The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Wicked problems

Some people will yearn for wicked problems, others will leave them for later.

Bringing people into a team who have an intrinsic desire to solve the problem at hand and want to meet the challenge creatively often calls for change-driven leadership. Instead of looking for someone who organizes the problem for them, these people will connect their respective expertise to investigate the problem and develop their skills. They’ll look at the situation as one where the only opponent they have is the previous level of capability someone brought to bear on similar problems.

It’s a strong motivation that is entirely based on the challenge they are seeking to solve. In essence, this becomes a team that is not distracted by anything independent from the problem. It includes the many elements of status linked to power and hierarchy.

In such a team, it doesn’t matter if the team is experienced in working together, or how much they like one another. They’ll respect other people’s idiosyncrasies as these belong to the different types of thinking and expertise the team needs to succeed. They can team up on the fly.

It also means that leadership will be fluid and depend on the expert needed in that situation, to a point that they will prefer to see themselves as experts instead of as leaders. Leadership is experienced based on the contribution the individual brings in the given moment. These people don’t want to lead or to be led.

It’s a team model that can’t be copied to every type of situation.

Often leaders avoid authority or too much hierarchy. Sometimes because of role models they have seen or read about. Whenever they try this, they need to cultivate an environment that allows for it. But the starting point is the task the team has to tackle and the motivation they bring to the table. The more they’ll find their motivation in the task, the less they’ll pay attention to methods seeking to boost their status.

Being able to build a team of people intrinsically motivated by the task reduces the expectations of the leader’s capability to build followership.





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