The science of complexity theory concerns the study of complexly interacting systems (Marion & Uhl-Bien, 2001).
Complexity theorists inquire into how such systems engage with each other, adapt, and influence things like emergence, innovation, and fitness (Marion & Uhl-Bien, 2001). A full review of complexity theory is beyond the scope of this article, but the following key concepts are explained below, as they are instrumental for understanding complexity leadership: complex vs. In the complexity sciences, the term “complex” does not mean the same as “complicated.” A system is complicated if each of its individual components or constituents can be described (even if there is a huge number of them). Complexity theorists study the “patterns of dynamic mechanisms that emerge from the adaptive interactions of many agents” (Marion, 2008, p. Adaptation refers to a complex system’s ability to strategically change or adjust in response to individual or systemic pressures. In general, mechanisms are processes that result in given outcomes (Hedstrom & Swedberg, 1998, as cited in Marion, 2008).
Emergence is “a sudden, unpredictable change event produced by the actions of mechanisms” (Marion, 2008, p. The complex adaptive system (CAS) is a very important element in both complexity science and complexity leadership theory. With this review of the key concepts in complexity theory, I now turn to a review of some of the key findings and theoretical constructs arising from the research of leadership through the lens of complexity sciences. The field of studying leadership through the perspective of complexity is young (Panzar, 2009). Complexity leadership theory emerged in response to perceived limitations in existing leadership theory. Rather than focusing on top-down control and alignment, complexity leadership theorists argue that leaders should temper their attempts to control organizations and futures and instead focus on developing their ability to influence organizational behavior so as to increase the chances of productive futures (Marion & Uhl-Bien, 2001). Lewin and Regine (2003, as cited in Panzar, 2009) agree with this overall description of the new type of leadership required.
MacIntosh and MacLean (1999) developed one of the first frameworks for organizational transformation based upon complexity sciences, specifically grounded in the concept of dissipative structures. Hazy’s (2005, 2007) framework for organizational change is grounded in complexity theory as well as other disciplines. A third framework called adaptive leadership was developed by a group of prominent complexity leadership researchers (Lichtenstein, et al., 2006). Two parallel theoretical streams developed off of the adaptive leadership framework, leading to two more frameworks.
The framework for CLT is built around three leadership functions: adaptive, administrative, and enabling. CLT, then, is a framework for studying emergent leadership dynamics – via three types of leadership – as they relate to bureaucratic superstructures. Stacey, Griffin and Shaw (2000) offer a final, sixth framework, one they contend is different than existing complexity leadership frameworks. This section has reviewed the core concepts of and key frameworks that have been posited for complexity leadership. Various theories of complexity leadership have been in development for over a decade, resulting in, among other things, the frameworks noted above. After my review of literature on complexity leadership, there were three sets of practices that I feel are representative of the field to date. The first of these sets of complexity leadership practices is from Marion and Uhl-Bien’s (2001) pioneering work in which they identify guidelines for leading in complex organizations.
There is some overlap amongst these sets of practices, as the authors are building upon each other’s work. Complex leadership is the process of fostering conditions in which the new behaviors and direction of the organization emerge through regular, dynamic interaction. Become leadership “tags.” A tag is the flag around which all parties rally, the binding philosophy that brings people together. Through the lens of conventional leadership, the world is assumed to be knowable and desired organizational futures are considered achievable through focused planning and the use of control mechanisms. In sum, Lichtenstein and Plowman (2009) engaged in longitudinal research on three organizational and inter-organizational phenomenon that experienced emergence. Having too many reporting layers in an organization creates frustration and slows decisions and communication down.? Organizations often add management layers in order to justify increasing the salaries and status of long-time employees.?
Using a work levels model, all roles on an organization chart should report to a role that falls in the next higher level of work.? Regardless of what the org chart says, people will seek leadership from someone who is capable of providing it to them. In my next post, I’ll detail what it is employees are looking for in a real boss, and how organizations can ensure their organizational design provides employees with want they need to get their work done. This includes a history of complexity theory and its core concepts, the central propositions of complexity leadership, a review of six prominent frameworks, and a summary of practitioner guidelines.
It is based upon the application of complexity theory to the study of organizational behavior and the practice of leadership. To understand complexity leadership requires knowledge of the fundamentals of complexity theory. Complexity theory has been defined the “study of behaviour of large collections of…simple, interacting units, endowed with the potential to evolve with time” (Coveney, 2003). Complexity theory developed out of myriad sources, many of which arose during World War II.
The interactions between these elements are nonlinear and minor changes can cascade into large-scale consequences.
Rather, it concerns a dynamic process that consistently changes its elements and brings forth new things in a process called emergence (described below).
Self-organized criticality refers to instances in which a minor event can lead to chaos, driving large interactive systems to a critical state (Kan & Bak, 1991). Typically, dissipation refers to the entropy and deterioration of order that results with the release of energy. Much leadership theory is based in a bureaucratic framework representational of the industrial age in which it was developed. The traditional bureaucratic mindset that has developed as a result of this paradigm has demonstrated limited effectiveness with the rise of the Knowledge Era and the complexities of the modern world (Lichtenstein, et al., 2006). The fundamental concept underlying complexity leadership is that, under conditions of knowledge production, informal network dynamics should be enabled – and not suppressed or aligned (Uhl-Bien, et al., 2007). For them, leaders need to move beyond setting an organizational vision and mobilizing around it.
Table 1, reproduced from Panzar (2009), offers a distillation  and comparison of six important frameworks for studying and understanding leadership within a complexity worldview. They describe a specific, three-stage sequence of activities that support effective transformation. His approach is process-focused as opposed to MacIntosh and MacLean’s (1999) leadership focus (Panzar, 2009).
With this framework, they shift the traditional focus from that of leaders operating in isolation to influence their followers to that of being fundamentally interactive in nature. In the first instance, Surie and Hazy (2006) build upon the adaptive leadership construct (Lichtenstein, et al., 2006) to develop a framework called generative leadership.
In their latest book (Goldstein, et al., 2010), they introduce the term “ecologies of innovation” to reflect the system-wide set of processes and interactions within complex adaptive systems that foster innovation. This framework is also at the core of a business book on complexity leadership (Uhl-Bien & Marion, 2008). Adaptive leadership refers to actions that emerge as CAS interact and adjust to tension, such as constraints or disturbances. It proposes that properly functioning CAS generate an adaptive capability for an organization while bureaucracy provides a coordinating and orienting structure. There appear to be two general types of research on the behaviors required to engage in complexity leadership.
These are not meant to be a comprehensive distillation of complexity leadership behaviors, but rather a representative sampling. The second is from Plowman and Duchon’s (2008) research on dispelling the myths about traditional leadership – which they call “cybernetic leadership” – in service of the new, enabling behaviors of emergent leadership based upon complexity sciences. However, I feel it is valuable to present each as a separate entity rather than attempt to consolidate them, as they each take a different perspective on complexity leadership. Rather than trying to control or exactly direct what happens within the organization, they influence organizational behavior through the management of networks and interactions. Effective leaders learn to cultivate interdependencies through the management and development of networks within – and external to – their organization. In addition to creating and maintaining networks, leaders also need to create the supportive environment in which new networks can emerge.
Complex leaders drop seeds of emergence by identifying, encouraging, empowering, and fostering connection between knowledge centers within an organization.
Conventional leadership worldviews frame leaders as visionaries, who see the future, chart the destination, and guide their organizations toward that destination. Leaders are typically seen as needing to influence others to accomplish the tasks required to achieve organizational objectives.
Their focus is not on complexity leadership as a whole, but rather specifically on the production of newly emergent orders from the dynamic interactions between individuals.
Two leadership behaviors contribute to this practice: embracing uncertainty and surfacing conflict to create controversy. Three behaviors serve to encourage novelty that in turn amplifies actions, helping small changes to cascade, escalate, and quickly move through the system.
Once amplification of change has begun, it sometimes needs to be dampened so that the emergent change does not spin the system out of control. They identified nine leadership behaviors that contributed to the development of four conditions vital for the emergence of new order. The article also discusses two key limitations to complexity theory: the need to supplement it with other epistemologies and leadership approaches, and the importance of recognizing that its sustained execution likely requires a developmentally mature meaning-making system. In the 1990s, researchers drew from complexity theory studies in physics, chemistry, biology, and computer science to cultivate novel insights about their fields. The first section of this article briefly describes the history and lineage of complexity theory and defines some of the important concepts from it that are applied in the field of complexity leadership.


While the entire theory is more complex than this, this definition is useful as it encompasses three fundamental characteristics of complex systems: they involve interacting units, are dynamic, and are adaptive. However, nine main, interrelated research strands form the lineage of its contemporary expression.
A system is complex if its relationships cannot be explained fully by merely analyzing its components because they are dynamic and changing. When sentient agents (like humans in an organization) interact, they change due to the influence of relationships, interdependent behaviors, and the emergence of subsets of agents that engage one another interdependently.
While there is global stability and resilience within complex systems and complex behavior, they are fundamentally defined by change.
Within complex, interacting systems of many agents, it represents sudden, unexpected shifts in structure or behavior.
It is a type of naturally occurring change and subsequent stabilization into a new order that is “free” – meaning that it does not require external energy to happen.
This section will provide additional historical context, review some of key insights of the field and briefly present six prominent frameworks by these researchers. This includes the assumption that goals are rationally conceived and that the achievement of these goals should be done through structured managerial practices. The Knowledge Era is characterized by the forces of globalization, technology, deregulation and democratization collectively creating a new competitive landscape. Marion and Uhl-Bien (2001) contend that leadership success is not dependent upon the charisma, strategic insight, or individual power of any given leader. Successful long-term strategies are those that emerge from the continuous, complex interactions among people.
First, the organization articulates and reconfigures the rules that underpin its deep structure, thereby “conditioning” the outcome of the transformation process.
Hazy strove to identify the general principles that relate the organizational process of leadership with an organization’s sustaining social processes.
Leadership from this perspective therefore emerges out of interactions and events, out of the interactive spaces between people and ideas.
This is a leadership approach that creates the context for stimulating innovation in complex systems. They then build upon ecological and complexity sciences to show how leadership can cultivate these ecologies of innovation. They define complexity leadership theory as a “leadership paradigm that focuses on enabling the learning, creative, and adaptive capacity of complex adaptive systems (CAS) within a context of knowledge producing organizations” (Uhl-Bien, et al., 2007, p. The central challenge of complexity leadership is to effectively manage the entanglement between the administrative and adaptive structures and behaviors, so as to ensure optimum organizational flexibility and effectiveness. They note that while most researchers focus on the dynamic interactions between agents, and the influence of relationships, their theories often collapse to being centered on the individual leader and his or her ability to influence interactions. This field itself is an emergent dynamic, with new frameworks, insights, and practice guidelines being spawned regularly out of the interactions of the CAS that is complexity leadership science itself.
The final set of practice injunctions comes from Lichtenstein and Plowman’s (2009) work to construct a complex systems leadership theory of emergence at successive organizational levels.
Marion and Uhl-Bien’s (2001) guidelines are more general in nature, for example, than Lichtenstein and Plowman’s (2009) emergent leadership behaviors, as the latter are specifically focused on actions that create the conditions for new emergent order.
This involves forging new connections where none exists, or enriching existing connections. This does not mean that they control people with respect to a certain philosophy, but rather that they represent the essence of that philosophy or concept. Rather than trying to closely control, such leaders let people try new approaches, and pilot the application of novel ideas, then challenges them to evaluate and adjust their experiments. It challenges leaders to continually be aware of the interactive dynamics at multiple levels of engagement, from aggregate, through meta-aggregate, to meta-meta-aggregate levels.
Specifically, they contend that the world is not knowable, systems are not predictable, and living systems cannot be forced along a linear trajectory toward a predetermined future.
The repeated prescription is to: clarify the organization’s desired future, scan the external environment, design the requisite actions, and remove any obstacles.
They are also expected to minimize conflict and cultivate harmonious relationships, such as in the case of leader-member exchange (LMX) theory (Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995). A newly emergent order arises when the capacity of a system to achieve its goals increases profoundly, by several orders of magnitude. Leaders and organizational members need to embrace uncertainty they face in order to initiate or heighten the system’s state of dis-equilibrium. The first of these behaviors is to allow experiments and fluctuations, by letting seeds of potential change be dispersed widely and grow, leaders increase the chances that some will “take root” and spread rapidly through the system.
As agents and resources in a system are recombined in new ways of interacting, system functioning tends to improve.
This set of practices builds upon previous work Plowman (2008) had done to dispel key myths of traditional leadership in the light of complexity sciences, as well as the ground-breaking insights of Marion and Uhl-Bien (2001) on complexity leadership in general.
The conclusion is that complexity leadership offers a fresh and important way of perceiving and engaging in the management of complex organizational behavior, one which may help leaders to address the most pressing and complex social, economic, and environmental challenges faced globally today. This if followed by a summary of the core concepts of complexity leadership and a review of six complexity leadership frameworks. In essence, complexity theory is about (1) the interaction dynamics amongst multiple, networked agents, and (2) how emergent events – such as creativity, learning, or adaptability – arise from these interactions (Marion, 2008). The brain, for example, is a complex system (Cilliers, 1998 cited in Uhl-Bien & Marion, 2009). It is not possible to impose solutions or order upon them; rather, such novel forms arise from the circumstances within them (called emergence – discussed below).
The structures, dynamic behaviors, and patterns that arise from these complex interactions become unrecognizable when perceived as linear combinations of the initial actors. Individual adaptations amongst agents in a system can interact with each other, resulting in compromises that simultaneously serve the individual and the collective, thus forming aggregate adaptation.
Complex mechanisms are emergent behavior patterns, universally available, that enable a dynamic mix of causal chains and agents. These emergent shifts are not “caused”, but rather happen due to the dynamic, random movements within complex systems. Prigogine (1997), however identified dissipative structures that do not result in deterioration, but an increase in order with the release of energy. As a result, much of leadership theory focuses on how leaders, amidst formal and hierarchical organizational structures, can better influence others toward desired goals. Rather, it is attributable to the capacity of the organization to be productive in mostly unknown, future states. As a result, leaders need to stop trying to control individual outcomes and instead shift their focus to the interactions with the intention to create the healthy conditions for people to self-organize around relevant issues. Organizational leadership in this case is framed as a meta-capability that modifies or extrapolates the system’s other capabilities.
Leadership from this adaptive perspective is framed as a complex dynamic process transcending individual capacities, drawing from the interaction, tension, and rules that govern changes in perception and understanding. They contend that generative leadership is a process for managing complexity and institutionalizing innovation that balances connectivity and interaction between individuals and groups. They can be adaptive, creative or learning in nature, and can occur anywhere from the boardroom to a workgroup of line workers.
For CLT, leadership solely exists in interaction and is a function of it; nonetheless, individual leaders can play a role in interacting with this dynamic, such as by enabling it. Stacey (2007) builds upon this criticism with the contention that leadership theorists acknowledge the paradoxes generated by complexity theory, but then strive to dissolve them with a systems view of human organizations in which a rationally informed leader objectively observes the system and influences relationships (Panzar, 2009). In the following section I review some of the behavioral recommendations for positional leaders who want to apply complexity theory in their organizations. In the subsequent pages I describe those practices, and then offer a summary of recommendations for my personal practice.
Plowman and Duchon’s (2008) approach, in contrast, focuses on traditional approaches to leadership and dispels the myths that arise from them through the application of complexity theory principles.
The development of these networks provides contacts, but more importantly, they form the structure from which innovation can emerge.
The ways to be such a catalyst range from delegation, resource allocation, and encouragement, to simply not interfering in network construction. For example, a school principle might serve as a tag for institutional excellence and the school’s reputation.
One way to do this is to send workers to conferences or other idea-generating environments in search of new insights and opportunities.
This is not an easy thing to do, but it is vital to consistently see the broader pattern of events and understand the network of events that have caused a problem. Complexity theorists suggest that organizational unpredictability often comes from within the organization, through the interactions of its members, which are not controlled by its leader. It notes that major, unpredictable consequences can arise out of small fluctuations in initial conditions (Kauffman, 1995). Complexity theorists contend that organizations are not characterized by stability and harmony, but rather exist on a continuum between stability and instability (Prigogine, 1997; Stacey, 1996). First, influence is often based upon the assumption that a leader knows what needs to be done and that the leader can subsequently influence those who need it to bring about a desired future state. By honestly assessing the situation, possible choices and uncertain outcomes, and not simply dictating solutions, leaders and members change the context in which they are operating, helping to destabilize the system. The second leadership behavior is to encourage rich interactions through a culture of “relational space.” The non-linearity of complex adaptive systems can lead to rich and meaningful interactions that catalyze unexpected, positive outcomes. By making and giving sense to issues within a complex adaptive system (through the following three behaviors), leaders support development of the conditions in which systems can recombine and self-organize. This means to make adjustments to the system based upon localized needs, thereby helping the emergent change to better adapt to that specific context.
The article continues with an overview of guidelines for putting complexity leadership theory into practice, and concludes with a discussion of two key limitations to its application. Systems thinking offers the concepts of boundaries and positive and negative feedback loops. The term complexity is meant to impart the sense of deep interconnectedness and dynamic interaction that results in emergence within and across complex adaptive systems (described below). The elements of complex systems evolve with one another, integrating their past with the present, and their evolution is irreversible. These interactive behaviors and outcomes ultimately create feedback loops with each other, leading to effects becoming causes and influence arising from extensive chains of effect.


An aspect of complexity theory is to identify and describe complex mechanisms and the patterns that arise from their interaction.
They occur as these complex systems are randomly exploring and come within range of – and “fall” into – a complex attractor. When complex systems are dynamically interacting, they often generate many low-intensity emergent changes; occasionally they experience a high-intensity change.
Complexity leadership is proposed as a framework for leadership in the fast-paced, volatile, and uncertain context of the Knowledge Era (Marion & Uhl-Bien, 2001). Leaders must therefore foster the conditions that develop that organizational capacity, focusing on understanding the patterns of complexity and manipulating the situations of complexity more than results. To do this requires leaders to change their perspective to see the organization as a complex adaptive system that unfolds, fluctuates and emerges. Third, the organization moves into a period where the dominant focus of management attention is on positive and negative feedback loops.
Hazy explicitly inquired into how such a meta-capability operates within a social system and its potential impact on performance and adaptation through various environmental changes. Each leadership event is an action segment whose meaning is derived from the dynamic interactions of those who produced it. Generative leaders do not focus on developing individual traits or creativity amongst those they work with, but rather create the conditions that nurture innovation. CLT is a change model of leadership that helps leaders to tap into the informal dynamics within an organization as part of the process of designing robust, dynamically adapting organizations (Uhl-Bien & Marion, 2009). Administrative leadership concerns the actions of those in formal managerial roles to coordinate and plan activities to achieve prescribed outcomes. A strong network is a source of fitness for an organization, as it provides fitness to the technologies upon which it is based, as well as to the participating systems as well.
Work environments can be reorganized to support interaction, additional decision-making powers and trust can be extended to their staff, and even new rituals and myths can be constructed that help create a culture of interaction and networking. These leaders rally people around the ideals of the organization, promoting an idea and an attitude.
The purpose here is to create a space of organized disorder, that spawns dynamic activity, emergent behavior, and creative surprises at multiple locations throughout the system.
The behaviors of emergent leadership, based upon complexity science, which replace these “myths”, are summarized below. It is usually organizational members that develop the ideas that lead to productive futures for the organization, arguably a more important source of ideas than the vision of the leader at the top of an organization. Thus small changes at anytime, anywhere in the system, can cascade and lead to massive change that may be inconsistent with the leader’s change vision.
As organizations gravitate toward greater instability, due to destabilizing forces, new, emergent ideas and innovations arise. These notions are, in turn, grounded in assumptions of linearity: that changes in one variable lead to anticipated changes in another. These conditions can be generated, they contend, through nine specific leadership behaviors, which are briefly discussed below. Additionally, generating constructive conflict and creating controversy are also key to driving a move toward dis-equilibrium, as this practice alters the conditions in which members function. When done within a context of mutual trust, respect and psychological safety – a “relational space” – these rich interactions deepen the interpersonal connections amongst participants, thereby supporting the amplification of changes as they occur. An example would be changing the hours of new operations of an organization to better meet an important group of constituent’s needs. Nonetheless, I believe that the heart of complexity leadership in practice is represented in these three reviews. Due to the constant fluctuations and changes of external conditions and connected systems, complex systems are not predictable, although they may seem ordered and predictable in retrospect.
Dramatic shifts in the stock market or the onset of looting in riots are examples of these attractors that draw in systems that come close enough to their basins of attraction.
These changes are different than those which arise through steady, step-by-step trajectories from known beginnings through predictable outcomes.
It is, its various proponents contend, a needed upgrade to leadership theory to reflect our shift out of the Industrial Era (Uhl-Bien, et al., 2007). This shifts a leader’s attention from trying to direct people to serving the flourishing of dynamic interactions within the organization.
Their contention is that this management of the organization’s deep structure enables influence over the otherwise unpredictable self-organizing processes. By using system dynamics modeling, he found that different patterns of leadership – either transactional or transformational – did emerge depending on the environment.
The authors describe five distinct aspects of agent interaction that they claim are leadership mechanisms: interaction experiencing, interaction aligning, interaction partitioning, interaction leveraging, and interaction speed. This includes vision-building, resource allocation, conflict and crisis management, and organizational strategy management. He presents leadership as a “complex response process” that is based upon human interactions, realized through communicative acts, and grounded in the individual agent who has the freedom to choose amidst a context of enabling and constraining interactions (Panzar, 2009). Finally, complex leaders can also catalyze network development by avoiding solving problems for workers, insisting, rather, that they work out their own issues collaboratively. Therefore, complex leaders should focus on enabling productive futures rather than controlling them (Marion & Uhl-Bien, 2001).
The new reality to replace this myth, then, is that “leaders try to make sense of patterns in small changes” (Plowman & Duchon, 2008, p. Therefore, rather than constantly attempting to stabilize an organization, leaders can at times help their organizations to benefit by being a source of disorder and destabilization.
Complexity science, though, is based upon nonlinear interactions, in which multiple agents with varying agendas engage and influence each other’s actions. Figure 1 shows how these behaviors and conditions integrate to create a new emergent order. Nonlinear dynamical systems theory developed the notions of attractors, bifurcation, and chaos.
First, correlation arises through the interaction of agents as they share part of themselves (technically called their “resonance”, but loosely can be understood as their worldview, assumptions, beliefs, preferences, etc.). Criticality cannot be influenced by external agents, such as leaders or environmental pressures.
Once the oil reaches what Prigogine (1997) called a “far-from-equilibrium” point – in which the energy builds to an unstable level – the oil molecules release energy, break the tension, and shift into a gentle boiling roll. Emergence arises through interaction and energic pressure as opposed to the actions of any lone individual.
Complexity theorists essentially frame organizations as complex adaptive systems that are composed of heterogeneous agents that interact and affect each other, and in the process generate novel behavior for the whole system (Marion & Uhl-Bien, 2001). Out of this research, Hazy developed a leadership and capabilities model able to test hypotheses about leadership and the relationships between it and the organization’s social processes (cf. Their work demonstrates how leaders can leverage these mechanisms to catalyze the environment for innovation to arise.
Its focus is on alignment and control and is exemplified by hierarchical and bureaucratic functions. Thus, the “new reality” to replace Myth #1 is that “leaders provide linkages to emergent structures by enhancing connections among organizational members” (Plowman & Duchon, 2008, p.
While certain individuals are responsible for key actions, often it is the collective action that creates the coherence and strength of an initiative, and allows for unexpected connections to arise. It can be created through specific, repeated language that reframes or gives additional meaning to a phenomenon, or via symbols that cultivate mutual understanding.
This is due to the fact that individual elements and the system itself constrain one another over time. As opposed to criticality, dissipative structures can be influenced by external agents, like leaders and environmental pressures.
It is the dynamic actions of mechanisms that generate it, rather than the constant, predictable effect of variables. By detecting and labeling patterns in the midst of emergent change, leaders have a greater chance of helping their organizations to respond effectively.
With such complexity and uncertainty within organizations, is it impossible for leaders to know and prescribe to others what to do.
By allowing chaotic, collective action, leaders create the conditions for amplification of initial changes. Complex adaptive systems theory contributes the idea of evolving, adapting systems of interacting agents. Such mutually constraining behavior is different than in ordered systems in which the system constrains the elements, or in chaotic systems which have no constraints.
Aggregation represents the clustering of multiple agents due to the development of shared or interdependent resonances. He has also used this framework to measure leadership effectiveness within complex socio-technical systems (Hazy, 2006).
This is based upon the complexity theory principle of emergent self-organization, in which the interaction of individual agents, exchange of information amongst them, and continuous adaptation of feedback from each other creates a new system level order. Instead, organizational members often help leaders to find directions out of confusion and uncertainty. By uniquely recombining space, capital, capabilities and other vital resources, emergence can be fostered. All levels of an organization can engage in this type of leadership, but its nature varies by hierarchical level and position. These novel combinations alter the context in which people are working and stimulate new connections. An example would be for a leader to focus on clarifying processes rather than clarifying outcomes, and allow the organizational members to determine the relevant outcomes. An extreme example is the demise of the Soviet Union; another would be the transition of water from liquid to solid.



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Comments

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