January 20, 2004

Vol. 1, No. 2

Published Weekly on Mondays
By Leadership University

Musings from a passionate leader who coaches…organizational effectiveness.

The topic for this particular journal is particularly important to me and I thank those powers at be for allowing me the space to express that passion.

There are so many things I could say, however I want to select 2 or three ideas that for me have been pivotal in my own leadership and may have interest and applicability for you as a reader, leaders and/or coach.

The first point I’d like to make is the link between organizational effectiveness and executive coaching success. 

Back in 1985, Fred Luthans and Robert Krietner wrote a small manual called Organizational Behavior Modification and Beyond.  Tucked away in that manual was a diagram that I’ve adapted using my own words at http://www.leadu.com/pyramid

What you’ll see there is that leadership and management as well as organizational effectiveness is differentiated and then re-integrated thanks to the insights provided by Luthans and Krietner through power, accountability, authority and responsibility or what we call PAAR.  The golf metaphor applies efficiently.

The gist of this model is that there are more than one level of leadership and if you don’t understand the role of each in organizational effectiveness, then you’ll suboptimize the efficiency of the system.  Employees who have power, accountability, authority and responsibility for their own behavior are coupled with management who has power, accountability, authority and responsibility over the behavioral products of employees to formulate desired outcomes and leaders who engage employees, management, customers and stakeholders with power, accountability, authority and responsibility bring about a bottom-up emergence of effectiveness throughout the system.  You’ll hear a lot about emergence and bottom-up over the next few years as more and more leadership understanding the power of self-organizing leadership and emergence.

In the second point, I’d like to help you see that the person, their behavior, the environment/organization they behave in a context with, as well as how all three relate to results drives/emerges organizational effectiveness.  What’s also interesting is that you can map the six factors of climate* discussed in the HBR 2000 article Leadership That Gets Results written by Daniel Goleman right onto the vertices created by the flows of these components!  It becomes clear that not only are organizational effectiveness, emotional intelligence, leadership and results intertwined, but that executive coaching in organizations is both simple and complex--paradoxically so.

*Six factors of climate put forward by Goleman/HayGroup:







I’ve provided you with an opportunity to view the diagram I’ve put together at www.leadu.com/results in order to see how organizational climate can be mapped in an integral fashion against personal and organizational effectiveness using Ken Wilber’s constructs of individual and collective interior/exterior.

For the third point, I’d like to share with you a taxonomy I’ve used over the years to explain to people how executive work can be mapped against the organizational effectiveness and leadership roles that face the executive.  This taxonomy shown at www.leadu.com/taxonomy reveals the tremendous complexity that is simple.  In other words, simplicity on the other side of complexity requires us to examine 5 essential elements of organizational effectiveness through a spiral lens.

Those elements stem from information I’ve augmented from Don Beck’s work at Spiral Dynamics Integral [http://www.spiraldynamics.net] with some additional pieces to help you understand that we have to consider the interplay between: content, context, conditions, codes and culture in every executive decision to enhance optimization. While nature via nurture is critical tension to consider [Matt Ridley, 2003], we have to bring about a consilience of rather complex interrelationships to get to the other side of complexity, where things become more simple.

Sub-Optimizing organizational effectiveness becomes easy to do when we fail to embrace the paradoxical, yet integral world of differentiated elements in executive coaching and leadership.  It is impossible to separate the leader from the organization and the behavior and behavioral products of that organization from results.  Over the years, we’ve seen people try to take separate approaches in a variety of ethical and non-ethical means and in either case, we’ve ended up with disaster as evidenced by non-ehtical scandals like Enron and WorldCom and then flat ethical failures like the dot.coms.

In summary I’d like to draw a conclusion and at the same time provide a warning to those of you who try to oversimplify the role of the executive leader in organizational effectiveness.  It’s really quite simple.  Differentiate, then integrate, but never separate.

Happy Trails!