30Oct/140

Two Elements For Effective Delegation: Coaching For Leaders

Posted by Marshall Goldsmith

Many leaders think they need to delegate more to be more effective as leaders. This is frequently not true. Most often leaders don’t need to delegate more, they need to delegate more effectively!

About the Marshall Goldsmith Thinkers50 Video Blog:

The Marshall Goldsmith Thinkers50 Video Blog and accompanying written articles incorporate learnings from my 38 years of experience with top executives, as well as material from my previous research, articles, and books, including What Got You Here Won't Get You There, MOJO, and Coaching for Leadership. Later in the series, you'll learn about my exciting new research on engagement and my upcoming book Triggers.

If you wish to reproduce this article in any material form, you must first contact WABC for permission.
20Oct/140

Coaching Leaders: Understanding Complex Environments- by Dr Sunny Stout-Rostron

Decision

“The term complexity captures the greater levels of uncertainty, ambiguity, interdependences and interrelatedness that now characterize the environments in which organizations operate”

(Clarke, 2013:135).

Business coaches need to think systemically, and this article briefly looks at the importance of leaders taking decisions in alignment with the context of their organizational environment. At an individual level, leadership development in complex environments involves moving away from focusing on the structures and processes within the organization, to the behaviors required of leaders individually within the organization’s social system (Clarke, 2013:141).

Cynefin: the decision-making framework

Snowden and Boone (2007) outline four different contexts in which managers operate as simple, complicated, complex, and chaotic. The Cynefin decision-making framework helps leaders determine the prevailing context within which they are operating, and explores how they can make appropriate choices and decisions to intervene (Figure 1). “Cynefin, pronounced ‘ku-nev-in’, is a Welsh word that signifies the multiple factors in our environment and our experience that influence us in ways we can never understand” (Snowden and Boone, 2007:70).

As coaches we need to help leaders learn to shift their decision-making styles according to the type of environment or context in which they are operating. The Cynefin framework can help to correctly identify the governing context, stay aware of danger signals, and avoid inappropriate actions, thereby helping managers to lead effectively in a variety of situations (Snowden and Boone, 2007:75).

Figure 1 The Cynefin decision-making framework

Decision

Source:        Snowden and Boone (2007:72)

The Cynefin framework has five domains: simple, complicated, complex, chaotic and disordered. Disorder is the state of not knowing what type of causality exists, and people will revert to their own comfort zone when making a decision (Stout-Rostron, 2014:105). The following four practices are useful for the business coach to help the leader make appropriate choices and decisions within their prevailing context.

Four practices: best, good, emergent and novel

Best practice (simple environment)

When working with a client in a simple environment where patterns are repeated and events are consistent, and we are dealing with fact-based management, the leader’s job would be to use best practice, communicating clearly and delegating – but with an understanding of the need for extensive, interactive communication.

Good practice (complicated environment)

In a more complicated environment which is the domain of experts, the leader would need to diagnose the problems in consultation with a series of experts, trying to discover the cause-and-effect of the problem, identifying one or more answers that might resolve the issue. In this instance it is important for the leader to create panels of experts and listen to conflicting advice.

Working with one client in a more complicated scenario means that there are a possible range of right answers. Snowden and Boone call this the realm of “known unknowns”. Whereas leaders in a simple environment must sense, categorize and respond, leaders in a complicated environment must sense, analyze and respond. Here good practice is needed.

Emergent practice (complex environment)

In a complex environment, there would be a great deal of flux and unpredictability with no right answers. There would be competing ideas, emergent rather than predictable patterns, and a need for creative and innovative problem-solving approaches. The leader would need to create an environment that would allow patterns to emerge, and to increase levels of interaction and communication. More important would be the need to open up discussion, allowing large group methods and encouraging dissent and diversity.

Novel practice (chaotic environment)

In a chaotic environment, there will be high turbulence with no clear-cut cause-and-effect, many unknowable’s, and many decisions to make with possibly no time to think. Tension will be high. The leaders’ job will be to look for what works instead of seeking the “right” answer, and to take immediate action to re-establish order. This may require a “command and control” type of leadership to begin with, moving into another style of leadership as the context changes. Clear and direct communication will be essential.

The Cynefin model explores working in differing environments where adaptability and systemic thinking are needed to help leaders make decisions within contexts and systems which are continually changing.

 

References

Clarke, N. (2013). Model of complexity leadership development. Human Resource Development International, 16(2):135–150.

Snowden, D.J., and Boone, M.E. (2007). A leader’s framework for decision making. Harvard Business Review, 85(11):69–76.

Stout-Rostron, S. (2014). Leadership Coaching for Results: Cutting-edge practices for coach and client, Randburg, South Africa: Knowres.

Sunny Stout-Rostron, DProf, MA

Sunny’s interest in the WABC is based on its dedication to the development of business coaches. Like the WABC, she believes business coaching to be a developing profession in its own right. Business coaches can feel isolated, and the WABC enables them to connect in terms of practice, standards and ethics. Sunny has been coaching internationally for over 25 years, working with executive leaders and their teams. As a qualified Coach Supervisor, and Founding President of Coaches and Mentors of South Africa (COMENSA), she is passionate about developing the knowledge base for coaching through teaching, research and practice. This has meant helping to create several Masters programs for business coaching in South Africa. Sunny regularly works with coaches and clients in the UK, Europe, USA, South Africa and Australia.  She is the author of six books, including the recently published Leadership Coaching for Results: Cutting-edge practices for coach and client (Knowres, 2014).

If you wish to reproduce this article in any material form, you must first contact WABC for permission.
15Oct/140

The Success Delusion: Coaching For Leaders

Posted by Marshall Goldsmith

Is your past success inhibiting you future Success? Dr. Goldsmith tells us about, The Success Delusion. He discusses how the same belief in ourselves that has helped us become successful, can delude us into thinking that we do not need to change.

The Marshall Goldsmith Thinkers50 Video Blog and accompanying written articles incorporate learnings from my 38 years of experience with top executives, as well as material from my previous research, articles, and books, including What Got You Here Won't Get You There, MOJO, and Coaching for Leadership. Later in the series, you'll learn about my exciting new research on engagement and my upcoming book Triggers.

If you wish to reproduce this article in any material form, you must first contact WABC for permission.
8Oct/140

Five Qualities of the Leader of the Future: Coaching For Leaders

Posted by Marshall Goldsmith

Dr. Goldsmith discusses a survey that asked 150 young leaders of what they thought were the most important characteristics of the past, present, and future global leaders. Learn what they said were the five key characteristics that are critical for global leaders of the future.

Marshall Goldsmith is a proud member of and partner with the WABC. In both 2011 and 2013 he was ranked as one of the Top Ten Business Thinkers in the World – and the highest ranking executive coach – at the biennial Thinkers 50 ceremony in London. He was also the recognized in 2011 as the World’s Most Influential Leadership Thinker. Dr. Goldsmith is the author or editor of 34 books, including the New York Times bestsellers, MOJO and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.

If you wish to reproduce this article in any material form, you must first contact WABC for permission.