Tethering Yourself to Fresh Ideas: The Center for Creative Leadership’s Perspective of Business Transformation

A key part of leading business transformations is to focus on continually evolving your skills and capabilities so as to avoid becoming too much “a part of the problem” and mostly “a part of the solution.” This is pretty easy to do as a consultant, given the organizational and contractual boundaries that exist when consulting to a company on transformation. However, if you find yourself driving change from inside the company that also prints your paychecks, you need to tether  yourself to the outside to keep a fresh perspective. I believe this is a matter of survival for an internally led transformations. Without the outside influence, of course accompanied with a filtering process to determine which ideas are appropriate for your company, you run the risk of losing perspective and becoming “stale”. There are a lot of ways to tether yourself, including but not limited to formal training, webinars, blogs, RSS readers, even good old fashion reading of books.

One of the organizations that I have discovered helpful in maintaining my perspective from the outside is the Center for Creative Leadership. You can find them at www.ccl.org. While my relationship with this organization is relatively new and not very deep, I am impressed with their insights as a change leader.

In almost every business transformation or change management text, method, or technique, the topic of leadership is addressed. Many argue that it is the most important topic of change. Whether you rank leadership as #1 or #100 in your list of things to change as a change leader, you probably have it somewhere on your list, and it is probably not getting the attention that is really deserves (except thos of you who have it in the top 5).

If you recognize that leadership is an important component of change management, and if you recommend that leadership evolution is a part of a purposeful change management or business transformation program, you should take 15 minutes to check out the attached and determine if you may want to tether yourself to some of CCL’s intellectual capital.

Transforming Your Organization.pdf


4 thoughts on “Tethering Yourself to Fresh Ideas: The Center for Creative Leadership’s Perspective of Business Transformation

  1. Nice article. It is informative and sheds a light into a very interesting topic that need not be overlooked. It’s my opinion that effective leaders are self-aware of who they are and where they fit into the larger scheme on the company. Of all the qualities that one can give for a leader I think self-awareness should be placed at the top. This self-awareness extends further than who they are as the leader but like you state, staying up to date on recent literature, attending seminars, etc. This shows that the leader is self-aware of who they are and what impact they can truly have on a company during a change or simply from their day to day actions.

    Just a few comments about the article itself. 1.) Is there a set of criteria or indicators of certain characteristics that effective change leaders elicit? If so we may be able to ‘train’ future leaders for such a position (I do acknowledge there are certain debates that can arise in regards to if are leaders born or not?) but nevertheless a topic that may need to be explored 2.) During a change, leaders should constantly remind or ask themselves, “What is the primary output of the company?” and then make decisions with that in mind 3.) this leads to another important aspect about decisions. Being reflective and aware of the change is needed but in reality there are time constraints, budgets, etc. When choices are made or action is set forth for changes, these choices should be explicit, reasoned and the entire process should be iterative throughout.

    Just a couple of thoughts on this. Looking forward to some additional comments or feedback. Can’t wait for more to come in the future.

    • Thanks for your comments Jeff.

      As far as a set of characteristics, this is an age old question of leadership. Are you a born leader or can you learn it. I believe the answer is, yes. You are born with capabilities to be a leader, AND you learn how to lead along the way. As far as characteristics for a change leader, I will point you to my previous post here.

      Regarding leaders asking themselves what is the primary output of a company, I would say that question needs to be asked periodically. Depending on the industry and company, it could need to be asked as often as daily (in the case of a company beginning to launch) or annually, in the case of a well established company, and every time frame in between. It all depends on the volatility being compelled upon the company and to tolerance to volatility by the company. In terms of the specific question, I like the model put forth by Jim Collins in Beyond Entrepreneurship, a predecessor to his Good to Great work. The Amazon link is here. He outlines a purpose and mission and differentiates them. Stay tuned for a future post from me on Business Strategy and a framework I have developed.

      Lastly, your third question is really about the concept of IT Governance. There are many models out there. Wikipedia has several referenced here. I personally like the Cobit framework. You can find more about Cobit here.

      Thanks for you thoughtful reply, and let me know if I can be of assistance to any of you efforts in these spaces.

  2. This is awesome. So interesting. Just so impressed with the level of communication between leaders in the business world. Sharing ideas and being informed opens your world to so many opportunities.

    Self awareness builds confidence. At any level we need to do a daily examination of conscience. Be honest with yourself. This makes us aware of our faults/limitations and we can then grow to be better people and leaders.

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