Transformation leadership is about gardening

Some leaders see the transformation of an organization like running a machine, which just needs to be fixed. Therefore, they keep hiring managers as mechanics analyzing what is wrong with people.

However, the transformation of an organization is not like running a machine. Organizations are organic, and should be treated as such. The leaders should act as if they were growing the organization.

Having grown up on a farm in Denmark, it seems obvious to me to draw a parallel between transforming organizations and cultivating nature.

Think about nature. Nature does not change mechanically. The old tree is not just replaced with a new one. Something new grows and eventually supplants the old. The new tree is unique and does not act exactly like the old tree. Simply by being different than the old tree, the new tree is catalyzing further organic change. In nature, growth is a result of diversity.

When you are about to lead a transformation in your organization, think like the gardener who is about to cultivate growth. It takes time, but the results are enormously powerful; just like nature.

Let’s take a look at project management as an example. I experience very often that a Web specialist, such as a copywriter, ends up as project manager for an IT Web development project. The employee knows everything about this specific area, so why not also manage the project? That creates a high risk of creating low outcomes from the project. How does this happen? If the manager thinks like a gardener, then the manager knows exactly the natural talents and passions of each employee; which in this case would be writing engaging copy about the company products. However, that is not the same as being passionate about managing Web development projects. That calls for a project manager who should be passionate about leading high-performance teams.

Are you a leader? What do you do to cultivate transformation in your organization?

Are you an employee? What good examples do you have of cultivating transformation in your organization?

I invite you to share your comments.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *