The change to the 21st century from the 20th century has marked a clear transition to knowledge era from the industrial era, where there was constant increase of knowledge and knowledge sharing. This resulted to the emergency of complex adaptive system that refers to changeable structures containing numerous, overlapping hierarchies which are connected together in an interactive, dynamic network. These are structures which have the aptitude of solving problems creatively, adapt and learn quickly, and naturally emerge in social systems. Complex leadership theory refers to a leadership framework which allows the adaptive, creative, and learning capability of complex adaptive system. It simultaneously allows suitable control structure for formal organizations coordination and producing suitable outcomes to the system’s mission and vision (Hatfield, 2014). This paper focuses on discussing complex leadership in an organization
Leading Using Complex Theory in Era of Accelerating Change and Increasing Competition
Complex leadership theory focuses more on establishing an adaptive and interactive environment where change is emergent on daily basis based on the situation on the ground. Complex leadership fuels an organization with adaptive properties and thus making it easy for the organization to embrace change and adapt into new situation to overcome challenges or even to better its performance. In this regard, the employment of complex theory leadership in this competitive era would require the employment of a framework that would make it easy for an organization to adapt to the coming changes. This framework will involve dividing leadership into three functions that include the enabling leadership, adaptive leadership, and the administrative leadership. The administrative leadership will take care of managerial roles of the organization. Adaptive leadership will enhance learning, creativity, and adaptability of the organization. This leadership will fight to adjust to possible dynamic that takes place within the organization. The enabling leadership will act as a catalyst for adaptive leadership, and manage emergent and bureaucratic functions entanglement in the organization. This will highly enhance the organization survival in this dynamic and competitive era, by ensuring that the organization is ready for changes. Knowledge sharing and management will highly be embraced to enhance learning in the organization, and thus, making it easy for the organization to make changes that will make it survive in the competitive era, particularly through creativity and application of advancing modern technology (Tacon, 2012).
Benefits and Challenges of Leading Using Complex Theory
The main benefits of using complex theory in leadership is that it foster personal growth and expansion of knowledge in an organization, giving the organization the power to lead as a source of change in the changing era rather than being a follower. It also increases the organization competitive advantage by encouraging creativity and hence, enhancing the organization ability to solve new problems and to improve their production. Among the main challenges is the need for the new technology to keep up to the demand of the complex leadership theory. Learning needs to be enhanced through effective communication and knowledge sharing. This may be quite a challenge to implement in any organization. Learning may also need extra investment in training, and education advancement in an organization which may be quite expensive. Thus, complex leadership contains both advantages and disadvantages (Michael & Mary, 2016).
Benefits Becoming a Challenge with the Increasing Business Globalization
Expansion of knowledge is featured as one benefit of complex leadership. However it also presents new challenges with increasing business globalization. In the era of globalization, normal form of management is ruled out and to enhance the organization management in the global context, the organization need to restructure its management system, and communication system among other things, and also the knowledge sharing system. The organization employees in global business are scattered in different parts of the world and hence, virtual interaction is highly used than physical interaction. Thus, enhancing communication and knowledge sharing might be quite challenging, particularly if the organization happens to have less committed employees (Hatfield, 2014).
Leadership has highly been transformed as the world transited from the 20th century to 21st century. It changed from industrial alignment and control based form of leadership a complex leadership that embraces learning, creativity and adaptability. This form of leadership plays a major role in helping an organization to withstand the modern dynamism and globalization of businesses in different industries. It helps in enhancing creativity, and has the organization ability to drive change rather than being driven by change.
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