That leadership has radically changed and will continue to do so is not news. What is new are the forms that are being implemented in uncertain and complex times.
Jurgen Appelo is a software engineer, trainer, entrepreneur, author, speaker and traveler, who has been driving agility in companies. One of his works, “ Management 3.0 ” , condenses a team management methodology so that they can survive amid chaos and fragility.
This model, based on Edgar Morin’s so-called complexity theory, is based on the notion that a system – a company, a government, a project – is not feasible to analyze as a mere sum of its component parts; rather, it is the relationships and interactions that give it meaning and momentum. To graph this, imagine a network, with interlocking threads connecting each component. These threads are the facts, actions, decisions, and interactions that make up the world.
That is why management has been seen for several years as a system of networks and people, of dynamic relationships, and not only about areas or departments, profits and processes. It is a living system, not machines that systematically replicate the same result.
Principles for energizing and developing talent
In its 3.0 model, Appelo shares several principles that serve to support the work of leaders and teams in today’s changing world. Here are some of them:
1. Energize people
To achieve this, it is necessary to know what it is that motivates them and that is part of their life purpose: the more consistent it is with the purpose of the organization, there will be a greater individual commitment and team cooperation. For the psychologist and professor Edward Deci, there are two types of motivations:
- Extrinsic: stimuli that are provided from outside the person (for example, a performance bonus, constant congratulations from the leader, etc.).
- Intrinsic: those stimuli that are internal and relevant to the person, even when it is not their primary goal (for example, a project in charge). However, if you find a meaning, a why in what you do, you connect better and there is your own reward.
Author Daniel Pink offers a similar look at intrinsic motivation in his book “Drive”, where he affirms that most people are moved more by this type of impulse than by extrinsic. In other words, in the end and in essence, people care more about satisfaction than external rewards, although they should not be lacking, and he explains that there are three factors that new management leaders need to take into account to boost talent: mastery -the desire of each one to be better in what is important to him-, autonomy -the impulse to guide his own life-; let me mention self-leadership-; and purpose – intention to serve something greater than ourselves.
2. Empower teams
To achieve this, the author of Management 3.0 points out that it is entirely possible for each team to organize itself, if it has the confidence of the leaders.
At this point, it is essential that those who lead people focus on doing their job and not on micro-management and that teams participate in collective decisions on relevant issues. In addition, it is necessary for everyone to understand that they are part of a joint system, and not the mere sum of individualities, and that the knowledge of market needs is not in the hands of a single person, but that there is a broader perspective of their needs.
To empower, there are four lines of action that are strategic to generate relationships of trust:
- Let the leader trust his team.
- Let the team trust their leader.
- Let team members trust each other.
- Let the leader trust himself.
3. Development of skills
We already know that it is difficult for any company to achieve results if its members are not trained; and the leaders are responsible for enabling the conditions for this process to take place. Some ways are:
- Leading by example: living what is preached.
- Promote self-learning: appreciate personal maturing time.
- Coaching and mentoring: as transversal support and support tools throughout the organization.
- Training and certification: to raise standards against the competition.
- Collaborative learning: internal development, where everyone learns from each other.
- Learning from error: doing retrospectives and tests in controlled environments.
- Measure the results: feedback in the shortest possible cycles; use of keeping metrics on information radiators; indicators agreed between those who participate.
- Smaller teams: the author recommends no more than 10 to 12 people.
4. Improve everything and observe the team environment
It is key in the management 3.0 model to focus on real continuous improvement, for which it is necessary to facilitate change processes and model the natural resistance that may appear.
Some suggestions for leaders are to observe the team environment, what they need, and let it be known that you are available; find cracks or faults and go to their roots to promote solutions that the team implements; define clear and specific goals and have great communication skills, a key factor of every good manager.
Also, incentivize defining small victories or milestones that energize people; review achievements and not just failures; and it is also essential to recognize people.
The implementation of this leadership style implies a cultural change in companies that is not necessarily rapid, although it can be agile, if you have the conviction and vision to carry it out.
Ultimately, it depends on each company how far they want to go and on each leader, how much they want their teams to develop. Two questions that only they can answer.