What’s it like where you are leading at the moment?
- Is the relationship between your organisation and its customers in balance, or are you having to work out how to handle your customers’ contexts in a more and more ad hoc way – riding your bicycle while re-designing it?
- Are the outcomes your customers want highly dependent on others’ services as well as your own – do you need to align purpose & activity with other complementary suppliers?
- What about the challenge & imperative of delegating more leadership and authority to those dealing directly with your customers, moving power to the edge of your organization where your customers interact directly with you…?
If any of this is recognisable to you, then you are at work as a leader in an environment of asymmetric demands, where situational judgements, exceptions, variety, differences – all of these are more like the facts-of-leadership-life than predictability, balance, controls, planning. We call this asymmetric leadership.
As an asymmetric leader you are likely to be working with some combination of
- Customers’ escalating demands within increasing uncertainty and complex contexts.
- The challenges of personalisation & individualisation by an increasing number of providers’ networks.
- Aligning through-life support and condition management for the customer across organisational boundaries.
- Reducing duplication and eliminating waste, whilst increasing the emphasis on early intervention to secure long-term benefits.
- Trying to improve outcomes, especially in the case of complex needs.
- Facing increasing pressure to develop greater resilience and to contain upredictability.
But how do you think and act in a context like this? What are the ways in which you can conceptualise what is happening that can provide some traction, give you a handle on the situation and create opportunities for improving the economy of your leadership effort?
We have some concepts and analytic tools, which we think can help you:
- Map the ecosystem of organisations, customers and contexts within which you increasingly need to decide how to act.
- Consider how to strengthen horizontal accountability in ways which hold accountable the individuals who are dealing directly with customers.
- Develop the fractal resilience of the service systems you design and lead to cope with variation in the scale and scope of individuals’ needs.
- Establish economies of governance in the way resources can be brought together and combined in individual interventions.
- Define the indirect value for your customers beyond the immediate value arising from their involvement with your services.