.

The truth is – that this is the most civilised, productive and best way of working. Everyone wins including the customer.

Teams overcome silo’s when individuals reconnect to the bigger goals that matter and observe the personal and team practices to support this. These goals provide us with a sense of meaning and joy in the work we do.

How can you work through silo’s, infighting, and politics? 

Sometimes organisations and people fear openness. The environment is seen as cut-throat and it is “each wo/man for her/himself.

Organisational cultures and structures create boundaries naturally. The more rigid, the more silos are likely to form between divisions, teams, and customers. People begin to accept the status quo unless the leaders step up!

Leaders, managers, and shop floor team leaders can change all this!

One solution to break down silos is to engage external cross-functional coaches like Synquity, with the expert skills and knowledge to help people break through politics, infighting, and silos more efficiently.

When leaders and teams utilise the safe space, insights and structure provided by cross-functional coaching, things can improve quickly. The energy drain caused by politics and silo’s is released and people enjoy working together again.

In cross -functional coaching teams gain insight into the workspaces, challenges and aspirations of colleagues in other teams. They discover opportunities, to co-create and innovate together, that they were blind to before. Teams learn to align and function better together as ‘one organisation’.

In cross-functional coaching, we also give teams the opportunity to get a 360° view of a customer’s needs, desires, fears and aspirations (‘A day in the life of the customer’).

Not everyone has had the opportunity or mindset for collaboration to work.

Keeping boundaries open ensures a flexible and stimulating environment where innovation and creativity can flow and stop silos from developing in the first place.


We have proven experience that as teams reconnect to the customer’s needs, connect to a sense of purpose, gain an opportunity and a willingness to engage in healthy, cross-functional collaboration and team practices, you, customers and the organisation really benefit.

Warmest regards Madeleine van der Steege
Director of Synquity
mads@synquity.com
www.synquity.com

 

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Learn Why This CEO’s Change Efforts Failed


I recently met with a CEO of a large corporation. He was demoralised and confused by the limited impact a 3-year culture change program had, in which they had invested EUR 300 000. Despite a substantial effort, it seemed it was a waste of money. However, there were many aspects at the beginning that they got right.

What did they do Right?

  • The change was initiated and supported at board level
  • During the change program, a clear vision and goals were developed, which fuelled a sense of urgency
  • Change management efforts (information about the change) targeted top level, middle management and pockets of people across the company
  • The change program provided staff with a menu of options such as workshops, team meetings or one on one coaching to help them embrace the changes
  • Changes were rolled out and supported over a substantial period of time
  • They celebrated and marked important milestones
  • The team leaders had an active role in facilitating change with their own teams

Yet, this organizational change failed?

  • The Chairman seemed to be fully on board at the outset, but quickly lost interest and it was visible to all
  • The Voices of Judgement (VoJ), Voices of Cynicism (VoC) and Voices of Fear (VoF) in the organization remained unchecked (see Otto Scharmer’s work)
  • The Chairman’s lack of support (his VoC) for the program was not raised with him this had a snowball effect
  • In the culture of this organization, it was customary to preserve harmony and stability at all costs. Therefore when concerns or issues were noted or raised, they were quickly minimized, shut down or ignored (VoF)
  • Senior managers could not really buy-in to the change since the chairman’s attitude undermined the program. It was therefore not ‘politically correct’ for managers to act as role models for change (VoF)
  • People in the organization, as well as the change leaders, defended the status quo and remained silent, and in denial of resistance (VoJ)
  • The organization lost the ‘critical mass’ which is needed to reach the tipping point for changing the old, dysfunctional, obsolete status quo (VoF)

Solution: Strategic Systems Coaching

In organisations like the one in this case, the executive leadership is the portal to change the rest of the organisation. If commitment and trust are lacking at the executive and management level, it will be difficult to develop leadership and achieve real organisational change. This commitment and trust is therefore vital, and systems coaching is one way to keep this on the agenda and not let it slide.

  • Strategic systems coaching means coaching an organisation’s leadership so that the organisation can change as a whole system. 
  • In systems coaching process, we apply various coaching processes to change management methodology. 
  • This is a highly effective way to facilitate change, connection and integration in organisational systems. 
  • We provide an opportunity for leaders to step back and look at the elements of their organisation and the relationships with and between these elements, and then to examine how these relationships and elements dynamically interact via feedback loops. 
  • Voices of Judgement, Voices of Cynicism and Voices of Fear are part of any organisational reinvention and coaching offers a safe forum to work through it.
  • Changing is not just about doing the right stuff, It rests on true commitment of the spirit and heart of the people to make the changes.
  • Along every step of the way, leadership influences the existing culture by either facing or ignoring the underlying convictions of (fear, judgement, and cynicism) that derail real change.

Our systems coaches help organisations to change as a whole system and make the journey smoother and more effective. 
I want our organizational change to be effective 

Madeleine van Der Steege

For more information or comments please contact me on mads@synquity.com

 

4 Defenses for Leaders Riding the Speed of Change

Speed of changeWelcome to our latest issue focusing on 4 Defenses for Business Leaders in a geo-economy that can be highly unpredictable and hard to navigate. To find out more, please scroll down and read about the 1st defence in this blog. And if you are interested in utilizing our international expertise to build leadership confidence on every level of your organization, no matter where you are based, contact me on mads@synquity.com or view www.synquity.com.

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1st Defense: Get your Organization to Function as a Whole by Jointly Developing Purpose & Vision

Madeleine van der Steege

Enabling those in the organization to function as a whole is much like preparing an orchestra to deliver its best performance. Each member is engaged to demonstrate mastery and to inspire others. The communal performance rests on solid, specific preparation, during which people make errors. They should play the parts they are comfortable with and flow with the unknowns that come up in the performance.

Paying attention to how people and functions interconnect across the organization and getting the peer economy to collaborate are often challenging. Centering activities, such as the clarity of a unified overall goal or purpose (‘we are in the business of’), acts like gravity. Yet an overall integrated performance involves so much more. An organizational vision is a practical tool, not just an abstract concept. It provides meaning and purpose to the existence of the organization and everyone in it.

“When people know the purpose of an organization, they don’t need to check in or get permission to take the next step; they just create value.  When people know the purpose, they are not waiting to be told what to do. – Nilofer Merchant 2012

IF you, the leader, and your leadership team, and the rest of the organization are not aligned to the essential purpose, vision and values of the organization (and this happens surprisingly often in the field), a systems coach can assist you in the process by collectively connecting you to your essential leadership and organizational purpose, vision, core values and a pliable strategy.  These organizational roots need to be deeply embedded for an organization to thrive in, let alone withstand, 21st century turbulence.

But how do you get everyone connected and caring while pressure is so high? Using systems coaching to reintegrate an organization creates sustainable improvements without excessively compromising ongoing operations. Systems coaching is an important organizational and leadership development process that spans multiple organizational levels. It is based on the notion that, as leaders, you are interested in getting support, but still want to own your organizational development. We use clients’ objectives (e.g. new vision or culture change) to strategically launch a combination of coaching forms, sometimes concurrently, to help organizations function collectively as more connected, integrated systems. These include one-on-one, local-global, divisional leadership, team, cross-functional, customer and cross-organisational coaching etc.

Leaders and teams can then reconnect on every level through more effective feedback loops and by crystallizing customer value and figuring out how to deliver this in unison.

Feedback on the Impact of systems coaching

We needed to strengthen our position in a highly competitive environment. To achieve this change, we looked for a company that would not only be able to help us define the direction, but also guide us in making it happen. We found an ideal partner in Synquity, with whom we worked very closely over a period of two years to incorporate changes we designed and which then enabled us to achieve a cultural change. I firmly believe that we as a company are now in a stronger place and better able to overcome the challenges facing us now and in the future. Ben Haneveld, CEO, NL.

I look forward to your comments or feedback. In our next blog we feature the 2nd Defense for leaders riding the speed of change : How to be a great Board member. Warmest regards Mads

 

Dynamic Leadership in Turbulent Times

Dynamic Leadership in Turbulent Times

As we see it, the core purpose of leadership remains unchanged – i.e. ‘leading to create the future’ – however, the context of leadership is highly dynamic. And context is everything. Recent political events highlight our volatile, uncertain, ambiguous and ambivalent world. Besides the political backdrop, the complex interplay between digitization, technology, globalization and individualization is creating unprecedented leadership challenges, with unfathomable business opportunities.

We are bidding farewell to traditional (‘hero’) leadership styles and doubling our efforts to reach digital maturity. Clearly leaders are being stretched by their attempts to facilitate a highly collaborative, diverse workforce. Moving from ‘hero to host’, as Margaret Wheatley puts it, is no doubt challenging. Yet, motivated staff who access all the potential embedded in them and their teams lead to success.

How do you bridge the gap between established leaders (who have grown through the ranks, sworn loyalty, laboured with blood and sweat, and are slick at hiding their vulnerability) and digital natives (who are hyperconnected, like to be heard, aren’t intimidated by authority and seek personalized, emotion based involvement ) or other generations?

HOW?

Follow the Leadership Checklist link . Read how leadership practices are changing in the Wolff Olin report (courtesy Innovation sey of the below. Pay attention to unconscious bias and stereotypes, as discussed in the interview with Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, particularly concerning in the gender gap. Check out how governance management systems are creating transparency and be inspired by The Hague Talks on Peace and Justice featured as our final item in this newsletter.

To explore biases and stereotypes, check out the Howard Ross video or read “Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives”.

Bias

To reach the Europe 2020 targets of a 75% employment rate for women and men alike, particular attention needs to be given to the labour market participation of older women, single parents, women with a disability, migrant women and women from ethnic minorities.

A gender-segregated labour market, the difficulty of balancing work and family life, the undervaluation of female skills and work are just some of the complex causes of the persistent gender pay gap. Women in the EU earn on average 16% less than men for each hour worked. To address these issues, the European Commission will…read more

How Governance Management Systems are Changing

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Today more than ever, leaders and directors recognize the need to govern their companies in a totally transparent and legal manner, while still being efficient, effective and profitable. Pieter Colijn and Hans de Hoog have profound knowledge and experience of governance in various positions in Dutch society and organizations. “We believe that a governance management system that supports executive and non-executive directors in their decision making processes will be the next big step in the future of organizational development.” All relevant decision-making processes will be supported by business process management, workflow tools, data analytics, benchmarking tools, of all kinds of newsfeeds and recent studies. This is where the GovernanceHub assists companies. “We very much welcome a partnership with Synquity, in their effort to enhance leadership confidence by empowering leaders and teams to build successful and future oriented organizations.”

The Hague Talks on Peace and Justice: Empowering Marginalized Women @Bridge2HopeLik-0088

By Darcie Dawille

This month marks the first anniversary of Bijlmer Bridge2Hope! It has been exciting to watch our participants grow and change and to reflect how far we have come this past year. I have observed a huge increase in the women’s confidence over the last year.  Our participants are making better, well-informed decisions for themselves and realizing their potential for the future through the education they are receiving.  For example, they continue to work hard on becoming fluent in Dutch.  Their comprehension and verbal skills are increasing weekly and with their increased confidence, they are able to put into practice what they are learning in the classroom.  One participant has been recently been complimented by a native Dutch speaker on her language improvement, and this makes her eager to learn all the more!

We were ecstatic that the Rotary Club of the Netherlands recently adopted Bijlmer Bridge2Hope and funds from their Christmas campaign will go towards getting the materials we need to support our participants as they walk the road from victim to survivor.  We will also be holding some exciting events in the New Year to help support the project. Please check our website www.thebijlmerproject.com, Facebook page or blog in the coming months for more information. As always, remember that the first step to helping victims of human trafficking is an awareness of the fact that human trafficking is a major global issue.  It is not something that only occurs somewhere far away from you, and it is not an issue can be ignored in the hopes that it will eventually go away.  Be aware, be involved, be compassionate and be engaged.  Bijlmer Bridge2Hope has seen a difference made in the lives of our participants over the past year, and with your help we look forward to seeing the positive changes that the next year brings.  

This blog is edited by Madeleine van der Steege.

Please view our website www.synquity.com

mads@synquity.com

 

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Sync Yourself!.

 

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