21ST CENTURY LEADERSHIP IMPERATIVE: As organizations continue to transition from primarily bureaucratic and transactional groups to organic networks, aka eco-systems, the necessity for individuals to become contextually intelligent increases. Organizations that evaluate performance based on the ability to navigate complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity will ultimately prove to be the most effective.
Contextual intelligence is not a bigger version of the usual way we generate knowledge and intelligence. It does not involve more data, more information, more knowledge, or even more intelligence. It is not about what we need to make decisions, but it is about how we make decisions in context.
THE INTELLIGENCE CHALLENGE: Are you contextually intelligent? Can you quickly and intuitively recognize and diagnose the dynamic contextual variables inherent in a business situation or a market opportunity? Can you intentionally adjust your behavior to exert appropriate influence in that context?
Contextually intelligent leaders need to be able to diagnose the multi-dimensional complexity of contextual factors inherent in a situation, such as global supply chains. They must adjust, both intentionally and intuitively, their behavior to make decisions in context. They must be able to handle all the external, internal, interpersonal and intrapersonal factors that contribute to the uniqueness of each situation and circumstance. They must transform data into useful information, and convert information into knowledge, and assimilate that knowledge into practice. And they must extract wisdom [not just understanding or knowledge or awareness] from different experiences.
Contextual Intelligence DNA has three strands:
- Intuitive awareness of relevant past events
- Acute Awareness of present variable
- Awareness of the preferred future
STRATEGIC PLANNING VS STRATEGIC INTENT:
The biggest problem with the way organizations think about strategy is they confuse strategy with plans… Strategic planning is an oxymoron.
A strategy is a framework for making decisions about how you will play the game of business. These decisions, which occur daily throughout the organization, include everything from capital investments to operational priorities to marketing to hiring to sales approaches to branding efforts to how each individual shuffles his To Do list every single morning. Without a strategic framework to guide these decisions, the organization will run in too many different directions, accomplish little, squander profits, and suffer enormous confusion and discord.
A strategic framework must establish what the organization will do to deliver value for which customers are willing to pay and how it expects to hit target revenues and profits. The strategy doesn’t answer all the questions required for implementation–that’s planning, but it clearly establishes the game you are playing and how you expect to win. It also identifies the games you aren’t playing — the things you have no intention of delivering, even if your best customer begs you.
Identifying products, services, and target markets is only the beginning. The strategic framework must also establish the business model used to profitably create sufficient volumes of value.
Ann Latham, What The Heck Is A Strategy Anyway? Forbes, October 29, 2017
As supply chain logistics practitioners and professionals, we are competent planners. We study, analyze, plan, execute, evaluate and adjust. Planning is how we effectively manage processes, standardize operations, implement procedures, and project KPIs. But do we add value to customers and establish the company’s competitive advantages in globally competitive markets? Is planning enough in the 21st Century?
Strategy demands Strategic Intent, which is a “never-ending dynamic and circular process” based on the purposeful interpretation and reinterpretation of on-going events, requiring our ability to interpret circumstances as they unfold, and using instinct, political savvy, curiosity, flexibility and imagination.
Strategic Intent is an essential element to contextual leadership. This ability is an individual’s skill and is not an organizational phenomenon.
CONTEXTUAL LEADERSHIP ETHOS is personally complex – real and perceived, psychological and social, physical and metaphysical. It is contextually complex – including such things as: geography, genders, industries, job roles or titles, attitudes, beliefs, values, politics, cultures, symbols, organizational climate, the past, the preferred future, and personal ethics. It is interpersonally complex – needing to recognize these contextual variables in self as well as in external and internal stake holders.
Matthew Kutz, Toward a Conceptual Model of Contextual
Intelligence: A Transferrable Leadership Construct
Leadership Review, Winter 2008
Ironically, the Contextual Leader is a Non-Rational Decision Maker. A Rational Decision Maker, aka a planner, employs a multi-step process for choosing between alternatives that follows an orderly path from problem identification through solution, favoring logic, objectivity, and analysis over subjectivity and insight. A Non-Rational Decision Maker uses RDM [robust decision-making] to pursue optimal, not just acceptable, decisions, applying methods based on experience, intuitive judgement, gut instinct, and common sense, to make decisions in the face of uncertainty about whether the choices will lead to benefit or harm.
How can you establish your Contextual Leadership credibility?
Join us for the new Strategic Leadership Program in Applied Innovation that will disrupt your everyday normalcies. The goal is to give you an opportunity to transform yourself into a 21st Century Strategic Leader with the capacity to embrace the challenges of change and innovation and capture the full human potential across the entire organization.
Immerse yourself in the online Supply Chain Strategies Module developed by the Logistics Institute to meet the challenges of 21st Century SCL Eco-systems. SCS Competitive Advantage involves four building blocks: Competition, Value, Responsibility, and Leadership. Each building block explores key dynamics that contribute to competitive advantage.
Point of Contact:
Jasmine Gill, Programs Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
877-363-3005 x 1700