An outstanding Leadership for cross cultural team(s)
(Continues from Atypical views on Leadership – 1)
As the organization grows larger and more complex, management at the top begin to lead and decide less by firsthand experience, but more and more on heavily processed data. From their position they rarely see the business flowing in the same way as do the people down in production or on the sales floor. Four decades ago, IBM tried to unify corporate culture in its subsidiaries all over the world. Geert Hofstede carried out a world-wide survey on employee values. The result was very informative and demonstrative. There were other researchers of the same topic too. A common conclusion of all those studies is that “we are definitely different”.
Back to Adam Smith. He characterized economy as three orders in society: those who live by the rent, by their labor, and by the profits. Joseph Schumpeter described economy also as three-folded: monetary, interests, and value theory within a natural-law perspective. And they were not alone in dividing economy in three parts. One does not need to be an outstanding expert to deduct: a (free) market, which by definition is something imaginary, can be perceived as a Holy Ghost; a (private) property, which equals to omnipotence – the God; and a labor, which can be linked to a sacrifice for higher capital gains – Jesus Christ. Is then the economy just a new “global religion” with all needed attributes? If you remove fundamental attribute of any religion -“trust”- from all economics factors, what do you get? A meltdown of today currencies, companies values, stock markets … Or choose a next attribute – “permanent growth” of profits which is in collision with all natural laws (even Universe is limited). The focal point of economy driven capitalism paradigm is the accumulation of capital or wealth. It propels uncontrollably, destroying the natural environment and exploitation of resources beyond recovery. There is also no room for other ‘opinions’ than economic measures that drive our lives today. Is this a kind of a “medieval” way of thinking?
All parts in Nature are interdependent. Just like a team of players during a game. The team is not alone on the playground. It has the counter-party, there are judges, there are physical constraints engaged, and lastly there are spectators involved. All of this forms a system. It is the same with Nature. That is why the economy should not be the only ‘player’. Times and circumstances may change, but systems tend to endure. If we don’t understand this, wrong decisions, sometimes disastrous, can happen.
Today more than ever we are in need of change spurred by atypical thinkers, inspiring employees to confront problems, in need of workers that stay on task, and voice their opinions. There are hundreds of books addressing the “outer” leadership, complete with checklists, game plans, and how successful, effective or efficient people exercised leadership. These are obsolete views and we are in need of a much different leadership approach that currently prevails around the globe. Leadership that can lead across “the cultural background noise” and connect west and east, internal and external …
Re-published from “the extraMILE” (autumn 2013; Issue 5; September 2013)