Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.
What Is Adaptive Leadership?
Adaptive leadership refers to a dynamic management style that allows individuals and organizations to adapt to changes in internal or external dynamics. Furthermore, adaptive leadership helps individuals, teams, and organizations to take care of challenges in novel ways, often more quickly and efficiently than non-adaptive organizations. One of the key components to that novelty is known as disruptive thinking. We'll go over what that is and how it can change an organization in a wide variety of ways.
What Is Disruptive Thinking?
As you just learned, one of the key traits of adaptive leadership is disruptive thinking. Disruptive thinking refers to non-traditional considerations or outside-the-box realizations. Disruptive thinking:
- Challenges commonly held beliefs
- Focuses on coming up with new solutions
- Creates novel ideas
- Is okay with failure so long as something is learned
- Isn't afraid of big or crazy ideas
- Isn't as susceptible to the criticisms of others as traditional thinking
Disruptive thinking is all about opening up your mind to any possibility, no matter how crazy it sounds, and going from there to develop a hypothesis, test that hypothesis, and either learn something from it or develop something as a result of` it.
Disruptive Thinking & Change
So it's not very hard to see how disruptive thinkers can lead organizational change within a multitude of areas. Let's go over a few examples.
Bob works for a fast food chain. The business model is pretty simple: sell burgers. But when Bob's company enters a new market in another country, he gets a bold and disruptive idea. In this market, the business model shouldn't focus solely on selling burgers, it should focus on real estate as well. Bob finds evidence that as soon as the company opens a restaurant in an area, the land and building prices shoot up. Bob's disruptive idea turns the company's local business model on its head as it focuses on building profitable malls around the area of its restaurant. Sounds crazy, right? But this example is actually quite similar to what IKEA did in real life in Russia.
Then there's Jenny. One day, Jenny was thinking about all the bureaucracy in the company she started. Things were so inefficient it seemed impossible to fix. That is, until she had a disruptive thought! She decided to fire all of the managers and restructure the company, its culture, and its politics in such a way that gave far more power to the regular employees. Sound crazy? Not at all! Decentralizing a company's structure has been successfully employed in the past.
Or how about this disruptive business idea? There was once a man named Henry Ford. You've probably heard of him. And what was he famous for? Being the first executive in the auto industry to take a serious look at product development and efficiency. Unlike his competitors, Ford had a disruptive idea. Why not form an assembly line to make a car? The rest is history.
Of course, it would be remiss not to mention Steve Jobs. If there ever was a disruptive thinker when it comes down to technology, he would probably be it. For who would've foreseen, even in 2005, that in just a couple of years people would start doing almost everything on a phone they once did on a laptop? Steve Jobs did, and it was because he didn't care what others said and he dared ask the right questions and push the right limits.
So adaptive leadership is a dynamic management style that helps individuals and organizations to adapt to changes in internal or external environments. A key part of adaptive leadership is disruptive thinking. Disruptive thinking is outside-the-box thinking that challenges commonly held beliefs, focuses on solutions and new ideas, and isn't afraid to think big. As such, disruptive thinking can change an organization's structure, business model, culture, products and services, and much more.
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