This thought provoking article in May's HBR captures the 'paradox of leadership' in today's VUCA world and the need to 'manage a dynamic equilibrium' through shifting priorities and supporting Both/And competing positions rather than take a consistent Either/Or stance over time. We call that Liquid Change leadership. Rather than being inconsistent, develop the consistent competencies, in yourself and your organisation, that allow you to be agile, transparent, dialled-in and pioneering. In short, develop a liquid state in your organisation. These will prepare you to not only cope with change but to see it as an opportunity and act on it quickly. Know your purpose and values that allow you to remain on a true course, whilst strategic priorities shift according to the latest customer needs and technological advancements. That's a dynamic way to manage the complexity and further strengthen competitive advantage.
Managing Dynamic Equilibrium When leaders assume that there are multiple truths, that resources are abundant, and that the role of management is to cope with change rather than fight it, they can help their organizations reach a state of dynamic equilibrium. This is at the center of paradoxical leadership. However, trying to shift the hearts and minds of senior team members is challenging and time-consuming. Moreover, their roles and responsibilities often lead senior people to deeply identify with one goal or another, fostering conflict. To unleash the power of paradox, therefore, leaders must build supporting organizational competencies into their senior team. This requires managers to both separate and connect opposing forces.