Sunday, 8 February 2009

With thanks to the sleeping partner of this blog

I have a secret researcher who knows his way around the internet for research purposes like nobody's business. He also happens to be my sleeping partner in other ways too - though we haven't slept in the same bed much recently. Anyway he's sent me some fascinating links to articles or abstracts of articles on various aspects of leadership - and the easiest way for me to keep track of them is to blog about them. Thanks Dr B!
There's an interesting article here on the organisation of resistance which shows how much our politics of protest movements have been changing in recent decades.
Then there's something interesting here about improvisation which I think is a fascinating challenge to institutions who try to set everything down and control it. I love this one because it's a sort of remembered Bible methodology of organisations. Great fun and all about improvisation - yes a narrative theology of business administration. This I really like!

Improvisation provides a way for businesspeople to become more entrepreneurial, and for businesses to teach and evangelize entrepreneurship across their networks.
When you script your narrative, your decision-making becomes binary. There are only two options:
On-script and off-script. All the energy goes into one of two areas: Wrestling reality into your scripted vision; and re-writing the script to fit reality.
Improvisation, by contrast, is a narrative engine. It invites participation, liberates good ideas, and challenges players to work at the height of their intelligence. The improviser knows that there are limitless options for action in every scenario and that if the fundamentals are followed, the story will take care of itself. Your energy and focus goes into performance, into making each and every moment of each and every scene count. Those moments add up, and turn into a compelling narrative. Freed of having to practice what you preach, you will have the much easier task of preaching what you practice.
With improvisation, players can shed themselves of unproductive energies and the fog of useless
communication that keep problems from being solved, and useful change from occurring.
With improvisation, players live in a world where clarity, sense of purpose and a spirit of teamwork prevail, and what can be achieved is exactly what Viola Spolin promised all those years ago: Communication, Learning and Transformation.

There's more on improvisation here.

Meanwhile my wily researcher has also come up with some rather more sobering articles on how the fetish of change and leadership can lead to failure.There's also a very interesting new take on the obsession with branding being something we should beware of as it is what your organisation does and how it does it which will actually count much more in the networked world. (Funny thing that it's called witnessing in church circles!)

Now I must do a bit of time management and stop blogging, otherwise I shall miss my train!