Since its publication, Complex Adaptive Leadership has become a Gower bestseller that has been taught in corporate leadership programmes, business schools and universities around the world to high acclaim. In this updated paperback edition, Nick Obolensky argues that leadership should not be something only exercised by nominated leaders. It is a complex dynamic process involving all those engaged in a particular enterprise. The theoretical background to this lies in complexity science and chaos theory - spoken and written about in the context of leadership for the last 20 years, but still little understood. We all seem intuitively to know leadership 'isn't what it used to be' but we still cling to old assumptions which look anachronistic in changing and challenging times.
Nick Obolensky has practised, researched and taught leadership in the public, private and voluntary sectors. In this exciting book he brings together his knowledge of theory, his own experience, and the results of 19 years of research involving 2,500 executives in 40 countries around the world. The main conclusion from that research is that the more complex things become, the less traditional directive leadership is needed. Those operating in the real world, nonetheless, need ways of coping. The book is focused on helping practitioners struggling to interpret and react to increasingly VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) times.
The book will particularly appeal to practitioners wishing to improve their leadership effectiveness as well as for students and researchers in the field of leadership.
Part I: The Context: A journey of discovery
The world wide context - a flow towards polyarchy
The organisational context - evolve or die
Finita la comedia - stop playing charades
A quick breather between
Parts I and II.
Part II: Chaos and Complexity: Order in chaos, simplicity in complexity - the deeper paradox
Getting to grips with chaos and complexity
Getting chaos and complexity to work
A quick breather between
Parts II and III.
Part III: The Leadership Angle: What is leadership anyway?
What about the followers?
Complex adaptive leadership in action
A final breather between
Parts III and IV.
Part IV: Looking Forward and Other Interests: Beyond this book - the choices you have….
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