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Saturday, 12 January 2008

Change and Leadership

Harvard leadership professor Ronald Heifetz has identified two major approaches to change: technical fixes and adaptive change. In her fine book, Leadership Can Be Taught, Sharon Daloz Parks describes Heifetz' distinction between the two.

Leaders who change through technical fixes believe that problems can be solved "with knowledge and procedures already in hand." Technical leaders emphasize expertise, education, and experience as key to resolving difficult issues. They also think that solutions to problems already exist. Leaders must employ solid techniques or processes to make things right. In this model, a technical-fix politician would try to convince voters of his or her competence, management skill, and problem-solving track record.

In contrast, adaptive change-type leaders believe that complex problems "require new learning, innovation, and new patterns." In this mode, "leadership is the activity of mobilizing people to address adaptive challenges." According to this leadership theory adaptive problems are "swamp issues," complex problems involving multiple levels of difficulty that elude regular routines and established platforms. According to Parks, adaptive leaders "call for changes of heart and mind—the transformation of long-standing habits and deeply held assumptions and values."Tuesday, January 08, 2008

The Times They Are A-Changin (by Diana Butler Bass) (God's Politics - Jim Wallis Blog)

So how does Kevin Rudd fit in this typology?
A technical fixer with perhaps something of the adaptive mode trying to sneal out into the public domain?


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