The Eye Centre is an ophthalmology practice and hospital in East London, South Africa. It is a current client of Legitimate Leadership, having started working with the Legitimate Leadership Model in August 2017 …
How Do Legitimate Leadership Principles Help To Drive Initiative and Innovation ?
Answer: The most direct link between Legitimate Leadership and innovation is through the core principles of empowerment. Empowerment is about incrementally handing over control, in the form of decision-making authority, to the next level in the organisation. What is required over time is a shift from directive to inclusive leadership – being clear on the expected contribution (including expectations of an innovative mindset) without telling people how to do their jobs. This takes courage on the part of the leader. It means expecting people to take initiative and experiment, and then living with and holding people to account for the outcome (reward, recognition, censure, discipline). Nothing kills initiative like a negative response to a good idea. Also, leaders frequently have to use all the courage at their disposal to resist the temptation to be drawn into deciding for people.
The end point is that employees take initiative and make their own choices in the best interests of the collective, quite literally free from all but a few legislated controls. In this world free from controls, people are not only able to, but also choose to, innovate responsibly in the interests of the short and long term success of the organisation. They do this because they are personally mature (so they choose to give rather than take), they believe that the organisation’s “cause” is worth giving to, and that the organisation’s stakeholders are deserving of their contribution and loyalty.
Of course, real organisations never quite get there, but some certainly get closer than others. A world where people contribute innovatively, with benevolent intent and free from burdensome controls, is the world that the Legitimate Leadership Model is trying to cultivate (by incrementally suspending controls). Even with something as important as safety, it is better to cultivate ownership of safe practices through deliberate empowerment than to put in place disempowering controls.
CASE STUDY: LEADERSHIP IN A MEDICAL PRACTICE – THE VALUE OF DIAGNOSIS
By Josh Hayman, Legitimate Leadership associate; Jenni Trow, The Eye Centre hospital manager; and Joanne Hulley, The Eye Centre operations manager.
The Eye Centre is an ophthalmology practice and hospital in East London, South Africa. It is a current client of Legitimate Leadership, having started working with the Legitimate Leadership Model in August 2017. In January 2018, two of its operations managers presented a paper (summarised below) at the Annual Congress of the Ophthalmological Society of South Africa (OSSA), in which they shared the history of the practice, their reasons for embarking on a Legitimate Leadership intervention, and their experiences so far in applying the model.
Legitimate Leadership interventions always start with a diagnostic, in which participating leaders are given feedback on their leadership gathered from direct reports through confidential surveys. When leaders accept this feedback openly, and act to address the key issues, significant positive gains, or “quick wins”, in employee willingness are very often made.
The Eye Centre has been in operating as an ophthalmology practice for more than 50 years, and until five years ago was a specialist consultancy service. In 2012 the owners of the practice embarked on an ambitious project – to establish a small eye hospital to enable access for all people to a world-class eye facility.
The addition of the hospital resulted in an increase in the staff complement from 13 to 38, including the addition of a general practitioner and two optometrists.
ARTICLE: WHAT TO DO ABOUT LEADERS DRIVEN BY SELF-INTEREST
By Wendy Nagel, associate, Legitimate Leadership.
In the world generally, it seems, the cycle of greed and fear is well entrenched – and so the level of discontent is at an all-time high. This calls leadership – or the lack thereof – under the spotlight. It would seem that leaders running countries and corporations are actually ruining them, with their singular focus on the “I”.
Of course, the opposite is also true: there are always examples of great leaders. But they seem to be the odd ones out in systems that remain focused on using people as resources to achieve results.
Here’s the real challenge to leadership though, and cause for serious reflection: if leaders do not genuinely care for and grow their people, they should not be in leadership. Leadership is about people, not things – human beings, not machines designed for pre-determined outcomes.
I have been vexed by the issue of organisations rolling out training, coaching and leadership interventions with limited systemic stickiness or tangible culture transformation. How can it be that so much amazing work happens in the development arena, with so little impact on a systemic level?
How is it that there are so few organisations for which people willingly show up to make a contribution?
VIDEO: THE FAIRNESS INGREDIENT IN EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
By Marco Alvera, an American-born businessman and CEO of Snam, an Italian natural gas infrastructure company.
COMMENT ON THIS VIDEO BY WENDY LAMBOURNE, DIRECTOR, LEGITIMATE LEADERSHIP: In organisations where people are held accountable, there is discipline and reward. Holding people appropriately accountable is not about being nice, it is about being fair. Being fair when rewarding people is about rewarding people for what they have control over (their contribution), not the results. Fair reward moreover is not about paying everyone the same because it is only fair that people’s reward should be commensurate with contribution made. Exceptional contributors, in other words, should be rewarded noticeably more than those who have made an acceptable contribution. It is only fair. At a deeper level, reward is about gratitude. It is about genuine appreciation for contribution made.
OUR SUMMARY OF THIS VIDEO:
The latest thing that upset you probably had to do with unfairness. That’s because unfairness triggers us so strongly that we can’t think straight – we become afraid and suspicious. Our unfairness antennae stick up, we feel pain, and we walk away.
Unfairness is one of the defining issues of our society, it’s one of the root causes of polarization, and it’s bad news for business. At work, unfairness makes people defensive and disengaged.