Week 1: Leadership in a complex world

Week 1: Leadership in a complex world

“Strategies of the mayor … The context of leadership … Conclusion”
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Summaries

  • Week 1 - Leadership in a complex world > Welcome to week 1 > Introduction week 1
  • Week 1 - Leadership in a complex world > The context of leadership > The context of leadership
  • Week 1 - Leadership in a complex world > Conclusion week 1 > Conclusion week 1

Week 1 – Leadership in a complex world > Welcome to week 1 > Introduction week 1

  • As I said in the introduction to this MOOC, most engineers have a very well developed analytical mindset.
  • In this first week, we will start with a case about a leader faced with a complex problem.
  • I hope you’ll enjoy this first week – and if you have any questions feel free to ask them.

Week 1 – Leadership in a complex world > The context of leadership > The context of leadership

  • Your world has a pyramid structure and you are the boss.
  • A network means that there are multiple players, often with opposing interests.
  • In a networked, interdependent world, player A depends on player B, player B depends on player C and player C on A and B. And so on.
  • Does that work in a network? In a networked world? Of course not.
  • A structured problem is a problem that has one right solution.
  • There may be all kinds of reasons for this: there is no unambiguous data, no clear criteria to weigh up conflicting aspects of a problem, the models we are using may be questionable.
  • So what is the dominant strategy if problems are structured? Management by expertise.
  • If problems are unstructured, this does not work.
  • In a stable world, there are no major changes in the networks and the problems and solutions also do not change.
  • Networks change – one player may gain in terms of their power position, while another loses.
  • The definition of problems and solutions change.
  • We redefine problems or new innovative solutions emerge.
  • In a stable world, project management proves very useful.

Week 1 – Leadership in a complex world > Conclusion week 1 > Conclusion week 1

  • Does that help? Probably not – Option 2: change the agenda and create a multi-issue game.
  • A multi-issue game means: One, widening your agenda – it is not just about the holiday; two, asking the other players to come up with issues that matter to them – in view of the wider agenda.
  • These issues could be: rules on going out, the chores rota, whether or not to have a pet, the summer holiday, the skiing holiday? Perhaps someone wants to pass their driving test, visit some famous museums.
  • The youngest daughter would really like a great skiing holiday in Italy, but is completely against having a pet – so there is some potential gain and pain on the agenda.
  • That would be a single-issue game, an either/or game.
  • A single-issue game provides a strong incentive for conflict.
  • A multi-issue game provides an incentive for cooperation.
  • A multi-issue game has five potential effects: A multi-issue game is an incentive for the parties to sit down with each other.
  • A multi-issue game provides an incentive for playing the game of give-and-take.
  • As I said, a single-issue game is an either-or-game – you are either in favour or against the issue and this almost always leads to conflict.
  • A multi-issue game creates much more room for manoeuvre – the game between the actors gains more space and flexibility.
  • A multi-issue game includes incentives for cooperation.
  • What happens when the players in the multi-issue game have reached decisions? A multi issue game creates changing coalitions.
  • A decision about the skiing holiday, with father and his daughters in favour and mother and son against.
  • Changing coalitions create dependencies – when it comes to the pet, the father and his daughters disagree, but when it comes to the skiing holiday they agree.
  • If the daughters need their father’s support to make the skiing holiday happen, they know that they will need to collaborate with their father when it comes to the pet.
  • In a single-issue game, the players can of course also reach a decision.
  • In a multi-issue game, there are many more opportunities to reach a beneficial decision.
  • Smart combinations of issues can also be made, as a result of which the ultimate compromise is more favorable – You can pass your driving test during the holiday, or visit a famous museum and use the money that you save to spend on the skiing holiday.
  • Some of these combinations will come as a surprise to participants in the multi-issue game.
  • They only discover that these combinations are possible and attractive during the game itself.

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