A strong correlation exists between leadership effectiveness and business performance. Effective leaders outperform ineffective leaders every day. When an organisation underperforms in its industry, over a period of time, focus will be directed towards the underperforming leadership group.
Typically leaders have extensive development and skills within areas of technical expertise relating to their industry. However, research indicates that effective leadership requires a range of skills that fall into the arenas of ‘strategic’ intelligence, ‘emotional’ intelligence and ‘relationship’ intelligence – these are areas that invariably technical experts struggle with in the transition to more senior roles within an organisation.
High performance or mastery in any endeavour requires a well-honed ‘outer-game’ as well as a mature ‘inner game’. Most efforts on developing leaders are on the outer-game including capability, knowledge, technical expertise and experience What is mostly ignored is what is going on beneath the surface, the part that is running the inner game. Acumen takes a holistic approach in the design of programs, in order to accelerate transformative shifts of mind, which integrate the outer and inner game, creating effective leaders.
Adaptive work consists of the learning required to address conflicts in the values people hold, or to diminish the gap between the values people stand for and the reality they face. Adaptive work requires a change in values, beliefs, or behavior. The exposure and orchestration of conflict – internal contradictions – within individuals and constituencies provide the leverage for mobilizing people to learn new ways.