My perspective on how leaders approach leadership within my own context has remained the same. I still believe a combination of reflective and adaptive leadership would be the best option for my own context and especially for the current profound humanitarian fallout of the COVID-19 crisis. I also believe leaders who wish to implement digital change should focus on individual and organizational readiness.
One of the main things that I can do to help lead change especially in crisis situations is to practice adaptive and reflective leadership to anticipate and plan for change more efficiently. Khan (2017) emphasized the adaptive leadership role in leading complex change. An example of adaptive leadership is an improvement in our ability to see the next crisis coming, to prevent it coming if possible, and to lead our organization successfully through that next crisis situation. As Castelli (2016) points out, leaders need to practice reflective leadership to ensure organizations not only survive but emerge from the crisis more prepared. In a crisis situation like the one we’re facing now (COVID-19), we face a challenge to make decisions under unusual circumstances, imperfect or inconsistent information, and a need for immediate and decision making. Leaders need to focus on the individual and organizational capabilities to implement changes in such circumstances to help us learn from this crisis.
As Weiner (2009) highlights the role of individual and organizational readiness level in leading change, I learned to focus more on the human aspects of change. When it comes to the human (soft) aspect, individual and organizational readiness play a key role in preparing people for change by utilizing and personalizing change strategies to best fit and align with people’s capabilities. I came to realize that If a leader wants a change to happen, s/he should expect that people would require additional skills and knowledge to cope with change. In such difficult times, leaders should consider that the amount of pressure people are facing will affect people’s capabilities. Therefore, leaders should focus more on coaching their teams to develop and strengthen capabilities, skills and mindsets.
Castelli, P. A. (2016). Reflective leadership review: A framework for improving organisational performance. The Journal of Management Development, 35(2), 217-236. doi:10.1108/JMD-08-2015-0112
Khan, N. (2017). Adaptive or Transactional Leadership in Current Higher Education: A Brief Comparison. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 18 (3), 178-183. Retrieved from Royal Roads University Moodle database.
Weiner, B. J. (2009). A theory of organizational readiness for change. Implementation Science, 4(67). Retrieved from https://implementationscience.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1748-5908-4-67