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New O4D Leadership Report: Rewire Leadership: As Many, Together

By B. Helton
Mar 5, 2012

Do leaders create behavioral definitions or do behavioral definitions create leaders? A 24–page Open4Definition Report is now available. It describes keystone behavioral definitions that have sped up the adoption of eight newly coined leadership models. Request a copy here.

Leaders anticipate and guide change. Organization-wide change is viewed as being hard; particularly when it involves overcoming established habits or entrenched group behavior. Leaders devise their own unique and often charismatic style to prevail over these barriers, which may or may not match the organization’s desired leadership model. But what is that leadership model? And how can a leadership team get on and then stay on the same page?

In a 2011 book, As One debunks the myth that there are only two styles of leadership: traditional command-and-control and "a new 'agile-and-adaptive' model (basically everything else)." In an equally groundbreaking effort, Open4Definition’s research debunks the commonly-held myth that implementing a leadership style has to be hard.

As One defines eight leadership models identified by international consultants Deloitte Global. The idea is an organization's leadership can work with cohesion… as one, if it follows a common leadership model. Each of the eight models is also illustrated in this book by eight case studies. We've added a supplement—a ninth story describing a keystone behavioral definition—that simplified the implementation of each leadership model. Seemingly ordinary men and women tapped the power of language to help others script organizational behavior, push improvement and arch over difficult implementation gaps. They intuitively identified and then used a keystone definition to shift all the other behavioral patterns in a way that reframed their organization's entire culture.

A behavioral definition is an inexpensive change tool. The report describes shortcuts that have cued widespread buy-in for the adoption of a leadership model. The stories shared also raise awareness of an under-recognized tool: a behavioral definition—a hidden persuader that economically rewires behavior and simplifies change. They spur improvements in behavior at its simplest, minus heavy training and few, if any, consultants while dampening intra-organizational politics.

Behavioral definitions—in conscious and subliminal ways—propel collective change. The challenge is to choose them wisely and that is where the work of Open4Definition provides a blueprint. The best keystone leadership behavioral definitions—i.e., the U.S. Army's Commander's Intent or Google's 20% Time—guide both leader and rank-and-file behaviors by cascading a clear motivating purpose at every organizational level. They create common footing and coordinate the actions of many, together. Again, to request a copy of the report, click here.


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