Conceptualization: the Core of Adaptive Leadership
In April 2011 the Unicist Future Research Lab, led by Peter Belohlavek, began a process to define which will be the possible evolution of the types of leadership in the world. The objective of the research was to find the trends in leadership that are driven by the upgrade of technologies.
The unicist approach to future research applied to leadership is based on an inferences based methodology to describe possible scenarios based on the knowledge of the concept of leadership and the laws of social evolution considering the evolution of the technologies and their consequences.
To access the basics on Unicist Future Research please enter:
Trends in Leadership
The influence of technology generates a strong segmentation of leadership. This segmentation implies a differentiation of cultures and activities based on the dominant collective intelligence.
Three different levels of functional leadership are expected to evolve which will establish differentiated habits that make them work as clusters. This means that there will be dominant types of leadership based on the culture and the available technologies.
The three dominant clusters will be:
- Manipulative Leadership
- Operational Leadership
- Adaptive Leadership
The Cluster of Manipulative Leadership
This segment is based on over-adaptive behavior which implies rotating the roles of dominance, opposition and submission.
The acceptance of over-adaptiveness as a habit requires a strong subjective support for the participants that naturally drives towards manipulation in order to sustain the integrity of groups and avoid disgregation.
The Cluster of Operational Leadership
This cluster is functional for the massive operational activities in all fields. It is based on the development of two alternative leadership styles: the charismatic and the authoritarian roles. These roles are functional and accepted to influence operational environments.
Both roles are implicitly conservative and therefore functional to lead in stable environments where there is no need for change, innovation or expansion. The integration of both roles sustains the integrity of groups and avoids disgregation.
The Cluster of Adaptive Leadership
Adaptive leadership begins to be the “star” based on the need of assuming a role that supersedes the use of technology and allows expanding activities towards a superior level of productivity. It is driven by the need to save energy to develop sustainable groups and organizations.
This cluster is based on having the concepts of what needs to be done in order to use the available technologies or develop new technologies integrating peopleware with software and hardware to generate added value. They are constructive and creative leaders in their environment.
This role is basically occupied by doers who exert their leadership based on the functionality of their solutions and the building of peopleware to build sustainable groups and organizations.
Adaptive Leadership – The Next Generation of Leaders
In 20 years the technologies that are now incipient will have become mature and will have changed the way leaders have to exert their role.
Technology is making the operational aspects fully transparent, which implies the appearance of a new scenario in which there is a need of having the personal reliability and the capacity of adjusting the behavior to the requirements of the problems that are dealt with. This is the definition of adaptive leadership.
Conceptualizing and having a mature strategic approach are the core aspects that are needed to be adaptive. Conceptualizing allows focusing on solutions and the mature strategic approach allows transforming concepts into reliable results.
Adaptiveness requires having the concept of what one is doing. This concept, installed in the long-term memory allows integrating the information received from the outside and transforming it into adaptive actions within the functional concept of the situation.
The new role of leadership requires going beyond the “preaching by example” approach, because now it is necessary to have the concept of what is being done and have the mind open to the different alternatives the available technologies enable.
It implies dealing with the complex aspects that are implicit in any conceptualization and transform them into simple operational processes that can be either automated or handcrafted.
When dealing in developed or emergent environments, adaptive leadership needs to be focused on organizing peopleware, software and hardware using a role driven model that allows establishing responsibilities for results while the technology generates most of the operational solutions.
But there will be always room for operational and manipulative leadership in the world depending on the culture and type of activities. These types of leadership will remain dominant in many regions of the world.
Access the complete report at: http://www.unicist.org/repo/#Future
Unicist Press Committee
NOTE: The Unicist Research Institute was the pioneer in using the unicist logical approach in complexity science research and became a private global decentralized leading research organization in the field of human adaptive systems. It has an academic arm and a business arm.