Future Fit # 23: On becoming an adaptive leader: Foolish consistency

TomorrowToday has promised to help you start the journey towards being future fit – to becoming an adaptive leader. Being merely a ‘good leader’ will not suffice when it comes to meeting the challenge of the future. You will need to be a great leader and a ‘great leader’ is someone who understanding and practices adaptive leadership. This is part of a ‘boot camp’ through which we help you begin the journey of becoming future fit; we help you in the process of becoming an adaptive leader. Each ‘session’ is designed around a thought-bullet (Head) and an action point (Hand) – something to think about and something to try out. We have promised to keep the ‘head’ part to under a minute and the practical part (hand)…well, that is up to you.

Future Fit # 23: Foolish consistency.

ladders into the skyHead:
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that, ‘foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds’. The key word in his quote is ‘foolish’. There is a great deal to be said about the merits of consistency; it is when we stubbornly refuse to change simply because that is ‘the way it has always been done’ that our consistency enters the realm of foolishness. Of course there might well be many other examples of ‘foolish consistency’ and the Adaptive Leader is someone who is quickly able to discern the difference between consistency and foolish consistency. It is important to know the difference.

Ask this question at your next Executive or Management meeting: ‘what is it that we do around here that could be considered ‘foolish consistency?’ Be prepared for potentially a limited or muted response but if you are bold enough to continue to pose the question at lower levels within your organisation, you might well get a heavier catchment of responses. The reason for a ‘limited response’ is that very often those near the top of any organisation would have convinced themselves as to the need and merits of various ‘foolish’ consistencies and for a variety of reasons, might be unwilling to expose them or challenge their existence or status. Give the notion of ‘foolish consistency’ time to percolate amongst your team; let them think about it and soon enough the notion and distinction will become apparent. When it does, adaption is sure to follow.

Index of Adaptive Leader series
Click here to see the full list of the Future Fit ‘sessions’

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