23 Slices
Medium 9781855756076

1986 NEW YORK

Burkard Sievers Karnac Books ePub

James Krantz & Thomas N. Gilmore

This article explores a maladaptive response organizations are making to the great uncertainty and turbulence they face. The authors describe the ways in which management and leadership are split apart, with one aspect idealized and the other devalued, as a “social defense” against confronting the adaptive demands of contemporary operating environments. Two variants of this social defense are examined: “managerialism” which looks to the magic of technique and “heroism” which focuses on the heroic leader. Responding effectively to current conditions requires linking what has come to be viewed as leadership, the visionary and mission setting aspects of executive action, with management, the apparatuses and tools for achieving organizational purposes.

Contemporary organizations are undergoing an unprecedented level of change and turmoil. New technologies, fresh competitive challenges, and a changing world economic order pressure managers to adapt and innovate, resulting in the now commonplace mergers and acquisitions, cutbacks and downsizing efforts, strategic alliances, and spin-offs which, in turn, all amplify comp lexity d ramatically.The popular press, management specialists, and organization theorists all speak to the need for organizations to innovate deeply (Kanter, 1983; Peters & Waterman, 1982; Lawrence & Dyer, 1983; Tushman, Newman, & Romanelli, 1987) and to the requirements of leading such enterprises (Bennis & Nannus, 1985; Leavitt, 1986). Visionary, creative leadership has become essential in contemporary organizations.

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Medium 9781855753280

CHAPTER SEVEN Organizational Role Analysis by telephone: the client I met only once

Susan Long Karnac Books ePub

Rose Redding Mersky

Introduction

Like many—if not most—of my consulting colleagues, I am working with clients more and more over the telephone. This is largely due to the advent of executive coaching and the increasingly complicated nature of people’s professional and personal lives. These phone sessions supplement face to face work and generally take place when clients are travelling or are otherwise too busy. While work can be accomplished, it is still considered a compromise. In a sense, it is a “holding action” until the consultant and client can meet again.

For three years, in contrast to this norm, I have been conducting an organizational role consultation by phone with a client I have only met once. This meeting took place over a year after we had begun our work. Before then, despite my suggestions that we work face to face, my client would not make herself available to do so. Citing too little time, too much distance, or too much work, she communicated to me strongly that she preferred working by phone.

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2001 PARIS

Burkard Sievers Karnac Books ePub

Robert French and Peter Simpson

Charles Harvey

Our aim in this chapter is to suggest how the idea of‘ negative capability’ may contribute to an understanding of the creative leader. We begin by exploring the origins of the term negative capability and its meaning in the creative arts and in psychoanalysis. We then assess its value as a concept in relation to leadership. Creative leadership is called for at the edge between certainty and uncertainty, both a necessary and a difficult place to work in the current context of organizational life. Whereas, positive capabilities direct leaders and followers toward particular forms of action rooted in knowing, negative capability is the ability to resist dispersing into inappropriate knowing and action. We suggest that appropriate combinations of positive capabilities and negative capability can generate and sustain a‘working space’ or‘capacity’ for creative thought at this edge between knowing and not knowing. Creative leaders are characterised by their ability to generate such spaces not merely for themselves but also for others within the organization. Some of the problems for organizational leaders in working with negative capability are raised and explored.

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2005 BALTIMORE

Burkard Sievers Karnac Books ePub

Susan Long

The book and subsequent film‘The Corporation’ (Bakan 2005) took as its theme 1) the idea of the corporation created as a legal entity similar to an individual in the Law and 2) following this, the evaluation of the behaviour of corporations against descriptions of psychopathic syndromes in the DSM IV. The conclusion was: many corporations are psychopathic. Not surprisingly, organisational theorists and consultants are interested nowadays in the emotional and irrational aspects of organisational life. Increasingly, it seems the discourse surrounding organisations includes the idea of madness as well as badness.

But the distinctions between mad and bad have long been problematic for those attempting to deal with extreme or abnormal behaviour; such as the institutions of psychiatry and prisons (nowadays, corrections). Despite the controversies surrounding the work of French social historian Michel Foucault,1 he did offer many compelling arguments about the historical development of the shifting boundary between medicine, psychiatry and the law (Foucault 2003; 1963). That this boundary is problematic is not in doubt. The modern psychiatric diagnosis of‘personality disorder’ encompasses itsdifficulties. With issues of behavioral disturbance, narcissism and anti-social behaviour taking center stage, many of those falling within this diagnosis populate the world’s prison systems and might be described as suffering from symptoms like‘a lack of remorse’.2 One might ask about the line between symptoms and character; suffering and accountability. Moreover, with the advent of new-styled therapeutic courts on the one hand and cognitive-behaviour modification on the other, it seems we have judges as social workers and psychiatrists as behavioural custodians; the boundaries between aspects of their roles become ever more complex and interdependent.

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CHAPTER NINE Coaching senior executives: personal/work conflicts, mortality and legacy

Susan Long Karnac Books ePub

Laurence J. Gould

Introduction

While both the study of life stages and the nature of taking up an organizational role have been the subject of much contemporary work, with few exceptions (e.g., Fitzgerald, 2002; Gould, 1999; Levinson, Darrow, Klein, Levinson, & McKee, 1978), they have generally been split into personal and professional strands, with little in the way of systematic integration. For example, the literature on coaching most often mentions the significance of life stages only in passing, or not at all. Even, in what is an excellent paper by Brunning (2001), in which she conceptualizes, quite comprehensively, six major domains of coaching and applies them to a well-developed case example, she never mentions the client’s age. This, despite the fact, that one of her domains—the “Life Story”—is at least suggestive in this regard. As a general matter, I can hardly imagine that one wouldn’t view the case material somewhat differently, nor that a client’s concerns would be likely to be quite different, depending on their stage of life. But this example is hardly unique—it is representative of the mainstream literature on coaching.

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